Tag Archive | Salvation

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)

image004-4For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life [his blessed life in the kingdom of God]? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his [blessed] life [in the kingdom of God.

Hello. How is everyone? It appears that we, in the Northeast have a reprieve from the snow (at least for the moment) There is a rumor that we are to have snow Sunday into Monday; and Monday into Tuesday-now it may be on Wednesday…oy vey! I find that in addition to the snow, there has been an addition of “angst” in the air. I would say that there is a legitimate amount of stress that is affecting everyone and it seems to be hitting most people in the wallet and in their spirit.  “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives,that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:1-3)

It’s like what my friend Amy says “just leaving the house even to go somewhere local (like a   grocery store) costs so much money!” As we all know, everything is so expensive-gas, food, rent, mortgage, medical bills, co-payments,now there is co-insurances, etc…  Notice, I am not referring to extravagant things like vacations, huge houses or cars-just the everyday cost of living and I am hearing people say the craziest things regarding their expenses. The problem when this situation occurs, is that we focus more on money than on God. Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:8-9)And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15) So, what can we do?  We cry out to our God. “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:1) We have to be careful when we let circumstances take over our mind and emotions because then we take our eyes off of God and put our eyes on ourselves and then worry and doubt subtly  begin to take over. Then we try to figure things out because we don’t think God will help us or answer our prayers-and that my friends, can open a door for mental and/or physical illness. “Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up” (Proverbs 12:25) Worrying is the opposite of trusting God. The reality is God has never failed His children-we just feel that way when we are in crisis mode. We have to be careful when we let circumstances take over our mind and emotions because then we take our eyes off of God and put our eyes on ourselves and then worry and doubt subtly take over our focus. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1Peter 5:7) “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Worrying is the opposite of trusting God. That’s why we try to plot and figure things out. We try to use worldly wisdom and resources and make it a godly application. But God is in control of all things and He will take care of His children. This is the reality for believers in Jesus Christ-God has never failed His children-we just feel that way when we are in crisis mode.“Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:30-33) “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”(James 4:8)  In order to remedy our situations during tough times (trials), we must go to God in prayers so that we do not forfeit our souls but instead, protect our souls through our prayers. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippian 4:6-7 NLT) “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)  God will always direct our paths-it is so much better then taking matters into our own hands. We just need to submit to His will and trust Him. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6) “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) 

Please don’t think this easy-it is not. But God loves us and will always care for us. Do not give up your heavenly inheritance for this temporal world and what you think it can offer you.  Even our journey on this planet is temporary.  I encourage you to be heaven bound and heavenly minded because nothing can separate us from God’s love towards His own.“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered. ”But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39 NASB)

There is a cost to be a disciple of Jesus Christ: “Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also]. For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting].” (Matthew 16:34-35-Amplified)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, I would like to leave you with some scriptures that are food for thought (and application). Be encouraged knowing that God loves and cares for you and is always there with you in your circumstances.

In His love,

Melody 

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.(1 Timothy 6:6-8)

“Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it” (Proverbs 15:16)

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. (Psalm 37:3-5)

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “(Matthew 6:19-24)

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.(1Timothy 6:17-19 NASB)

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” (1Timothy 6:10-11)

“Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked. (Psalm 37:16)

Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.” (Proverbs 28:6)

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:7-8)

“Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? (James 2:5)

“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20)

“Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me,” (Proverbs 30:8)

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17)

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”  (Psalm 34:8)

 

 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

image007Hello. How is everyone? How is everyone adapting to this consistent influx of snow?  I think the only place in the United States that has not been hit with snow is Florida. The fact that Atlanta, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee; Texas,  Arkansas, North and South Carolina, and other various places have been hit with snow and ice is historical (not hysterical) and astounding!  During all of this inclement weather got me thinking as to what is God trying to say to His people? This weather pattern is so unusual that I am sure God is trying to get everyone’s attention. One of the things I started to dwell on is faith…mores specifically… my own faith.

I don’t care who you are, I believe everybody is going through some form of struggle. But the issue really is, where is one’s faith as we go THROUGH the struggle?  One of the things my friend Amy and I say to each other all the time is “either we believe God is who He says He is or He isn’t”-which means God is our Heavenly Father and He we choose to believe that He will take care of us for no other reason that we are His children and He loves us.  Please know that as much as I write to you and say “I am believer of Jesus Christ and I know He will take care of me, it still takes an act of faith on my part. In other words, I can believe with my head (intellectually) because I have been reading the scriptures for years and years, but how do I react when trials and struggles arise? Is my faith strong enough to stand? Or, is it weak and faint hearted? “He said to them, Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” (Matthew 17:20, AMP)

The problem that causes a lack of faith is doubt.  We doubt everything! God, ourselves, our family, our friends, doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs….it doesn’t matter.  Mankind at its best is weak-in all areas when compared to God.  So many of us think of ourselves as “super heroes” and think we have “super human strength” to handle any and all circumstances. That is all a bunch of nonsense. When we depend on mankind (especially self), we exhaust our emotions; our strength; patience; finances and relationships, etc…. Doubting is in our nature… Even John the Baptist doubted who Jesus was and that was his first cousin! After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else? Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (Matthew 11:1-6)

Why did John doubt? He was discouraged because his proclamation of belief in Jesus landed him to jail! He was probably thinking “Hey! What did I do? I obeyed the call of God and dressed strangely; and preached the message of repentance for the messenger of the Messiah to come. Why am I in trouble? Why am I in jail? “And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it shall happen.” (Matthew 21:21)  John was the forerunner (messenger) of Jesus…and his cousin; yet, he found out that obedience does not excuse trials or self doubt, but it will affect one’s faith. Think about it, John was with Jesus-God in the flesh and he doubted his faith after physically seeing Him and being in His presence; and circumstances still caused him to doubt.  That is why we must continue on-in faith. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1Peter 1:3-9)

Faith is the foundation  of salvation because one chooses to believe that God is who He says He is. As hard as it is, we cannot get caught up in circumstances. The way we will not doubt our faith is by keeping our eyes on Jesus.“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2) I encourage you to keep the faith and don’t give up when things go awry. Our faith in God is the only thing that sustains us during the bad times.  Hold tight to your faith in God and it will carry you through every day. That is a promise.Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. (Philippians 3:13-16)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, please know that  faith is not something we can see, but it is the evidence of our hope.

In His Love,

Melody

 

 

 

“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9)

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Hello! How are you? How is the New Year treating you? How are you progressing with your personal changes for your life? (I do not like saying resolutions. One can always change if one chooses)  I have to admit that since I have made some personal decisions, I have already encountered much opposition. I have not discussed my decisions with anyone, but there are some people out there who just want to provoke you to no end. I also know it’s not just physical-it’s also spiritual. “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) The enemy of our soul does not want us to succeed in any area of our lives.

As a matter of fact, something happened to me today at work, that provoked to my core. However, I had to choose immediately how I was going to handle it. The situation made me very angry and hurt my feelings deeply, but I had to decide how I was going to process and respond.  As Kay Arthur of Precept  Ministries,(one of my all time favorite Bible teachers) taught years ago: “Do we act or react? ” I chose NOT to react. How? By recalling scripture to help ease my mind and emotions. I also shared this with a friend, (I’m only human) but, I also read my Bible at lunchtime. That’s why I choose the above scripture. ‘Believe me, I wanted to react in so many ways, I would be repenting for a very long time-that’s why I went to my Bible and looked up scriptures that had to with anger. “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” (Proverbs 29:11)  Sadly, I spent many years venting out to everyone-even as a Born Again Believer. It didn’t matter to me-I wanted everyone to know what I had to say. It never even crossed my mind how I looked or what people thought. What’s worse is I never thought about what God thought when I reacted that way only to find out He thought I was acting like a fool. Talk about sobering!  Sometimes I wonder how I had any friends at all because of my behavior. Can anyone relate?

As I read, I came across some other scriptures that referred to anger: “A hot tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calm a quarrel.” (Proverbs 15:18) “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) “Do not make friends with a shot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Proverbs 22:24-15) I know I have been hot-tempered. I also know I have been ensnared (riled up) by someone else’s anger.  Have you ever found yourself going from calm to crazy as you join in with someone else’s emotion?

You see the real issue is not the other person. It is our personal action (or, reaction) to a matter.”Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32)  “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick tempered man displays folly.” (Proverbs 14:29) How does God want us to respond? Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but, those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.” (Psalm 37:8-9)  “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8) “And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18-Amplified) The Spirit of God lives within those who has accepted Jesus as LORD and Savior; therefore, it would make sense that the provoking we experience effects us in our spirit, soul and body. But, God is faithful to His own; He leaves us with His instruction manual (the Bible) as to how we are to conduct ourselves as believers. He loves us so much that He wrote it down for us to study and to imitate. “But Jesus looked at them and said, with men this is impossible, but  all things are possible with God.” (Matthew 19:26)

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, please read the scripture below so you can know that only with God we can change and control our behavior and reflect His.

Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].”

Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]. And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].”

Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts.”

And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him”  (Colossians 3:12-17 Amplified)

In His Love,

Melody

 

 

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. “(Isaiah (9:6-7)

 

 

iPhoto LibraryHello! How is everyone doing this Christmas Season?  I hope you survived your holiday shopping and preparation for this Christmas. I know the pressure can be unbearable, yet we somehow manage to get everything done.

As you celebrate Christmas, know that God loves you; and has presented the gift of eternal life through His Son, Jesus to you.  God has a purpose and a plan for your life, so why not accept salvation through Jesus today?  The Bible says “For He says: In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2).  Over two thousand years ago, GOD made the announcement to the world that a Savior, His Son, was born in a manger. He could have chosen a royal palace for Jesus’ birth; but, instead God chose to identify with His creation through a humbleway of life.  It is through Jesus Christ alone that we have peace with God and can have peace with mankind.

Below is the message of the birth of Jesus which is found in the Bible, the Gospel of Luke 2:1-20:

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

“In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;  for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds begansaying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”  So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.  The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.” (Luke 2:1-20)

God does not go back on His Word.  His promises are true and forever-that’s why He put it all down in His book for us to read, apply and to hope in. Jesus is the Reason for the Season. “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)  “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”(Philippians 2:8-10)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, it is my prayer that you have a Blessed Christmas and that you reflect on the good gifts God has given you through His love in His Son, Jesus.

In His Love,

Melody

I leave you with one of the most cherished Christmas songs proclaiming the good news of Jesus:

Hark the Herald Angels Sing  (Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788; alt. by George Whitefield and others)

        Hark! the herald angels sing, 
	"Glory to the new born King, 
	peace on earth, and mercy mild, 
	God and sinners reconciled!" 
	Joyful, all ye nations rise, 
	join the triumph of the skies; 
	with th' angelic host proclaim, 
	"Christ is born in Bethlehem!" 
	Hark! the herald angels sing, 
	"Glory to the new born King!" 

2.	Christ, by highest heaven adored; 
	Christ, the everlasting Lord; 
	late in time behold him come, 
	offspring of a virgin's womb. 
	Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; 
	hail th' incarnate Deity, 
	pleased with us in flesh to dwell, 
	Jesus, our Emmanuel. 
	Hark! the herald angels sing, 
	"Glory to the new born King!" 

3.	Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! 
	Hail the Sun of Righteousness! 
	Light and life to all he brings, 
	risen with healing in his wings. 
	Mild he lays his glory by, 
	born that we no more may die, 
	born to raise us from the earth, 
	born to give us second birth. 
	Hark! the herald angels sing, 
	"Glory to the new born King!" 

 


 

“Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father who made the sun, moon and stars.” (James 1:17)

 

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Hello! How is everyone? Is everyone surviving the hustle & bustle of the holidays?  I bet many people are getting ready to wrap their gifts (if they have not done so already) and put them strategically under the tree in anticipation of Christmas.  Or, for those like myself who did not put up a tree, I have all of my gifts wrapped and neatly placed to one side of my living room waiting to be given out to family and friends.

I am sure that most of the time when one thinks about gifts, it is a happy, notion filled with wonderful anticipation. But, what about those who do not like to open their gifts right away? Or, worse…what about those who do not like to receive gifts at all? You may think “What?! Who doesn’t like to receive gifts?” Believe it or not, there are people who don’t like to receive anything-gifts, compliments, love, etc….  Now, there could be various reasons as to why one would feel that way.  It could be a self-image issue; meaning that one may think or feel they are not worth much of anything to deserve any form of a gift. Or, someone may feel obligated to give something back once they received their gift -whether or not they have the finances or even like the person-they do not want to feel indebted to anyone. And yet, another reason for someone to be this way could be a prideful attitude: “I don’t need anyone; I can take care of myself! “I’ll do it myself.” “I’ll buy it myself, etc…” The sad part about that attitude is that you rob yourself and that other person of a blessing because God uses people to show His love to one another.

You may ask, “What gift has God given me? What has God done for me?” The answer: His Son, Jesus. “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)  Through God’s love and mercy, He imparted the gift of eternal salvation through His Son, Jesus.  “Jesus said: “I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest” (John 10:10). “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.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17) You may think :“God can’t identify with me!” “He’s too big and I’m not important enough.” His response would be: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11) “You may ask, How?” His Word to you is: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)

You see, our sin is what separates us from God and everything He has to offer. “Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die.” (Romans 5:12)  If we compare ourselves one to another, we probably think we don’t sin…but we do. “All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s holiness (Romans 3:23).  “As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23).  You are probably thinking that this is a message thing to say to everyone, but I tell you in God’s love, it is the truth and the only truth that matters is God’s truth.

That’s why God gave salvation as a free gift. We can’t earn and in reality, we don’t deserve it. But once we receive it through the acceptance of Jesus Christ into our hearts and lives, it is ours forever!  “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9) “For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.) (Romans 11:29 Amplified)

This why God’s redeemable gift is so special. The Bible says There is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. (1Timothy 2:5). This Christmas, accept God’s free gift of salvation if you have not done so already. All you need to do is: 1) admit you are a sinner and need forgiveness; 2) believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave; and 3) through prayer (talking to God) confess that Jesus Christ is the only way to God and commit to live for Him for the rest of your life.

I pray that you accept the gift God has waiting for you. It’s your choice to accept His gift of love and salvation. This is a gift that need not to be returned.

In His Love,

Melody

Joy to the World

Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
Music: Arr. from G.F. Handel by Lowell Mason, 1792-1872
Tune: ANTIOCH, Meter: CM with Repeat

 

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! 
	Let earth receive her King; 
	let every heart prepare him room, 
	and heaven and nature sing, 
	and heaven and nature sing, 
	and heaven and nature sing. 

2.	Joy to the world, the Savior reigns! 
	Let all their songs employ; 
	while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains 
	repeat the sounding joy, 
	repeat the sounding joy, 
	repeat the sounding joy. 

3.	No more let sins and sorrows grow, 
	nor thorns infest the ground; 
	he comes to make his blessings flow 
	far as the curse is found, 
	far as the curse is found, 
	far as the curse is found. 

4.	He rules the world with truth and grace, 
	and makes the nations prove 
	the glories of his righteousness, 
	and wonders of his love, 
	and wonders of his love, 
	and wonders of his love. 

 

 


“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

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Hello. How is everyone? Hope your week was a pleasant one. I am probably safe in saying that I am not the only one going through trials at this time. I will say that during this particular trial, God is really showing me about me-meaning things that I have in my heart. For instance, one of things God has brought to my attention during my trial is how careless I have been with my spending His money. You see, everything we have is because of the Lord. Everything belongs to God. “The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” (Psalm 24:1) You may be thinking, “What does this have to do with anything”. Well, let me try to put it another way….During this trial, I got the chance to see how much of my “wants” I got through purchasing and how I have not utilized many of things that I wanted. Some things are still in boxes with the alleged intention of using them in the near future.

My point is I am looking and seeing how much of me there is and how little of God I found in the stuff I got. It is not bad to want things or to have things. I believe God will give us things because He loves us and wants to bless us. But we need to be careful and guard our heart with “stuff” that does not have eternal value.-and not just tangible things either. Sometimes we can fill our souls with stuff too. Ever hear of emotional baggage?  “Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.”  (Luke 16:1-2)  Believe me, it’s not about the quantity. It’s about “where is God in all of what we have?” Do we get so caught up in ourselves that we cannot make room for God and thank Him for what He has given us? Maybe there is a legitimate reason why I wasn’t supposed to have so much stuff? A lot of stuff for me may not be a lot of stuff for you, but if the stuff gets in the way of my relationship with God, then He allows me to have a “spiritual garage/tag” sale if you get my drift.  There is a difference between wanting and having and having and hoarding.  Again, I am seeing things about MYSELF that I was not aware of. Since I am already in the midst of my trial, God is doing some spiritual and emotional “spring cleaning”. He is letting me see that for a season I tried to be satisfied with anything other than Him. I don’t even know if God can truly give me the desires of my heart while it is (obviously) filled with other things and not of Him.“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” (Luke 16: 10-12) “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16:13)

All the blessings we receive come from God. Sometimes, even NOT HAVING is a blessing from God because He loves us and will withhold things from us for our own good.  Can you imagine a parent giving in to whims of their child? What would that parent be teaching the child? To be selfish? Ungrateful? Impatient? Would YOU want a child like that? Children are a reflection of their parents. As God’s children, we are to be a reflection of HIM. “With affectionate empathy John replied, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.” He waved them to sit down beside him. “You yourselves bear me witness that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but have been sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease. ”We must try to implement this principle  “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

God wants us be content with what we have (and what we don’t have). There is peace and joy in contentment. I believe contentment is God’s gift to us because we then know that He is providing all of our needs because we trust.Him. “But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:6-11) I hope you understand what I am trying to say here…it’s not just about material things; or even emotional things for that matter.  As a born again believe in Jesus, I want to be more like Him. I know what I’m like and I have a long way to go; but, I am not where I used to be either.  I have a strong personality-and guess what? Not only does God know that, but, He gave me this personality. It has been through my personality that my character has been refined to be more like His.  It’s not over until it’s over and I know that God is not done with me yet and I know He is not done with you either. Thank God!  “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, try to realize that Jesus is our ultimate treasure because He gave us the gift of salvation by dying on a cross in our place for our sins. He is are true reward. “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

In His Love,

Melody

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:11-14)

Salvation_bridge

Hello! How is everyone? Fine, I hope.  I am sure that there are plenty of people who have come across trials that are affecting them and tempting you to take your eyes off God and to put your focus on self.  I know how you feel, as I, myself have recently have a entered a crossroad-which can easily be viewed as tough trial. By recently, I mean a few days ago, and like most people, I have a lot of things going on. Actually, some of the issues I am dealing with is from an answer to prayer. Be careful what you ask for-you may get…but, not always the way you think.

I have been praying for change for months. But, the way God is answering me is not the way I would have handled things. Actually, I would have thought about the process until it’s death and then resurrect it again.  Have you ever done that?  The reason I even bring this up is because NOW I have to make decisions-or should I say Godly decisions.  And what does that entail? It entails my responses as to my current situations. I am tempted to sin in my behavior and attitude.  Yet, what does the above scripture say?  The grace of God teaches me to say “NO” to ungodliness and wordly passions and to be self-controlled, upright and godly. Passions aren’t always sexual, but, they are usually fleshly (physical/emotional) in response.  For example, one of my fleshly passions is to “correct” someone strongly when provoked. Doesn’t that sound nicer then screaming at someone and telling them they are wrong? It does not matter who is right or, who is wrong (especially since I am always right. Did somebody just express ego? :))  What matters is how am I showing God’s grace in this matter? Can you imagine what it would be like or feel like if Jesus returned during my retaliation? I am sure I would hang my head in shame.

When Jesus offered salvation to me, I said yes to His offer and He accepted me…warts and all. I didn’t have to wait to become  a better person. God does not really want us to be better in ourselves; rather He wants us to conform to the image of His Son. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”(Romans 8:29) The moment I said “yes” to Jesus, is the very moment He redeemed my soul. To redeem is to “buy back”. He bought and brought my spirit, soul, and body from hell, as well as a living an eternity without  Him. He filled the gap between us and God. I am now one of God’s children through and because of Jesus Christ. As I continue to live for Him, it is a process of “un-doing” some former things that I thought were normal or right. But, as God purifies me from the world (and myself), my renewed mind wants to do good towards all people. “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:26-28) I know you are saying “What?!? “Are you kidding me” “Fat chance” “Do you even know what so and so said (or did)?” I never implied this would be easy.Actually,in our own strength it’s impossible. But, God is not a man-therfore. He does not act like a man.(To be clear I mean mankind-not specifically male) He is holy and wants all people to come to Him. That’s where God’s grace comes into play. You see, grace is God’s unmerited (undeserved) favor towards His own. I have God’s favor (through His forgiveness of my sins) even though I did absolutely nothing to earn it.  No one can. Grace is the by-product of salvation-which is a gift from God. Have you ever earned a gift?  No. That’s why it’s a gift. It is because of God’s gift of grace that we can endure the trials that come our way. It spurs us on to do better in life; thus, spreading God’s love to all in spite of one’s difficulties. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)

I encourage you to accept the grace (favor) of God that is offered through salvation. “So you, my son, be strong (strengthened inwardly) in the grace (spiritual blessing) that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:1-amplified)

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, I wish you well in your coming week. I also want to leave you with this word from the Bible which is God’s Word to those who are walking with God; or for those who have recently accepted His gift of salvation; “Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it.”) (Hebrews 4: 16-amplified)

In His Love,

Melody