Tag Archives: bless

Our Unclaimed Riches God wants to bless you with things better than money

Prepare
Have you claimed the riches God has promised you today? Take time to think about the blessings God has placed in your life. You might be missing a few.

Read
Proverbs 3:1-18

Explore
It is said that God doesn’t have favorites, but He does have intimates. In fact, as it teaches in Psalms, “the Lord confides in those who fear Him” (Psalm 25:14).

For those who put their trust in Him, the Lord reveals wonderful things. And as this passage teaches, He makes available incredible riches.

Many people appear to teach that God cares about our spiritual life, but that He is detached from our physical life. That is just not so.

As this proverb plainly states, “My son (or daughter), do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. (vs 1-2).

God is not just talking “spiritual” prosperity in this chapter, although that is clearly evident (vs 4, 6, and 13). He is also talking physical riches. Just look – if you keep His commands and trust in the Lord, He will give you energy (v 7-8), abundance (v 9-10), discipline, and instruction (v 11-12).

God wants to bless you. He wants to pour out His promises on you (Matthew 7:11). And all it takes is a willing heart (v 1), love (v 3), and trust in Him (v 4).

Respond
Loving Lord, thank you for the staggering blessings you have made available to me. Teach me to trust you and to learn to be an intimate follower of you.

Besides the gift of your salvation, what is the greatest blessing God has given you? Do you believe you have unclaimed riches? The definition of unclaimed is: untaken, not demanded or requested as being something one has a right to

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Four Biblical Thoughts on Riches. Does God want us to be rich?

Does God want us to be rich?

Written by Dan Lee on 15/03/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Contentment, Finances, Money, Poor, Riches
“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” 1 Timothy 6:6

Are some preachers right when they say God wants us to be rich? They tell us we can get anything just by praying for it. Their lavish lifestyles seem to be an example of how God wants to “bless” us. Paul wrote a letter to Timothy and gave a strong NO to this idea. Here are 4 biblical thoughts on riches:

1. Be Content With God
“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth” (1 Timothy 6:6). This verse tells us that if we are believers in Christ and have a good relationship with God, we should be satisfied. We are already wealthy. On the other hand, when we place anything, including material things, above God, we make idols out of them. How terrible it would be if following Jesus helped us only in this life! (1 Corinthians 15:19) God may use the resources of wealthy people. But James 1:9-11 reminds us that material wealth adds nothing to our value. (Luke 12:15)

2. Eternity is What Matters
Whether we are rich or poor, none of our earthly goods will go with us to Heaven. “After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it” (1 Timothy 6:7). The more we understand that Heaven is our true home, the less we will care about getting more stuff, and the more we will use our possessions for God’s glory. Then, we can be like the widow in Luke 21:1-4 who gave all she had and did not worry about what she kept for herself.

3. The Basics are Enough
The Bible talks about those whose "…thinking has been confused. They have lost their understanding of the truth. They think that devotion to God is a way to get rich.” (1 Timothy 6:5) However, Jesus warns how hard it is for rich people to follow Him (Matthew 19:16-26). But poverty does not measure godliness either. A great biblical model is the Apostle Paul, who said “So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content” (1 Timothy 6:8). We don’t need a lot of nice clothes, or to eat at fancy restaurants every day. We just need to work hard to provide for our families, and trust the Lord to meet our needs.

4. Riches Can Ruin Us
The Apostle Paul tells us the 10th Commandment, (“you shall not covet”), was the way God showed him the sin in his heart. (Romans 7:7) When we desire riches, it may lead us to lie, cheat or, in extreme cases, steal and murder! “People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil . . .” (1 Timothy 6:9-10). But if we submit our lives to God and His Holy Spirit, He leads us to live in a way that helps and blesses others, and brings glory to Him.

Pray this week:

that God will help you use money and wealth to please Him

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How to Make Bible Reading a Daily Habit

Begin a practice that nourishes your spiritual life and makes you useful to God

Written by GodLife on 07/03/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Bible, Reading, Peace, Faith, Wisdom
Be like newborn babies who are thirsty for the pure spiritual milk that will help you grow and be saved.

1 Peter 2:2
When Peter compared the Bible to the milk which feeds a newborn baby, it was a picture we can all understand. Have you ever seen a baby hungry for food? Every attitude and action comes from intense desire. This is how God wants us to approach His Word.

But the Bible is a big book! It can’t be read in one sitting. How is a new follower of Jesus supposed to get the nourishment he or she needs for growth? Read on for practical encouragement to get you started on a lifetime of growth.

To Fuel Your Desire for God’s Word:
Think of the many benefits the Bible promises the reader. Within its pages, you can read the confirming stories from those who read and treasured it while it was still being written. They experienced:

Growing faith (Romans 10:17)
Clarity for knowing and following God’s will (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Knowing God’s character (John 1:18, 16:14)
Better insight into their own nature (Hebrews 4:12)
Instruction from the successes and failures of others (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11)
Increasing peace (Psalm 119:165)
Growth in purity (John 17:17; Ephesians 5:26)
Here’s How to Make Reading the Bible a Habit
First, know the benefits of doing this. (See the list above.) “By your teachings, Lord, I am warned; by obeying them, I am greatly rewarded.” (Psalm 19:11). Meditate on these things. Appreciate what is to be gained. Do you want to know God and experience His guidance? Do you want to be instructed in how to avoid pitfalls? Do you want purity, inspiration and peace? Committing yourself to daily time in the word is the first step toward making real gains in these important areas.
Go public with your commitment. Knowing your friends, your spouse, children or parents want you to succeed can make you rethink any thoughts of simply giving up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Set aside a time each day, in a quiet place where you can focus on the most important thing — hearing from God. (Luke 10:41-42) For many, that time is first thing in the morning.
Have a plan. (Proverbs 21:5) We already mentioned that the Bible is big: 66 books, with 1,189 chapters containing over 31,000 verses. It may seem too much at first, but it isn’t hard to manage with a good plan. And there are many good ones. For example, reading about three chapters a day will allow you to read the whole Bible in a year or you can read through the New Testament in a year if you read only about five minutes a day. Whatever you choose, make a decision to eventually get to it all. As Paul advised Timothy: “Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
Take notes. (Jeremiah 30:2) If you had the opportunity to spend the day with an honored mentor, would you take a notebook with you? Of course. Why not make notes about what God shows you each day? If you do, you’ll get more lasting benefit out of it.
Don’t have an all-or-nothing attitude. (Matthew 21:28-31) Set modest goals, but take them seriously. Forgive yourself when you miss a goal, but don’t give up.
Physical growth can only happen when a child has plenty of nourishment. It’s the same with our spiritual lives. Followers of Jesus need a good diet of God’s Word. Otherwise, our spiritual lives begin to suffer. If you read the Bible and pray daily, you will be surprised by how much you grow in your knowledge of God and His will for you.

And just as activity as well as nourishment are necessary for healthy growth, Jesus challenges His followers, “You know these things, and God will bless you if you do them.” (John 13:17) It is when you put what He shows you into practice that “what you know about our Lord Jesus” makes your life “useful and meaningful.” (2 Peter 1:1-8)

Pray this week:

God, I thank You for these invitations to appreciate the value of Your Word. Please open new ways for me to consistently read it so that I can be more in step with You.

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Being Thankful When Family Disappoints You

Why do we grumble and take for granted the people we love most?

Written by Joy on 06/12/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
“Giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20

God knows we often grumble and complain so he reminds us throughout scripture to give thanks. When we focus on the things we lack, we can forget to appreciate what we have. God wants us to give thanks for everything! How can we be thankful for our spouse, children and parents when they don’t meet our expectations? Here are three reasons:

1.God is Good
“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His faithful love endures forever” (Psalm 107:1).

When we give thanks we confirm God is good. It acknowledges we are placing our hope in a good God Who has given us these relationships for a purpose. Even if your spouse or children do not believe in Jesus Christ, (1 Corinthians 7:16), God may work through you to save them.

Even if you have a poor relationship with your parents, God will always be there for you—ready to show His unfailing love as your Heavenly Father. If your family has accepted Jesus Christ, then you can truly thank God that he promises to complete what he started. God can use our relationships to lead us to Him and strengthen our faith.

2. It is God’s Will for You
“Give thanks” is written as a command over and over in scripture. It is not a suggestion or a feeling. It takes a deliberate choice. “Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Paul sang praises and thanked God even while he was in prison. We too can give thanks “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” who has given us salvation, eternal hope, and everything else good in our lives, including our family.

3. The Holy Spirit Fills Us
God never commands us to do something without giving us the power to do it. “…Understand what the Lord’s will is. …..be filled by the Spirit: speaking to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything to God …..” (Ephesians 5:17-20). The key is being filled with the Spirit! Ask God to help you give thanks and fill your heart with joy.

It’s easy to dwell on the annoying things our loved ones do instead of rejoicing over the blessing they are to us. Keep your thoughts focused on good things that are worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8) Say the words, “I’m so thankful for you.” Appreciation lightens the heart, (Psalm 138:1), and spreads to those around us bringing peace, love and unity. (Colossians 3:12-17)

Pray this week:

Lord, please fill me with joy and thanksgiving for my family. Open my eyes to the blessing they are in my life. I am choosing to thank you for the people around me.

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Bible Terms: Family / The Bible is God’s guide to a healthy family

The Bible is God’s guide to a healthy family

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Divorce, Family, Relationships
Family. What would we do without it? These basic human relationships between husband and wife, parent and child shape our personalities and script our comedies. Our families love us and they aggravate us—and we them. But this first and most basic unit of society—a husband and wife and the children born to or adopted by them was God’s idea.

The Bible is God’s guide to a healthy family, even as it describes the tragedies of families broken by sin. The Bible also uses the family relationship to illustrate the relationship between God and believers. Since God places enough value on the family to compare it with the relationship He has with His children, it deserves a closer look. Standard family terms such as father, son, children, and marriage are addressed both practically and symbolically in the Bible.

The following 12 terms create a greater understanding of the two-fold plan for the family that God has created, the family of God and our human family.

LOVE
Love conjures up many images and emotions. The word may evoke  the pain of a broken heart. It may remind us of the warmth of a lover’s embrace or the care and companion-ship of a parent, sibling, or friend. In the Bible, the word “love” covers this spectrum of uses and more. God deeply desires a love relationship with each of us; that is why He created us! But sin broke the relationship between God and humans. Love is so much more than an emotion (1 Corinthians 13:4-8), and God personally demonstrated His love for us by pursuing us in spite of our rejection of Him and our sin.

UNITY
God designed us to be part of a community, a family. Each Christian possesses gifts that complement the gifts of other believers. We are far more effective in worship, ministry, and godly living when we combine our gifts for the single purpose of glorifying God (Romans 15:5). When Christians work against one another, defeat is certain. The amazing truth is that we are joined not only with other Christians, but also with God!

The Bible tells us that when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we are united with God because His Spirit comes to live in us. The apostle Paul used marriage to illustrate this concept: Christians are united with God, just as husbands and wives are united in marriage. Paul calls this unity a “mystery.” We are so deeply and profoundly united to God and to one another that even the inspired writer of Scripture can’t fully understand or explain it.

MARRIAGE
Marriage is God’s beautiful plan for a union between a man and woman who love each other with a spiritual, emotional, and physical commitment that continues to grow throughout the couple’s lifetime. Neither God nor humans have changed since the creation of humans and marriage, so the principles of a godly marriage, as spelled out in Scripture, are completely relevant for today (Matthew 19:5-6).

God designed and ordained marriage as a love relationship so deep and intimate that it is patterned after the relationship of Christ with His church. Since marriage is a living example of the union God desires to have with all people, this design is the foundation for the love-life God intends men and women to experience in their own marriages. The all-consuming, sacrificial love that Jesus has for those who believe in Him is the model for husbands and wives to follow.

FATHER
One of the great tragedies of our generation is the number of children who don’t know their fathers—or the children who have only been hurt by a father. But even those with present and loving fathers know that even the best dad has character flaws. Christians, however, have a Father apart from their human one: God Himself. Our heavenly Father wants us to call him by that very endearment—“Abba, Father.” He’s our tender and compassionate “Daddy,” our provider and protector (Romans 8:15).

God the Father perfectly cares for us, giving us all we need—though we may not understand how He is working. As children of God, we can expect to be disciplined if we err. And we shouldn’t be discouraged when this happens because that discipline shows that God loves us and that we truly belong to Him (Hebrews 12:5-8). Just as good parents teach their children not to do things that will hurt them, so our Father in heaven teaches us what is best for us (Hebrews 12:9-11).

CHILDREN
Today, a common misconception is that all people are born children of God. While each human being is a wonderfully unique creation of God, it is only when we choose to place our faith in Jesus for salvation that we become children of God. Then we are born into His family through the Holy Spirit (John 1:12-13; 3:5).

The Bible also says that God adopts us, mere creations, as His children, giving us full access to His love and riches (Ephesians 1:3-5)! Adoption is costly, and God so desired us that He paid our adoption fee with the very life of His only Son, Jesus. Will He forget, ignore, or abandon us after all that effort? Never! (Romans 8:31-32).

SON
“If you really want to understand someone,” President George W. Bush has said, “you look at his family and where he was raised.” Using this reasoning, what can we learn about Jesus Christ, the Son of God? The Bible says that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). This means that the Son is fully God; all of God the Father’s qualities are manifested in Him: love, justice, righteousness, and holiness. God the Son was also fully human—“the Son of Man” (1 Timothy 2:5).

While He was on the earth, He shared our experiences: temptation, hunger, fatigue, pain, and death. Since we belong to God, we now have the privilege of being “sons of God” (Romans 8:14-15). In many cultures, sons are favored and given the best inheritance. As God’s “sons,” we receive a priceless spiritual inheritance and all the blessings that come with it. Women, too, are “sons” of God because, in Christ, each believer holds this privileged standing no matter what their gender.

BROTHERS
Big brothers, baby brothers, blood brothers all imply a relationship characterized by warmth and similarity of character. In the Bible, brother can refer to both natural brothers and “brothers in Christ,” all fellow believers, both male and female. Jesus Christ said that anyone who does the will of God is His brother (and sister and mother) (Matthew 12:50).

Though Jesus is our God, we enter a fraternal, co-heir relationship with Him when we become children of God (Romans 8:17). Although that does not make us equal with Him, Christ is not ashamed to call us His brothers (Hebrews 2:11).

DISCIPLINE
Parents can see when their children are headed the wrong way, and it is their responsibility to steer them in the right direction. The Bible teaches that parents should discipline their children to train them correctly. That training must take into account how God has made that child (Proverbs 22:6) and must not embitter or exasperate him or her (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21).

Nobody likes to experience the pain, hardship, or disappointment that comes as a consequence of something done wrong. But the Bible is very clear that, although discipline is not something we desire, God’s discipline always comes out of His love for us. Discipline’s purpose is correction (Proverbs 5:23). When we mess up, we have to be shown the right way to go. Rest assured that if God is taking the time to set you straight, He loves you (Revelation 3:19).

DIVORCE
Why does God hate divorce? For the same reason we do. Divorce breaks a covenant made before God (Malachi 2:14). Divorce means that anger, betrayal, emptiness, and loneliness have replaced trust, love, joy, and peace. When God instituted marriage, He never intended to join two people together and then watch them tear their relationship apart a few years (or decades) later (Matthew 19:4-6). God feels His children’s pain; their sin that leads to divorce saddens Him.

Jesus explained that the only reason God allowed divorce in the Old Testament was because of the hardness of people’s hearts—not exactly a flattering reason. He went on to say that anyone who divorces a spouse, except for marital unfaithfulness, and gets remarried commits adultery (Matthew 19:8-9). That’s how seriously God takes the making—and breaking—of the marriage vows (Malachi 2:15-16).

OBEDIENCE
Children need to obey their parents to survive. Obedience is crucial for God’s children, too. Obedience means doing what God says no matter how unpopular, strange, or difficult the command is. Although doing what God says can be difficult at times, God has every right as our Creator to demand our obedience. When we obey Him willingly from a heart that trusts Him, our obedience is a gift of love to Him. The Lord says that this kind of gift means more to Him than any other sacrifice we could make (1 Samuel 15:22).

TRUST
All relationships are built on trust or destroyed by a lack of it—especially within a family. The Bible talks about a husband having full confidence in his wife (Proverbs 31:11) and the importance of a wife being able to trust the faithfulness of her husband (Malachi 2:15). Parents build trust in their children when they nurture them instead of exasperating them (Ephesians 6:4) God alone is completely trustworthy (Psalm 119:160). Anything else in which we trust will fail, whether it’s people, position, money, or ourselves.

We can fully trust God to give us salvation, to provide for our needs, and to be with us. He will follow through on every promise, he has made. Likewise, in our own lives, we need to prove that we are trustworthy. When people can trust us to keep our word, to look out for their best interests, to do what is right, then we will be displaying Christ’s character and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

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Bless Those Who Curse You

What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you? How difficult is it to love someone who has offended or hurt you?

Written by Hope on 16/06/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Enemies, Love
"I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” ( Luke 6:27-28 )

A few years ago, our family was very hurt when some really good friends (or so we had thought) tried to sabotage our adoption of a baby. They lied to the adoption agency and even told them we were bad parents to our own daughter. We were so angry and felt so betrayed!

The Best Role Model
Do you know Who else has been betrayed by a close friend? Jesus. It was predicted in the Old Testament: "Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared My food, has turned against Me" (Psalm 41:9). Our family’s choice to respond in prayer instead of anger was difficult; but we have the best Role Model. And Jesus, even on the cross, prayed, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34). We know we need to forgive and pray for those who hurt us, as Jesus did, no matter what has been done against us. We turn to God in prayer, as the Bible instructs us, “Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you” (Psalm 55:22).

Promise from God
The Bible also tells us that “A false witness will not go unpunished, nor will a liar escape” (Proverbs 19:5). But rather than praying that our former friends will be punished, we pray that they will turn from sinning and won’t cause pain to anyone else. God has even given us strength to pray that the godly things they do will prosper. And we know we can rely on His promises in our own lives: “Those who know Your Name trust in You, for You, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for You” (Psalm 9:10).

Prayer, Care and Share Jesus
One of the steps in the Prayer, Care & Share (PCS) guide encourages you to pray for God's blessing, love and peace to be on people and places around you and on tasks that you do daily everywhere you go.

This week we let God take us to a higher level by looking at Jesus' command for us to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, and to bless those who curse or mistreat us (Luke 6:27-28).

Potential “enemies” can turn up anywhere: the bully at school; rude drivers on the road; the co-worker or boss at work who treats you horribly; that family member that drives you crazy. Our natural response is often be to curse or resent such people, but we know that is not the way Jesus would act. For the next few weeks, let us explore together how we can obey this seemingly difficult command of Jesus.

Think about the people around you that may be making your life difficult or who are hard to get along with. Try to pray that God will bless them. Is it possible to feel love for them in your heart? Talk to God about your feelings.

Pray this week:

You will understand that His will for you is to love your enemies and pray for Him to bless them.

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The Beatitudes: How to Have a Blessed Life

Jesus’ Radically Dependent Life Reproduced in His Followers

Written by GodLife on 24/01/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Jesus, Happy, Blessed, Grace, Mercy
It is enough for disciples to be like their teacher and for slaves to be like their master.

Matthew 10:25
As followers of Jesus, we have to know what He taught in order to know Him and follow Him. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, found in the book of Matthew (Chapters 5-7), is a great start. A religious scholar once said that nothing “…exhorts us more than this Sermon on the Mount to be what we are meant to be, and to live as we are meant to live; to be like Christ by being a complete contrast to everyone who does not belong to Christ.”

Do you want your life to stand out in radical contrast to the rest of the world? Let His teachings be your guide.

“God blesses those people who depend only on him. They belong to the kingdom of heaven!” (Matthew 5:3)

This means we come to understand we have nothing to offer God. Jesus opened His public ministry with the command to “repent” (Matthew 4:17), and depending only on Jesus is included in this idea. This sense of spiritual poverty forms the core of all of the blessings.

“God blesses those people who grieve. They will find comfort!” (Matthew 5:4)

Another Gospel clarifies: “God will bless you people who are crying. You will laugh!” (Luke 6:21) It may sound like a contradiction, but it isn’t. One day, all of the world’s kingdoms will be under Jesus’ personal rule! Injustice will be put down. Tears will be wiped away. But only those who grieve over things as they are today will be comforted.

“God blesses those people who are humble. The earth will belong to them!” (Matthew 5:5)

In Philippians 2:5-11, Jesus is praised for His deep humility and obedience to His Father’s plan. Those who humble themselves after His example will be exalted (Luke 14:11) as He was.

“God blesses those people who want to obey him more than to eat or drink. They will be given what they want!” (Matthew 5:6)

Jesus served God and others before His own needs (John 4:34), giving His followers an example.

“God blesses those people who are merciful. They will be treated with mercy!” (Matthew 5:7)

Really understanding forgiveness helps us forgive others. Those unwilling to forgive demonstrate that they have not yet been forgiven. (Matthew 18:21-35)

“God blesses those people whose hearts are pure. They will see him!” (Matthew 5:8)

Jesus forgives those who trust Him. When we confess, He takes our sin away, making us fit to see Him. (1 John 1:9)

“God blesses those people who make peace. They will be called his children!” (Matthew 5:9)

“Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) is one of Jesus’ titles. In order to be called His children, we must be peacemakers.

“God blesses those people who are treated badly for doing right. They belong to the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10)

Jesus goes on to personalize this blessing for those listening: “God will bless you when people insult you, mistreat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me. Be happy and excited! You will have a great reward in heaven. People did these same things to the prophets who lived long ago.” (Matthew 5:11-12)

When persecuted, Jesus’ followers “were happy, because God had considered them worthy to suffer for the sake of Jesus” (Acts 5:41). As He had predicted, they were hated and mistreated just as He had been. (John 15:18-22, Matthew 10:18-25)

If anyone consistently lived this kind of life, they should be blessed by everyone, right? Who would be unkind to a humble, selfless, pure-hearted person who forgives others and is eager to obey God?

Of course we know that Jesus Himself was all these things. He was beaten, crowned with thorns and nailed to a cross to die, while a murderer was set free. So, like Jesus, we can expect mistreatment. And like His disciples, we can consider the world's mistreatment of us God's seal of approval on our lives when we live this way. The "happiness" of the Beatitudes does not come from the fickle approval of this world. It is an eternal blessedness: God's approval on our submission to His plan for our lives.

Pray this week:

Father, I see through these teachings that Jesus’ followers must have no trust in the world or its approval. I see Jesus’ example through all of these blessings, and I know that only He can make me over in His image. Be at work in me to want this more than anything else in the world. AMEN

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The Bible is God’s guide to a healthy family

Bible Terms: Family
The Bible is God’s guide to a healthy family

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Divorce, Family, Relationships
Family. What would we do without it? These basic human relationships between husband and wife, parent and child shape our personalities and script our comedies. Our families love us and they aggravate us—and we them. But this first and most basic unit of society—a husband and wife and the children born to or adopted by them was God’s idea.

The Bible is God’s guide to a healthy family, even as it describes the tragedies of families broken by sin. The Bible also uses the family relationship to illustrate the relationship between God and believers. Since God places enough value on the family to compare it with the relationship He has with His children, it deserves a closer look. Standard family terms such as father, son, children, and marriage are addressed both practically and symbolically in the Bible.

The following 12 terms create a greater understanding of the two-fold plan for the family that God has created, the family of God and our human family.

LOVE
Love conjures up many images and emotions. The word may evoke  the pain of a broken heart. It may remind us of the warmth of a lover’s embrace or the care and companion-ship of a parent, sibling, or friend. In the Bible, the word “love” covers this spectrum of uses and more. God deeply desires a love relationship with each of us; that is why He created us! But sin broke the relationship between God and humans. Love is so much more than an emotion (1 Corinthians 13:4-8), and God personally demonstrated His love for us by pursuing us in spite of our rejection of Him and our sin.

UNITY
God designed us to be part of a community, a family. Each Christian possesses gifts that complement the gifts of other believers. We are far more effective in worship, ministry, and godly living when we combine our gifts for the single purpose of glorifying God (Romans 15:5). When Christians work against one another, defeat is certain. The amazing truth is that we are joined not only with other Christians, but also with God!

The Bible tells us that when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we are united with God because His Spirit comes to live in us. The apostle Paul used marriage to illustrate this concept: Christians are united with God, just as husbands and wives are united in marriage. Paul calls this unity a “mystery.” We are so deeply and profoundly united to God and to one another that even the inspired writer of Scripture can’t fully understand or explain it.

MARRIAGE
Marriage is God’s beautiful plan for a union between a man and woman who love each other with a spiritual, emotional, and physical commitment that continues to grow throughout the couple’s lifetime. Neither God nor humans have changed since the creation of humans and marriage, so the principles of a godly marriage, as spelled out in Scripture, are completely relevant for today (Matthew 19:5-6).

God designed and ordained marriage as a love relationship so deep and intimate that it is patterned after the relationship of Christ with His church. Since marriage is a living example of the union God desires to have with all people, this design is the foundation for the love-life God intends men and women to experience in their own marriages. The all-consuming, sacrificial love that Jesus has for those who believe in Him is the model for husbands and wives to follow.

FATHER
One of the great tragedies of our generation is the number of children who don’t know their fathers—or the children who have only been hurt by a father. But even those with present and loving fathers know that even the best dad has character flaws. Christians, however, have a Father apart from their human one: God Himself. Our heavenly Father wants us to call him by that very endearment—“Abba, Father.” He’s our tender and compassionate “Daddy,” our provider and protector (Romans 8:15).

God the Father perfectly cares for us, giving us all we need—though we may not understand how He is working. As children of God, we can expect to be disciplined if we err. And we shouldn’t be discouraged when this happens because that discipline shows that God loves us and that we truly belong to Him (Hebrews 12:5-8). Just as good parents teach their children not to do things that will hurt them, so our Father in heaven teaches us what is best for us (Hebrews 12:9-11).

CHILDREN
Today, a common misconception is that all people are born children of God. While each human being is a wonderfully unique creation of God, it is only when we choose to place our faith in Jesus for salvation that we become children of God. Then we are born into His family through the Holy Spirit (John 1:12-13; 3:5).

The Bible also says that God adopts us, mere creations, as His children, giving us full access to His love and riches (Ephesians 1:3-5)! Adoption is costly, and God so desired us that He paid our adoption fee with the very life of His only Son, Jesus. Will He forget, ignore, or abandon us after all that effort? Never! (Romans 8:31-32).

SON
“If you really want to understand someone,” President George W. Bush has said, “you look at his family and where he was raised.” Using this reasoning, what can we learn about Jesus Christ, the Son of God? The Bible says that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). This means that the Son is fully God; all of God the Father’s qualities are manifested in Him: love, justice, righteousness, and holiness. God the Son was also fully human—“the Son of Man” (1 Timothy 2:5).

While He was on the earth, He shared our experiences: temptation, hunger, fatigue, pain, and death. Since we belong to God, we now have the privilege of being “sons of God” (Romans 8:14-15). In many cultures, sons are favored and given the best inheritance. As God’s “sons,” we receive a priceless spiritual inheritance and all the blessings that come with it. Women, too, are “sons” of God because, in Christ, each believer holds this privileged standing no matter what their gender.

BROTHERS
Big brothers, baby brothers, blood brothers all imply a relationship characterized by warmth and similarity of character. In the Bible, brother can refer to both natural brothers and “brothers in Christ,” all fellow believers, both male and female. Jesus Christ said that anyone who does the will of God is His brother (and sister and mother) (Matthew 12:50).

Though Jesus is our God, we enter a fraternal, co-heir relationship with Him when we become children of God (Romans 8:17). Although that does not make us equal with Him, Christ is not ashamed to call us His brothers (Hebrews 2:11).

DISCIPLINE
Parents can see when their children are headed the wrong way, and it is their responsibility to steer them in the right direction. The Bible teaches that parents should discipline their children to train them correctly. That training must take into account how God has made that child (Proverbs 22:6) and must not embitter or exasperate him or her (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21).

Nobody likes to experience the pain, hardship, or disappointment that comes as a consequence of something done wrong. But the Bible is very clear that, although discipline is not something we desire, God’s discipline always comes out of His love for us. Discipline’s purpose is correction (Proverbs 5:23). When we mess up, we have to be shown the right way to go. Rest assured that if God is taking the time to set you straight, He loves you (Revelation 3:19).

DIVORCE
Why does God hate divorce? For the same reason we do. Divorce breaks a covenant made before God (Malachi 2:14). Divorce means that anger, betrayal, emptiness, and loneliness have replaced trust, love, joy, and peace. When God instituted marriage, He never intended to join two people together and then watch them tear their relationship apart a few years (or decades) later (Matthew 19:4-6). God feels His children’s pain; their sin that leads to divorce saddens Him.

Jesus explained that the only reason God allowed divorce in the Old Testament was because of the hardness of people’s hearts—not exactly a flattering reason. He went on to say that anyone who divorces a spouse, except for marital unfaithfulness, and gets remarried commits adultery (Matthew 19:8-9). That’s how seriously God takes the making—and breaking—of the marriage vows (Malachi 2:15-16).

OBEDIENCE
Children need to obey their parents to survive. Obedience is crucial for God’s children, too. Obedience means doing what God says no matter how unpopular, strange, or difficult the command is. Although doing what God says can be difficult at times, God has every right as our Creator to demand our obedience. When we obey Him willingly from a heart that trusts Him, our obedience is a gift of love to Him. The Lord says that this kind of gift means more to Him than any other sacrifice we could make (1 Samuel 15:22).

TRUST
All relationships are built on trust or destroyed by a lack of it—especially within a family. The Bible talks about a husband having full confidence in his wife (Proverbs 31:11) and the importance of a wife being able to trust the faithfulness of her husband (Malachi 2:15). Parents build trust in their children when they nurture them instead of exasperating them (Ephesians 6:4) God alone is completely trustworthy (Psalm 119:160). Anything else in which we trust will fail, whether it’s people, position, money, or ourselves.

We can fully trust God to give us salvation, to provide for our needs, and to be with us. He will follow through on every promise, he has made. Likewise, in our own lives, we need to prove that we are trustworthy. When people can trust us to keep our word, to look out for their best interests, to do what is right, then we will be displaying Christ’s character and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

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Speak Blessings To Everything Around You

God wants us to take His Word to the nations, and
that means a lot. But you see, when He said to
preach the Gospel to every creature, He wasn’t only referring
to preaching to someone who doesn’t know Jesus. Preaching
the Gospel to every creature means preaching to
EVERYTHING that exists! Romans 8:19 says, “For the earnest
expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of
the sons of God.”
The term “creature” actually means “creation.” So, it’s
saying, “The earnest expectation of the creation waits for the
manifestation of the sons of God.” There’s depreciation in the
human world, including human life; and so, everything in life
is waiting for your manifestation; waiting for you to liberate
them. All around the world, there’s fear. Many scientists
provide evidence of ozone layer depletion. Global warming
remains an issue of widespread political debate, with world
leaders in dire need of a solution.
These things aren’t new; the scientists only just found
out. The Bible already talked about them: The twentieth verse
of Romans chapter eight says, “For the creature (creation)
was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of
him who hath subjected the same in hope.” The creation was
made subject to vanity; no wonder it’s in terrible depreciation,
groaning in pain. And we’re the ones to bring that deliverance
to all creation through the Gospel.
Revelation 21:5 says, “And he that sat upon the throne
Speak Blessings To Everything
Around You
THURSDAY
31
said, Behold, I make all things new….” The renewal has begun.
Preach the Word to the things in your home and they’ll have
new values. Speak the Word to your finances and they won’t
depreciate. Proclaim the Word over your physical body and
it’ll never be ravaged by sickness, disease, and infirmities.
Speak blessings to things around you.
Use the Word to rule your world! In your home,
school, or place of work, speak blessings. For your country,
do the same; speak words of blessings, for the Bible says,
“By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted…” (Proverbs
11:11).
CONFESSION
I bring deliverance to every
creation in my world, taking them
out of bondage and corruption,
into the glorious liberty of the
sons of God. I give life to the
things around me through the
power of my words, for these are
the days of the manifestation of
the sons of God. Hallelujah!
1 YEAR BIBLE
READING PLAN:
Luke 8:40-56
Joshua 7-9
2 YEAR BIBLE
READING PLAN:
Romans 5:1-11
Psalm 103
FURTHER STUDY:
Luke 6:45
Proverbs 18:20-21
Pastor Chris

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