All ThingsIt is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.—Psalm 119:71
Did you know that everything you have experienced up to this point in your life can be used for good? That isn’t to say you haven’t experienced hardship. That isn’t to say bad things haven’t happened to you. But it is to say that God can work them out for good.
That includes the experiences of your childhood, whether good or bad. That includes your parents, whoever they may be. That includes your education, your present employment, or your lack of it. He will work all things together for good.
I went through hardship as a kid. I came from a home that was broken many, many times over, a home of alcoholism. I wouldn’t wish my childhood on anyone. But God used it to make me the person that I am.
In the same way, God has used what you have gone through to make you the person that you are. So let it be worked together for good, and accept God’s promise to you: “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). The phrase work together also could be translated “working together.” In other words, it isn’t over yet!
Maybe you are going through a process right now in which God is working things together for good. You don’t see it yet. But you are a work in progress. Be patient. You have God’s word on it: He will work all things together for good to those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose. God is ultimately working all things for good — not just the good things, but all things.
This devotional from Pastor Greg spoke to my heart today. There is something that happened to each one of us in our past that helped to make us into the person we are today. If we are open to the Holy Spirit in our lives He will use that to help someone else! I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!! http://dlvr.it/6Rcg2z
Tonight I pray that you realize that the coming of the Lord is near. He is richly present in all the areas of our lives and we are connected to Him through Love!!! I pray that you would have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to you!!! I declare that the Spirit of the Lord rule more and more in your heart giving you the victory in every area of your lives!!! I speak deliverance from any false reliance on your own strength - you will not have to carry burdens not designed for you. YOU ARE FREE! I pray this in the name of Jesus!!! Amen and Amen… I Love you all… God bless you!!!♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6RQB70
God’s Word on It
We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. —Romans 8:28
Without a doubt, Romans 8:28 is one of the greatest verses in the Bible. It is one that is claimed quite often by believers, especially during times of hardship. And so it should be.
But let’s make sure we meet the criteria of the text: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (emphasis added). Do you love God? Are you the called according to His purpose? Romans 8:28 does not apply to you if this isn’t true of you.
There are times in our lives when things seem to be falling apart, when they don’t make any sense. Some people will say, “It is the fickle finger of fate.” Or, “Que sera, sera. Whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see.”
True, the future is not ours to see. But the Christian can be confident that God is in control and has a master plan for his or her life. We can know that we serve a sovereign God who is good. As I have often said, we may not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.
The word used here for good does not necessarily mean that the event in and of itself is good, but that its long-term effect will be useful and helpful. It is hard for us to imagine certain things working for good. The Bible isn’t saying tragedy is good. Rather, it is saying that God can take a horrible thing and make good come as a result of it.
I hope you love this devotional from Pastor Greg today!!! Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Tonight I Pray that we come to You Father with a thankful heart for allowing us to be alive during this special time in the history of this world!!! We are so grateful that we were chosen to be the generation that ends the time of the church and gets to be swept up into the Rapture. Please dear Father give us a humble and thankful spirit. Give us Your strength so that we can make it to the finish line racing like sons and daughter of the Living God Almighty!!! That we share the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Saving Grace with all that we meet. Gives us all a great hunger for Your Word so that we can be the mighty men and women of God that You planned for us to be in these last days. So that we can all live in Your Will, Word and Way for our lives even until the end. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen. God bless you!!! ♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6Qzxrw
by Charles R. Swindoll
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13
Shakespeare called it “the green sickness.” Bacon admitted “it has no holidays.” Horace declared that “tyrants never invented a greater torment.” Barrie said envy “is the most corroding of the vices.” Sheridan referred to it in his play The Critic when he wrote, “There is not a passion so strongly rooted in the human heart as this.” Philip Bailey, the eloquent English poet of yesteryear, vividly described it as “a coal [that] comes hissing hot from hell.”
And speaking of hell, no one has done a better job of portraying envy than Dante. In his Purgatory, you may recall, the envious sit like blind beggars by a wall. Their eyelids are sewed shut. The symbolism is apt, showing the reader that it is one of the blindest sins—-partly because it is unreasonable, partly because the envious person is sewed up in himself. Swollen with poisonous thoughts. In a dark, constricting world of almost unendurable self-imposed anguish.
Envy in Scripture? Look at the facts. It sold Joseph into slavery, drove David into exile, threw Daniel in the den, and put Christ on trial. (If you question that, better check Matthew 27:18.) Paul tells us that it’s one of the prevailing traits of depravity (Romans 1:29) and a team member that plays in the same backfield with profanity, suspicion, and conceit (1 Timothy 6:4).
The answer? Contentment. Feeling comfortable and secure with where you are and who you are. Not having to “be better” or “go further” or “own more” or “prove to the world” or “reach the top” or …
Having some big struggles with envy? Eating your heart out because somebody’s a step or two ahead of you in the race and gaining momentum? Relax. You are you—-not them! And you are responsible to do the best you can with what you’ve got for as long as you’re able.
Remember, the race isn’t over. And even when it is, a lot of things you got hot and bothered about during your lifetime won’t even show up in eternity. I don’t care how many trophies or awards or dollars or degrees may be earned or won on earth, you can’t take ‘em with you. So it isn’t worth the sweat. Death always cures “the green sickness.” Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Tonight I Pray that you trust in the Lord for He is our strength and our song!!! Spend time with Him for the pure pleasure of being in HIS Presence!!! I pray that you enjoy His companionship by waiting upon the Lord and be in His Word then He will reveal Himself to you. Put away all thought of the tasks of your day and allow His Presence to be imprinted upon you!!! I pray that you don’t allow your fears to block the flow of His Spirit. When you feel yourself slipping you may lose sight of Him at times. But as you move towards Him and call out to Him in your thoughts, words and prayers and you will become aware of His Presence. Remember that He is our Strength and our Song and in these last days we need to remember to share that strength with others as we continue our journey together toward heaven. For it is in Him that we live, move and His Spirit will sparkle through us as a light in a world that is growing dimmer with each passing day. I pray that as we rejoice in the Lord together that we will become a reservoir for His great love that will flow into the lives of others. In Jesus name I Pray, Amen and Amen… I Love You All!!! God Bless You!!! ♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6QVRV7
Envy, Part One
by Charles R. Swindoll
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:25-26
What exactly is envy? How does it differ from its twin, jealousy? Envy (the more sophisticated of the two) is a painful and resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another … accompanied by a strong desire to possess the same advantage. Envy wants to have what someone else possesses. Jealousy wants to possess what it already has. Jealousy is coarse and cruel. Envy is sneaky and subtle. Jealousy clutches and smothers. Envy is forever reaching, longing, squinting, thinking (and saying) sinister insinuations.
When you stop and think about it, envy is the worse of the two. God declared several times in His Word that He is a “jealous God” … but not once did He say He had envy.
Envy finds acceptable ways of expressing its resentment. One favorite method is the “but” approach. When I talk of someone I envy, I may say, “He is an excellent salesman, but he really isn’t very sincere.” Or “Yeah, she has a brilliant mind, but what a dull teacher!” Or “The man is an outstanding surgeon, but he doesn’t mind charging an arm and a leg.”
Another favorite avenue of expression envy enjoys to travel is the “reversal” approach. Someone does a good job, and I cast a shadow over it by questioning the motive. An individual gives a truly generous gift, and we mutter, “He’s obviously trying to make an impression.” A Christian couple buys a new car and a few pieces of nice furniture. Watch out! There will be somebody who will squeeze out an envious comment like, “Well, they probably don’t tithe. We’d have a lot more money to spend if we didn’t tithe.”
One wag wrote this doggerel:I hate the guysWho minimize and criticizeThe other guysWhose enterpriseHas made them riseAbove the guys who criticize.¹
The “unfavorable comparison” approach is equally cynical. The baritone does a commendable job on Sunday as an envious pew-sitter thinks, “Compared with so-and-so, he’s a dud.” Or “If you think my neighbor has a nice lawn, you ought to take a drive out to Palos Verdes. Those places will make the Franklins’ grass look like it has the mange!”
It’s a curious fact that envy is a tension often found among professionals, the gifted, and the highly competent. You know, doctors, singers, artists, lawyers, business men and women, authors, entertainers, preachers, educators, athletes, politicians, and all public figures. Strange, isn’t it, that such capable folks find it nearly impossible to applaud others in their own field who excel a shade or two more than they? Envy’s fangs may be hidden, but take care when the creature coils … no matter how cultured and dignified it may appear.
God’s Word strongly admonishes us against envy; fortunately, it also tells us how to tame the monster within. We’ll talk about that tomorrow. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
I Pray TONIGHT that the Lord take away all feelings of uncertainty and being out of control. We pray that YOUR perfect love would cast out all fear tonight and replace it with confidence in YOUR sufficiency. Tonight as we hold tightly to the hand of Jesus, I pray you allow Him to lead you through the darkest night. He knows the road ahead and can bring us all back into the light of HIS love and grace. WALK in that light so that you can be a beacon to a lost world… I pray that you trust Him in all areas of your life. The harder it gets the tighter you hold His hand. Knowing that He is always before you. One step at a time. Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all of creation, can separate you from HIS loving Presence. Stand on that faith!!! In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I love you all!!! God bless you!!! ♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6PyNlr
God’s Safety Net
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. —Romans 3:23
Visitors to San Francisco can’t help but be amazed at that architectural wonder called the Golden Gate Bridge. During its initial phases of construction, a number of workers lost their grip and fell to their deaths in the San Francisco Bay. Needless to say, this slowed down the construction process quite dramatically. The builders were trying to think of a way to remedy this, so they did something that had never been done before. A giant net was installed under the construction area. The workers knew that if they did fall, the net would catch them. It wouldn’t be a pleasant experience, but they would live to tell about it. The result was they could work without the fear of dying. They were able to move quickly and finish the project.
Did you know that God has put a safety net under you? By that I mean, when you slip, when you fall, when you make a mistake, it doesn’t mean that your name has been blotted out of the Book of Life and that you are now persona non grata with God. Because He came into your heart, forgave you, and committed Himself to you, He now protects you, sealed you, and justified you as a result of that commitment.
The fact is that we as Christians will sin and fall short. The Scriptures, as well as our own experiences in life, tell us this is true. According to 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” This is not an excuse for ungodly living. Nor is it a license for sin. It is a simple acknowledgement of reality.
This is a great devotional today from Pastor Greg!!! I am so glad that I have Jesus as my Lord, Savior and safety net!!! I hope that you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!! http://dlvr.it/6PjX9n
Tonight I Pray that you never feel guilty for taking the time to seek out the Lord Jesus! When you do this it is in answer to the Holy Spirit within you. Nudging you to spend time visiting with Him, in prayer and communion. I pray that you recognize that He can transform you into an exceptional Christian when you turn over all of your passion to HIM and that His Love satisfies soul hunger like nothing else can!!! I pray you know that as His child made in His image, that you were designed to only find fulfillment through Him and His great and all-encompassing Love!!! Since this world is not our home I pray that you keep your eyes focused on the Lord and what He has for you. For He turns even dullest day bright and adds sparkle to the most mundane of tasks. Step out in faith allow His Presence to light the path before you where ever you may go. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I Love You All!!!! God Bless You!!!! ♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6PSQ6Y
The Ultimate Family Reunion
I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. —1 Thessalonians 4:13
Have you ever had a significant reunion with a member of your family? Maybe it was someone you thought you would never see again or someone you had been separated from for many years.
But then again, maybe there is someone who was taken from you quickly and unexpectedly. There are things you wish you had said to that person, regrets that you now have. There is something to learn from that. If there is anyone in your life you need to say something to, say it now while you can. Tell that person you love him or her. Let that person know what he or she means to you. Do something to communicate with them because you never know when their time may come. Then again, you never know when your time may come, either.
The good news is there will be a family reunion for every child of God, a day when we will see those believers who have died and are in heaven.When his young child died, David said, “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23). That is the hope of every Christian. Our friends and loved ones can’t come to us, but we will go to them someday.
You can join them one day in the great reunion when the Lord comes for His church, as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:17: “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
It will be the ultimate family reunion. Woo Hoo!!! What a great devotional from Pastor Greg!!! I can’t wait for that day!!! I hope you all have a Simply Heavenly day!!! Maranatha!!!
When things in life turn sour, people are apt to complain: “God, why would You allow this to happen? You can’t be in this!” Don’t be so sure.
Let’s look at an episode in the life of Jacob. After he tricked his older brother into giving him the right of the firstborn, he fled to where his relative Laban lived. You probably know the story: Jacob fell in love with Laban’s beautiful young daughter, Rachel. He then served Laban fourteen long years for both Leah and Rachel, though he really only loved Rachel. After Rachel bore their son Joseph, Jacob told Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own place and to my country” (Gen. 30:25). Laban convinced him to stay for another six years, and that’s where we find him in Genesis 31.
Ever since Jacob began living with Laban, there had been tension between the two, though they seemed to adjust to it. But in Genesis 31, we see that tension turn into friction: “And Jacob saw the countenance of Laban, and indeed it was not favorable toward him as before. Then the Lord said to Jacob, ‘Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you’” (Gen. 31:2-3).
Notice how God prepared Jacob to move back to his home. The first thing He did was put the desire in Jacob’s heart. After Joseph was born, Jacob had said, “I need to go back home. My heart is there. I need to be back in the covenant land of Abraham and Isaac.” But he didn’t go back. However, that desire never left him. He didn’t act too quickly on it, but God put the desire deep in his heart.
This is an important principle in our lives. The first thing God does to move us from one experience to another or one place to another is put a desire deep within. David wrote in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” When you delight yourself in the Lord, the desires you have are the desires God plants within your heart. However, those desires need to be confirmed; you don’t want to impulsively act on every desire you have.
For Jacob, the nest was getting stirred up, so he thought, It’s time to get out of here. What I feel in my heart is now being confirmed by the circumstances the Lord has placed around me. The friction between him and Laban caused Jacob to seek a new direction. Here’s the principle: the Lord stirs things up by circumstances. They may not be favorable, but it could be that the Lord is doing something to move you along.
"Then the Lord said to Jacob, ‘Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you’" (Gen. 31:3). The word of the Lord came to Jacob and confirmed what he felt in his heart and what the circumstances were telling him. When life turns sour, God may have some sweet blessings right around the corner. Don’t complain. Don’t moan. Just say, "What opportunities might God have in store if I trust Him and move forward?"
After this, Jacob talked to his wives, and they confirmed what he heard from God and felt in his heart (see Gen. 31:14-16). After God puts something in your heart, after the circumstances line up, and after you hear the voice of God through His Word, seek confirmation from God’s family. The Bible says, “In the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Prov. 11:14). Get counsel from the body of Christ. Run it by somebody who has maturity and insight.
Eventually, the Lord did bring Jacob back to the land of his fathers. So here’s food for thought: maybe you’ve been praying that God would do something different and great and move powerfully in your life, yet something unfavorable or unpleasant has happened. Have you ever thought that this could be part of the answer to that prayer? That God is going to put something in your heart (or perhaps already has), that the circumstances are lining up with that desire, and that now God will speak through His Word and confirm it with His people? I encourage you to let God move. Let Him stir the nest.
I really enjoyed this devotional from Pastor Skip Heitzig! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
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