In Hebrews 3:13 we are told to “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness”. Another tie that binds us to our Lord Jesus Christ. From the very beginning, God gave us an example of encouraging one another when He walked with Adam and Eve every day in the Garden.
God knows it is not easy for us to walk in this world and not be of this world. God felt it was so important, one of the gifts He gave us is the gift of encouraging. I can’t begin to count the number of times a friend has said just the right words at just the right time, or I received a card or email that offered encouragement at a weak moment, or a song that strengthened me, or someone giving me a Bible verse that answered a question that was causing confusion, or a sermon that spoke directly to me.
Let me share an encouragement I received along the way. It came in the form of a bookmark with these words on it:
God Is Always With You
God said He’d never leave nor turn His face away, He offers ample strength for each and everyday. So no matter how you feel, or what you’re going through, Remember you are not alone, for God is always with you.
Some people would say these times were mere coincidences; however, we know with God there is no coincidences, these are just times He is wanting to remain anonymous. So, practice another personal zygology and “…encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today….”
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In James 5: 13 we are instructed if anyone is in trouble, he should pray. In this time when we are hearing of mothers killing a defenseless baby, fathers killing families, or snipers shooting helpless bystanders; we are seeing hopelessness all around us. We are seeing the end result of people who have lost all hope, of ones in trouble.
I know life can be overwhelming whether one is a believer or not. As a believer, I once sat in my bathroom off my bedroom and cried out to God, “Why aren’t you listening to me? Do you have cotton in your ears? Can you hear me?” shortly after writing farewell letters to each of my children. But, I’m also here to tell you, my prayers were answered. God showed me just how much my children needed me and how much I wanted to be there for them. So, “Is anyone of you in trouble? He should pray.”
In my last post I stated, “Offering words of encouragement to others, praying for others, helping others are just a few ways we can strengthen the ties that bind us to our Savior and Heavenly Father”. As followers of Jesus Christ we have a responsibility to prayer for one another. Not only for ones who ask us to pray for them but for those we see need our prayers. James tells us in verse 16, “…confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
Prayer should not be a last resort. It should be the first thing we do. The lesson learned that night in the bathroom: my most powerful resource IS prayer for any situation in my life.
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Today’s sermon was titled “Church Zygology”. If nothing else, the title alone caught everyone’s attention. The word may not be remembered by many; however, I’m sure the definition will be remembered. What is zygology (pronounced zig-ol-o-gy)? It’s the science of binding, of holding objects together.
A few weeks ago, I told you about the cross-shaped protein found in the extracellular matrix that binds the body together. Ones have referred to it as God’s glue. The psalmist David recognized God’s hand in his creation when he states in Psalm 139, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.“
Is it enough to know God created us? Is it enough to accept the salvation offered us through Jesus Christ? No, Paul tells us we need to mature from infancy so we won’t be “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by the every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in the deceitful scheming.” How do we grow? By taking our eyes off of self and being “imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us…”
Offering words of encouragement to others, praying for others, helping others are just a few ways we can strengthen the ties that bind us to our Savior and our Heavenly Father.
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Home Sweet Home
Originally uploaded by susan.house
Folks have you ever heard the old saying, “The fox is in the hen house”? Well, in today’s world the fox is in the henhouse and he is having a blast. He is eating night and day and he is getting fat. He doesn’t care if his prey is strong or weak, thin or fat, old or young. All he cares about is filling his stomach. Who is the fox? Satan. Who is his prey? We are; you and I, believer or unbeliever. He’s not picky. However, you’re not defenseless. There is someone watching over the chicken yard. His name is God. He has given us equipment to fight the fox. They are: Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, prayer, and our believing friends. As it states in II Corinthians 4:8-10: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
The fox can be in our hen house, he can cause us distress, he can persecute us, he can throw us down; but, he cannot cause us distress, despair, or forsaken. With the Spirit of the Creator of the heavens and earth in us, we have the power to defeat the fox. The Bible provides us God’s promises and armor to protect us when the fox is circling. Jesus died for you and me so we would have access to our heavenly Father at all times. Prayer is our strongest defense. The shortest and most powerful prayer is one word, “Help!” Believing friends surround and protect us like a fortress protects its occupants.
Friends, we are in stressful, perplexing, troubling times. The fox may be in the hen house but if Jesus Christ is the head of your house you have “nothing to fear but fear itself”.
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Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is a season for everything. It goes on and asks “What does the worker gain from his toil?” In this time of uncertainity and loss of income for many, this has to be a question many are asking.
This winter in Florida we had several hard freezes. This Philodendron and another one covered a trellis in front of my patio. The freezes totally killed them. It seemed hopeless but I decided what did I have to lose? I would cut them back, water them, give them some tender loving care, and maybe they would come back. It took several months but finally in the last month, life returns.
Philodendrons are hardy and will withstand a great deal. However, are you not hardier than a plant? Do you not mean more to your Heavenly Father than a plant or two?
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