FALLING IN LOVE WITH JESUS

Psalm 63
When we fall in love, we want to spend time with the object of our affection and willingly give our attention to the relationship. Falling in love with Jesus should be no different, but believers often hurry through Bible reading and prayer. The result is a superficial faith kept alive by habit rather than worship. To attain lasting intimacy, we must approach God with a sense of purpose and determination.

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RESISTING COMPROMISE

“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” (Proverbs 4:23 GNT).
Concession begins in a seemingly insignificant way. For instance, someone might want you to make a financial decision that you know in your heart is unwise. But you go along with the plan because you don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings. You have compromised the message of the Holy Spirit, who warned you.
Small compromises lead to more serious ones. With each successive concession, our conscience is weakened. Ultimately, whenever we give way to evil—whether we let go of a doctrinal belief or simply listen to music that taints our thoughts—we always lose.
We compromise for a variety of reasons. Many do so from a fear of rejection or of being unappreciated. Some choose this route to avoid conflict. Still others may begin to doubt God’s trustworthiness or goodness; as a result, they give up on Him, compromising their basic beliefs and undermining their reason for assurance.
To be men and women who are strong enough to resist making concessions, we need to develop some essential armor. First, we must have strong convictions about the Bible and depend on it as a guide for daily living. Next, we need to have faith in God’s promise to supply all of our needs. Finally, we must find the courage to trust in Him, even when we are misunderstood, persecuted, or falsely accused. When we surrender our life to God, He replaces enslavement to compromise with security in Him.

Source: In Touch Ministries.
STAY BLESSED

Do what the Word says

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. – James 1:22, NLT

You know the scene: Your husband is busy watching TV, and you’re trying to get his attention to tell him something important. He finally turns the sound down and turns to listen to you. You talk to him, but it seems as if what you said has gone in one ear and out the other. His lights are on but no one seems to be home. And the fact that nothing happens as a result of your conversation reminds you of the wide gap between listening and doing.

Or here’s another one: You stand at the altar and pledge to your groom and he to you that you will be there for each other through sickness and health, ’til death do you part. Years later, you’re older and not quite as healthy, and your husband decides that it is time to find someone younger. He heard the words at the altar but failed to do them.

But you also know of instances where the same shoe fits, but you don’t wear it. You’ve got a little habit that irritates him. You know this because he mentions it regularly. But you can’t seem to fit into your schedule such things as noting how full the gas tank is on the car, checking the oil, or monitoring the balance in the checkbook. You listen to his arguments; they make sense, but you just don’t get around to doing.

If we read God’s Word but don’t do what it says, how deep is our faith? Do we only follow God when things are going our way? What about when times get rough? The Bible tells us to fill our minds with things that are pure (see Philippians 4:8). However, when you don’t feel loved by your husband, does that make it okay to enjoy television shows promoting extramarital sex?

It’s not always easy to follow God–he never said that it would be. But God’s Word can only make a difference in our lives if we allow it to enter our hearts and minds. I may tell my parents that I love them, but if I don’t take the time to help them, my words are fruitless. If I really love my parents, I’ll do what I can for them. More importantly, if I really believe that God loves me, then I should love others.

Take the time to evaluate your life. Does your “doing” reflect what you have heard from God’s Word? Do you love others as God tells us to? Do you really believe how much God loves you? Don’t just read God’s Word but apply it to your life.

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Persistent Prayer

‘Devote yourselves to prayer.’ – Colossians 4:2 NLT
Ever been praying for something or someone for a long time, and nothing seems to be happening? It’s tempting to give up. We become discouraged, fed up of praying for the same thing over and over again. We begin to doubt whether God’s going to answer us, and maybe if He’s listening to us at all. But the Bible says: ‘Devote yourselves to prayer.’ And devotion requires passion and persistence. We need to keep praying, keep asking and keep expecting an answer. Jesus told His disciples the story of the persistent widow to ‘show them that they should always pray and not give up’ (Luke 18:1 NIV). When this widow was asking the judge for justice against her enemy, she kept asking. She didn’t ask once and then give up. She ‘kept coming to him with the plea’ (Luke 18:3 NIV). The unjust judge eventually listened and gave her the justice she was looking for. And God is just. He doesn’t act unjustly, He doesn’t withhold things from us when we need them. He cares and He provides. We can keep coming to Him. It’s good to persistently and passionately pray for something. But if we’re not hearing anything, maybe we need to think about whether we’re praying for the right thing. What are our motives behind our prayer? Is it what God wants too? Sometimes we can get so caught up in requesting what we need and what will improve our lives, that we forget that there are so many people that need our prayers. And God tells us to ‘always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people’ (Ephesians 6:18 NIV). So let’s be persistent in our prayers, not only for ourselves but for others too.

What Now?

Is there something you’ve been praying about for a while? Commit to praying even more for it. Set a reminder on your phone to pray every hour about it today.Source: United Christian Broadcasters.
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CALLED TO MINISTRY

Colossians 4:7-18
The last chapter of Colossians contains a long list of people who served alongside Paul. What’s not highlighted in these verses is these individuals’ talents, skills, abilities, wealth, or position in society. Instead, Paul focuses their character, their service for Christ, and his love and appreciation for each one.

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