Recently a friend of mine and I have both been in the midst of circumstances that have made us face personal limitations. It has been a joy to walk the road with another sister in Christ because we have helped one another reach and remain at a place of contentment. We have encouraged one another to stay close to God and dwell in His presence at all times. As we share every week or so; we have both been so happy to find that His presence is completely fulfilling. We have not found ourselves feeling lacking, rather we are in joy!
However, that is not the case for everyone all of the time. This world we live in compels us to seek more; to be more; to have more; to do more; to desire more. Time and time again I hear people saying don’t settle for this or that. I agree that we should all live out our God given purpose – that is to be sure! But what if God hasn’t created you to be 1st; to be at the top; to lead everybody …. What if His purpose for you includes suffering for the sake of His Kingdom?!?! What if He is teaching you to be grateful where you are? What if your difficulties are meant to teach someone what faith looks like?
I had a friend once who would not let her husband enter ministry because it would mean she’d have to give up her lifestyle. Her life was wrapped up in her life! Very sad, because all things pass away …
Contentment – it is a God reflecting character trait. Contentment – it is an attitude that says His presence is enough. Contentment – it means that my status and circumstances don’t cause me fear. Contentment – it means that personal gain will not make me the center of my own world. Contentment – it means that I won’t do what is evil to gain what the world says is good. Contentment – it means that all that He gives to me I will be grateful for, but none of it will mean more to me than Him!
Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil. Proverbs 15:16
I’m Happy with Jesus Alone
by: Charles Prince Jones
There’s nothing so precious as Jesus to me;
Let earth with its treasures be gone.
I’m rich as can be when my Savior I see;
I’m happy in Jesus alone.
I’m happy with Jesus alone,
I’m happy with Jesus alone;
Though poor and deserted, thank God, I can say,
I’m happy with Jesus alone.
My oldest son, Joseph, signs his notes “Live In Love”, a great reminder of what our Christ’s life was like and what His example was for us. Today is my son’s birthday (yes, that’s him!) so this came to my mind as I think of the beautiful gift he has been to my heart and life since the day God gave him to me to cherish and disciple.
Now — back to how Joe signs his notes ‘ Live In Love” — Picture it! A world where every Christ follower acts in love in EVERY situation. I’m not talking about loving the ones who love us. I’m not even talking about loving those who are not so loving but are yet dear to us (you know, those crazy family members you don’t really like!). What I am talking about is loving those who mean us harm; those who commit wrongs against us intentionally; those who purpose to bring to ruin the plans that God has for us. I’m talking about going beyond forgiveness and showing them love.
When I look at my wedding ring, I see many facets – sometimes it glistens bright white; at another angle it is a colorful prism; sometimes it looks like clear glass. My point is – no matter how I look at it or how it looks to me – it looks beautiful. Love too – in all of its facets is a beautiful thing. So then, why don’t we just try to take every experience of this day and respond to it in love. As for me I have to ask myself daily: Can I be love in every situation? Honestly – I don’t know! But I can certainly try.
My prayer today is that each person that I have contact with on this day (whether in person or electronically) will know that they are loved!
Happy Birthday Joe! Thank you for being an amazing image of God’s love every single day!
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
A person who does not believe the truth of the gospel – will necessarily rail against it.
As believers, our motive should always be that people come to know and understand the truth of the gospel. Not only that they can be saved from Hell – but that their lives can be redeemed for the sake of the Kingdom of God; the Kingdom that will never end.
When people call themselves believers but they rise up against the truths that are in the Bible because it does not suit them, I am forced to ask myself if they are true believers.
Paul mentions his former ways and clearly tells us that he did these things out of ignorance – because he did not know that the gospel was truth. But once he knew – his life and his behavior was transformed. His life became about exposing people to their redeemer, Christ, and teaching them how to live for Him so that their lives would matter in eternity. Are we doing that? Leading people to Christ AND helping them to live for Him?
Father, May it never be enough for my heart to see a person come to salvation, but may I always desire that they know you personally as Father and are able to give their lives to you so that they will be made fruitful. Thank you for using me as a vessel of honor. I bless your name! Amen
1 Timothy 1:12 – 14
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus”
Lately, many who have the life spotlight have been doing some wicked things. It can make you embarrassed to be American, or even human! When you look at the actions of some, it can really make you look down on them; and raise your own self up a bit. Yes, you have to be raising you up if they are suddenly beneath you.
It points out a truth about who we each are. I’ll talk about me. You see, I haven’t killed anyone; spoken with ill regard of anyone publicly; stolen anything; wished anyone dead; abused any child; mistreated anyone because of their ethnicity; etc. etc. etc. So, unlike those people I read about or see on the TV screen, I am righteous! Right?!?! WRONG!
Truth is, only God knows why I refrain from what I refrain from and only God knows the things I do that none of you see. My mind knows the blessing of trusting God completely and submitting to Him in all things; but my heart without the leading of the Lord is just self serving even when my desire is to be good! My hope lies in the actions and love of my King. He searches my heart and knows my true desires; He is faithful to see if there is any evil in my heart and His mercy and grace are powerful and can be counted upon to always lead me in the everlasting way.
I’m ever grateful that I have learned not to depend upon man – not even myself – to do the right thing. I depend upon the Holy Spirit in me to bring about in my life what The Lord wills to be so. Even when it seems that I’ve done a good thing, the truth is that it is only the work of the Holy Spirit in me. Search me, O God! Lead me, O God! Omnipresent God – my soul hides in You!
“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10
Thank you to so many of you who have sent kind words of encouragement as we recover here in Houston. Watching the movements of people from across the nation come to the aid of Texas in the midst of this devastation has been heartwarming. Incredible to see people show love across lines of all types.
Here are some helpful tips:
- $$ is the best gift because it allows organizations to purchase what they need and what people need exactly. Our church, Crossover Bible Fellowship, has established a fund to help people affected by the storm. You can give online at Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. All donations to this fund will 100% exclusively support relief and recovery efforts from this hurricane and flood. All gifts are tax deductible, bank drafts and debit cards accepted.
- Give things that are needed. Here’s what is being taken in — in its original packaging ONLY!1. Non-perishable and/or canned food
2. Paper towels
3. Toilet paper
4. Medical supplies/First Aid Kits
5. Baby items (diapers, wipes, onesies, bottles, socks)
6. Baby formula
7. Cleaning products, especially bleach
8. Cleaning tools such as brooms, mops, dust pans
9. Trash bags
10. Plastic bins
11. Flash lights
12. Rubbermaid Totes to store items
13. Safety glasses
14. Claw Hammers
17. Knee pads
18. Face masks
19. Bug Spray
21. Deodorant (both male and female)
22. Feminine hygiene products (tampons, pads, panty liners)
23. Underwear (both male and female)
26. Hair shampoo/conditioner
30. Lip balm
33. Hair ties/bands
34. Jogging pants
35. Flip flops
36. Body spray
37. Personal wipes
42. Pillow cases
43. Dog Food/ Cat food
44. Pet food dishes(plastic)
45. Hand Sanitizer
46. Batteries(all types)
48. Tool Boxes
50. Paper plates
- Volunteer with us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Executive Pastor will pull your email and help to direct you to the place you’ll be most helpful.
HELP TEXAS: Go HERE to give to Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
https://player.vimeo.com/video/231458778” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Watch this video to get an encouraging word from our Pastor
I want to encourage you all to pray for others who are experiencing devastation at this same time: fires in Los Angeles; torrential rain in northern India, southern Nepal, northern Bangladesh and southern Pakistan; bush fires in Australia, and so much more! Many are suffering.
Pray for everyone! Pack your backpack and go help, if you can! Give money if you are able! Let’s show the world what the Love of Christ looks like!