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Author Topic: From His Heart  (Read 15897 times)

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: From His Heart
« Reply #280 on: October 03, 2014, 10:00:15 am »
REJOICE IN EACH DAY

This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Perhaps you heard the story of Bob who died and went to heaven. As Saint Peter was showing him around, he noticed a “complaint box.” “Peter!!” Bob exclaimed, “Why would there be a complaint box in heaven?” Peter replied, “Well, heaven is a place of perfect happiness… and some people just cannot be happy unless they can complain.” 

Have you ever met a “church person” who is a chronic complainer? Sadly, churches seem to have them in spades. These are the folks who are never happy. The music is too loud, the temperature is too uncomfortable, the sermon is too shallow… or too deep…or too long… or too short. Nothing ever seems right. One Sunday, I greeted a member of my church and said enthusiastically, “Good morning!” He answered sourly, “Yeah, what’s so good about it?” YIKES! Whatever he had… I surely did not want to catch. 

MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE

Regardless of the situation we may be facing today, one thing is for sure: God made this day… and He wants us to rejoice in it. In Psalm 118:24, a definite choice was made to rejoice. The writer says, “We will rejoice and be glad...” Rejoicing is an act of the will.

You and I can choose to rejoice and be glad, or we can choose to grumble, gripe and complain. Choosing the latter course of action does not change the circumstances, it just sours your attitude and outlook. Choosing to rejoice, however, pleases God and lets your light for the Lord shine among men.

What are you facing today? A dead end job… a stagnant career… financial problems… marital problems… health problems… unemployment… loneliness… the blahs? God is greater than your problems. He has a miracle with your name on it. Stop complaining and start rejoicing! You and I serve a RISEN Savior who loves us, died and rose again for us, and promises to work all things together for good for us.

Take time right now to praise Him for this day and the challenges in it. Remember, the greater the difficulty you have, the greater the opportunity for Him to work mightily in your life. When a complaint comes to your lips, replace it with praise. You will be amazed at the difference it will make in you!

Love,

Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries                           

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: From His Heart
« Reply #281 on: October 10, 2014, 09:36:59 am »
CAN I GET A MULLIGAN, LORD?

"Don't be afraid," Samuel told the people. "You did do all these evil things. But don't turn away from the LORD. Instead, serve the LORD wholeheartedly. Don't turn away to follow other gods. They can't help or rescue you, because they don't exist. For the sake of his great name, the LORD will not abandon his people, because the LORD wants to make you his people." 1 Samuel 20-22 GW

Golf is a hard game, to say the least. Although the ball is stationary and you can take your time, it is still a tremendous challenge to get the ball to go where you want it to go. As most golfers would agree, just about the time you think you finally have the game under control, the wheels come off. It can be exasperating! 

Because I am not very good at golf, one of my favorite things in the sport is a mulligan. A mulligan is a "do over," a second chance to make the needed shot. Mulligans give hacks like me a chance for redemption ... a chance to turn a disastrous hole into a decent one. Mulligans can make all the difference in the world as it relates to the score card and the desire to keep playing.   

Life is a lot like golf - it is hard to say the least. Just when you think you have got it all figured out, it throws you a curve and the wheels come off. We often say and do things we wish we hadn't. We often let anger and fear influence us to make bad decisions that can have devastating consequences. It is in times like that when we desperately need a mulligan.

GOD GIVES MULLIGANS

The good news is that God gives mulligans, lots of them. Even when we mess up royally, if we will repent and turn to Him, He is quick to forgive us and give us another chance to walk with Him in humility and obedience. As Corrie ten Boom so beautifully said, "No matter how deep the sin, God's love is deeper still."

Are you in need of a mulligan today? Do you need a fresh start in your relationship with God? Acts 3:19 tells us that if we will repent of our sin and selfishness and return to the Lord, He will wipe our sins away and bring "times of refreshing" to our hearts. What do you say to that?

PRAYER

Dear God, I need You. I have sinned and gone my own way. Please forgive me, Lord. I need a mulligan. I need to start fresh with You. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for never giving up on me. Thank You for being patient with me. Thank You for being the God of second chances (and third and fourth and five hundredth). I surrender anew to Your lordship. I want to obey You and live under Your control. Today is going to be a great day because my scorecard is wiped clean by the blood of Jesus. I have been given a new lease on life by the grace of God. Praise the Lord!

Love,                                             

Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries                         
 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: From His Heart
« Reply #282 on: October 17, 2014, 11:02:44 am »

HOW TO KNOW WHICH WAY TO GO

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

Years ago, I heard this profound statement, "Life's greatest discovery is knowing the will of God, and life's greatest satisfaction is doing the will of God." Do you believe that? I certainly do.

Paul openly tells us that God's will is "good and acceptable and perfect." So, if you want to get in on that which is perfect for you, it stands to reason that you need to discover God's will ... and start doing it.

CAN I REALLY KNOW?

Most, if not all, people struggle when it comes to knowing the will of God. I mean, there is the general will of God that is clearly revealed in Scripture. It is God's will for us to repent and believe on Jesus (2 Peter 3:9). It is God's will for us to obey the Lord and live a holy life (Matthew 28:19-20, 1 Peter 1:15-16). It is God's will for us to grow in the Lord (2 Peter 3:18). Those are obvious aspects to His general will that apply to all people equally.

The difficulty in knowing what the Lord wants for us to do falls into the category of His specific will. The Bible does not tell us things like the college we are to attend, the major we are to study, the city where we are to live, the person we are to marry, or the career we are to choose. The specifics of what to do, where to go, and what to choose can really be a challenge.

Contrary to how some people think, God is not hiding His specific will from us. He is not playing the shell game with His will, purposely trying to fool us as we try to discern His will. God wants us to know His will, so we can do His will and please Him in the process.

Therefore, the question comes: How can you and I discover the specific will of God for our lives? Here are some biblical principles to help.

1. Guidance comes from the Guide, so focus on Him. Jesus told His early disciples, "Follow Me." And they did. They didn't have to figure out the way, they just had to follow Him. God doesn't give us a road map on His will. He simply gives us Himself, and that is so much better. Consider directions, for example. I'm not good with directions. If you tell me how to get somewhere that has lots of turns, chances are I'll get lost. But if you personally lead me there, I can follow.     

2. Guidance comes from His Word, so spend time in the book. God speaks primarily through His Word. And His will is inseparably linked to His Word. If you want to know God's specific will and whether or not to do this, that, or the other: spend time prayerfully reading His Word. You will be amazed at how He will speak to your heart and guide you through it.

3. Guidance comes from your desires, so be honest with the passions God has placed within you. Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." God makes people passionate about different things. He wires us differently, and He wants us to pay attention to our wiring. You see, if you do for a living that which you are passionate about, your work will be a joy and not a job. Think of it this way: If every career paid the same, what would you do? The answer to that question reveals your passion.   

4. Guidance comes from His peace, so be sensitive to it. Colossians 3:15 says, "And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts ..." The word rule means to arbitrate, to govern, to act as an umpire. God's peace is to be our umpire, calling strikes and balls, fair and foul hits. If we are getting ready to make a bad decision, God will show us the error of that decision through His lack of peace. But, if we are getting ready to do what He wants us to do, even if the circumstances are frightening, we will have an abiding sense of His peace.

Rest assured, God's will is not nearly as hard to discover as you might believe. He wants you to find it. He wants you to enter in to His good, acceptable and perfect will. He is a good God who has a good plan for you. You can trust Him.

Love,

Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries                           

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: From His Heart
« Reply #283 on: October 24, 2014, 10:26:39 am »
WHAT TO DO IN TOUGH TIMES

But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.” Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you… Isaiah 43:1-2, 4

Everywhere you look these days, people are running scared. They are scared about the falling economy… they are scared about their finances... they are scared about their job… they are scared about the future. Have you felt the fear welling up inside of you as you turn on the news and hear report after report of depressing information?

What does God have to say about it all?

God tells you and me not to fear… and He gives solid reasons why we don’t have to.

1. He has redeemed you. He has bought us back (that is what redeemed literally means, to buy back). 2000 years ago, Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead to purchase you. Now the transaction does not become complete until you give your life to Him… but when you do, you can rest assured that you are His. AND GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF THOSE WHO ARE HIS!

2. He is with you. The moment you give your life to Jesus, He comes to live inside of you by His Spirit. Can you comprehend that? The great God of the universe lives inside everyone who has truly given his/her life to Him. What possibly could you and I have to fear when Jesus is with us? When my kids were little, they often got scared at night. I remember times when one of my daughters would show up at my side of the bed at 3:00 a.m. after having a bad dream. The fear factor was HIGH! I would open the covers and have them get in bed with me. As I wrapped my arms around their little frames, I could just feel them relax. No nightmare monster was going to harm them while they were in the strong arms of their daddy. SUCH IS THE CASE WITH YOU AND ME!!!!

Notice that Isaiah 43:2 says “WHEN” not “if” when it speaks of rivers and waters and fires and troubles. Those difficulties are a reality of life. Everyone will face them… but a Christian never faces them alone. He is with us. Our Creator who can speak worlds into existence is with us.

Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den. Yet God was in there with him and Daniel suffered no harm. Yet, when the evil men who manipulated the king to throw Daniel to the lions where thrown in, they were consumed before they even hit the ground. When God is with us, we face problems with His strength and protection. How cool is that?!!!

3. He loves you. God makes it clear that we are precious to Him. He loves us and says we matter to Him. Anyone who loves you enough to die for you is worthy of ALL your trust. And because He loves you, you can be assured that He will never drop you in the grease. He will be faithful to bring you through and bring you home, safe and sound.

My friend, in these stressful and fearful days, make sure to hide these three comforting truths in your heart. God is truly able… and He will see you through! How do I know? Because He said so!

Love,

Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries                           

P.S. Find out more about how to receive Christ as your Lord and Savior by clicking the Why Jesus icon on our website.

Jeff Schreve founded From His Heart Ministries, www.fromhisheart.org, in 2005 with the vision to reach as many people as possible with the good news of God's love. Jeff believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a great plan just for you. He broadcast on radio, TV and in the internet around the world from his pulpit ministry as Pastor of First Baptist in Texarkana, Texas. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

  • By the Grace of God I am what I am! 1 corinthians 15:10
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Re: From His Heart
« Reply #284 on: October 31, 2014, 01:39:27 pm »
YOU ARE ... THAT YOU MAY

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

I grew up in a large family with two older brothers, two older sisters, and a younger sister.  Like most siblings growing up together, we fought and argued as kids.  Oftentimes, we would resort to name-calling to express our anger – “Well, you’re stupid… you’re ugly … you’re just a little baby.”  One of our favorite comebacks to these mean, deriding comments was simply this: “I know you are, but what am I?”  That mindless comeback became a broken record to whatever salvo was being delivered.  “I know you are but what am I?” is an obnoxious retort, but it was nonetheless effective at driving an angry sibling crazy.

DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE?

1 Peter 2:9 reminds us of who we are in Jesus Christ – “A chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession.”  That is pretty amazing, isn’t it?  If you are a Christian, you are all those wonderful things.

Now, we may not feel like we are any of those things, but how we feel doesn’t really matter.  Truth is not what we feel, truth is what God says.  If He says I am His own possession, then I am.  Case closed.

I wonder how much our lives would change if we really started believing what God says about us.  We surely wouldn’t live negative, depressed, defeated lives.  On the contrary, we would live so full and excited and on fire for Jesus.  And we would be so eager to tell others about Him.

YOU ARE … THAT YOU MAY

The truth is every Christian is exactly who God says he/she is.  The knowledge of who we are is given for a purpose – “that we may proclaim the excellencies of Him.”  You see, I am holy, chosen, part of a royal priesthood, and God’s very own possession SO THAT I can tell others about Him who took me out of the darkness and placed me in His marvelous light.

Let me encourage you as I encourage myself.  Believe the truth of what God says about you, regardless of your past failures, present circumstances, or current feelings.  Start proclaiming your wonderful Savior and friend named Jesus.  Tell family, friends, neighbors, workmates and classmates about the wealthiest King who became the poorest pauper in order to bring forgiveness, life, and abundance to undeserving sinners.  He will transfer anyone out of darkness and into light if he/she will simply respond to Him in repentance and faith.

What a message we have to share.  Never forget, “you are … that you may.”

Love,

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

  • By the Grace of God I am what I am! 1 corinthians 15:10
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Re: From His Heart
« Reply #285 on: November 07, 2014, 08:09:29 am »
ARE YOU REJOICING WITH GOD?

And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ Luke 15:6

The more I consider the story of the prodigal son, the more I see the heart of God. He rejoices and throws a BIG party when one sinner repents. Seeing the lost come to Christ is truly God’s greatest joy … and He wants us to rejoice with Him.

The tell-tale sign of a Pharisee (depicted as the elder brother in the parable) is the fact that he will not rejoice with the Father concerning his brother’s repentance. The father pleaded for the elder brother to join the party, but he angrily refused and accused the father of being unjust and unfair. Why would he not rejoice? It is because he couldn’t give a rip about his brother, or repentance, or the father’s joy. When it comes to a pharisaical attitude, the bottom line is this: it’s all about me.

IT’S ALL ABOUT GOD

Whenever I find it hard to rejoice in what the Lord is doing … whenever I sense myself getting jealous at how the Lord is blessing another church or another pastor’s ministry, I immediately have to remind myself that “it’s NOT about me.”

You and I really have just one job on this planet - to please God. Whether we are known or unknown, our reason for being is to please the One who purchased us with His blood. If we are truly right with God, whatever pleases God should please us. If He is rejoicing, we should be too, for His pleasure should be our pleasure.

Let me encourage you as I encourage myself, if you are having trouble rejoicing with the Father, search your heart. Could it be that the elder brother syndrome has taken root? Could it be that you are losing touch with the Father’s heart? Could it be that you need to ask God to do a fresh work in you so that you can join the party and rejoice with Him?

REMEMBER THE NATURE OF GOD

One last point, always remember that God is beautifully depicted in this story as a wonderful, merciful, loving father. He is not mean, cruel, and vindictive. He is "good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in loving-kindness to all who call upon Him" (Psalm 86:5). He did not make his repentant, swine-stained son walk a mile on splintered glass before he would forgive him. The father ran and embraced his broken, returning son ... and he showered his boy with undeserved mercy and grace. He will do the same for you and me.

Love,

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

  • By the Grace of God I am what I am! 1 corinthians 15:10
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Re: From His Heart
« Reply #286 on: November 14, 2014, 09:32:09 am »

HOW FIRM IS YOUR FOUNDATION?

Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:24

Some years ago, a good friend of mine bought a new house in the Dallas area. He and his wife were so excited! The house looked great … the price was right … nothing could be better! Within nine months, however, their excitement turned to grief because the house had major foundation problems. As everyone knows, when the firm foundation of your house starts to shift and fail, every other part of the house begins to suffer as a result … and the homeowner is left holding the bag.

As important as it is have a firm foundation for your home, it is even more important to have a firm foundation for your life, a foundation that can stand the storms. What exactly does that foundation look like?

TWO THINGS YOU MUST HAVE

I believe with all my heart that there are two foundational truths that you and I must have embedded in the core of our being in order for us to stand, no matter the storm.

These two key truths are simple and yet so profound. They are found in 2 Chronicles 7:3:

“And all the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the LORD upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the LORD, saying, ‘Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting.’”

1. You must know and believe that GOD IS GOOD. No matter what happens in your life, no matter what tragedy strikes, God is still good. If you don’t believe that, when the disaster of cancer … or job loss … or the death of a loved one … or betrayal and divorce strikes, you will get bitter at God and silently declare, “God is not good and not worthy to be trusted.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Remember, life is not always good, but God is. Do not equate the circumstances of this life with God. This life is marred and tainted by sin. Bad things do happen to good people. Terrible tragedy does touch down like a tornado even on those who love and fear God. That is just a fact of life. When the bad things come, don’t believe the devil’s lie that God is not good. “Truly He is good”, regardless of the devastating circumstances.

2. You must know and believe that GOD LOVES YOU. It is very easy to look at the bad circumstances of your life and make the determination that God must not love you. Job’s wife lost all ten of her children, her wealth and her husband’s health … all within a week. As she looked at the circumstances she determined God did not love her or Job anymore, and she counseled Job to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9).

Now before you throw her under the bus for her lack of faith, put yourself in her shoes. She experienced pain and loss to a greater degree than any of us have ever experienced.  You and I often question God’s love for us over things far less devastating than Mrs. Job faced.

The truth remains the same, regardless of the circumstances: GOD DOES LOVE YOU. The cross of Jesus Christ proves it. God freely gave His only begotten Son to be whipped, beaten, spit upon and nailed to a tree not for friends, but for enemies. You and I were enemies of God because of our sin and independence, yet God still gave His sinless, innocent Son for us … and Jesus willingly gave His life for us. Charles Wesley wrote, “Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?” Anytime the devil tells you God doesn’t love you … and you are tempted to believe it, take a mental trip to a bloody hill called Calvary and see His love for yourself.   

A NEW FOCUS

Will you focus on your foundation today? Will you praise God for His goodness and for His love? Will you look at everything in your life through the rock-solid, never changing foundational perspective that says, “COME WHAT MAY, MY GOD IS GOOD! … AND MY GOD LOVES ME!! … AND MY GOD WILL ONE DAY WORK ALL THINGS TOGETHER FOR MY GOOD AND HIS GLORY!!!

Love,

Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries                         

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

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