LIFE IS AN OPEN DOOR

See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.” – Revelation 3:8

For some people, life is one uninteresting day after another in a meaningless existence.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! Jesus has given you the promise of an abundant life. An ordinary, dull life can be transformed by the power of the living Christ through His Holy Spirit. Through the wonder of God’s grace, sadness turns into joy, defeat into victory, fear disappears, hate changes to love, and despair to hope.

The moment you accept Christ into your life as Redeemer and a Saviour, you enter the door of redemption into a new world of vibrant, abundant life.

Lord Jesus, the open door of Your grace leads me into a life of hope and happiness. Thank You for putting purpose in my days. Amen.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace from Each Moment.

LIVE FULLY

“We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” – Colossians 1:10.

People often seem to be bored or dissatisfied with life. Every moment of Jesus’ life on earth was filled with purpose and meaning, and in everything, He did the will of the Father and brought glory and honour to His name.

God expects you to follow in Jesus’ footsteps – right here and now. Enter into His holy presence often and allow Him to fill your life with new purpose, new goals and new joy.

Let your attitude be the same as Jesus’. Fulfil His will and obey Him in all things and your life will yield a rich harvest that will glorify God.

Perfect Example and Redeemer, through You I can rejoice in the blessed knowledge that I can experience true; life in all its richness and fullness. Amen.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace from Each Moment.

WHEN COMFORT IS MY ENEMY

“God will strengthen you with his own great power so that you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient.” Colossians 1:11 (NCV)

Certain. Comfortable. Predictable. These are all words I long to use to describe my life. I suspect you’d be okay with these being the defining terms of your life, as well. But what if the comfort and certainties we crave today are a deadly recipe for complacency that will draw our hearts further and further away from God?

There are many examples of this in the Bible, but let’s look at one tucked into Jeremiah: “Moab has been at rest from youth, like wine left on its dregs, not poured from one jar to another — she has not gone into exile. So she tastes as she did, and her aroma is unchanged” (Jeremiah 48:11, NIV).

On the surface, it may seem like the nation of Moab has it good. They are comfortable. Life seems predictable. They’ve been at rest for a long time. They haven’t known what it’s like to get caught off-guard. To suffer. To endure hardships due to circumstances beyond their control. Life feels good, so it must be good. No disappointments. No difficulties. But this verse is very clear that this is not what’s best for them.

People left in a complacent place for too long become tainted like impure wine. Wine left on its dregs, not poured from one jar to another, means it’s been sitting in comfort for so long that it has absorbed the aroma of complacency. Winemakers during Jeremiah’s time would pour wine from jar to jar for two reasons. First, so the wine wouldn’t absorb the flavor of the vessel. And second, to rid the wine of the dregs or sediment that would settle into the bottom and prevent the wine from being pure.

The Moabites were not jarred from their complacency. Therefore, their culture was saturated with satisfaction apart from the Lord, and their people were full of impurities. They had no need to draw upon the Lord’s strength, so their hearts were far from Him. The Moabites were lulled into a false sense of security. Without challenges and changes, people tend to grow increasingly distant from God and resistant to His ways. In the meantime, their neighbors, the Israelites, were forced to depend on God and learn to survive suffering, captivity, enslavement. The Israelites appear to be the ones not being “saved” from hardship by God. But if we look through the lens of what’s best in the long term, Israel was being strengthened by God for her eventual good.

Settling into complacency might seem to be comfortable for today, but in the long run we, like the Moabites, may suffer more if we go untouched by God for too long.

Make no mistake: Being lulled into a false sense of security is worse than going through the process of suffering.

Scripture reveals the eventual fate of the Moabites was one of complete ruin. (Isaiah 16:6-10) It would have been better for them to go through the Israelites’ experience. To go from vessel to vessel and experience suffering in doses that made them strong enough to handle suffering in even larger doses.

It’s like getting a colonoscopy or mammogram (neither of which are comfortable at the time) just to make sure you catch something wrong early, while treatment is possible. Or like getting a vaccine before going on a missions trip to a country where diseases are an everyday risk. It’s so much better to get a small exposure to the deadly disease to help build your immunity than be exposed and risk not having the necessary strength and immunities to fight it.

We must sip the suffering of today, so we don’t have to drown in the devastations of tomorrow.

To be poured into new vessels might seem uncomfortable, chaotic, and completely unfair while suffering in the moment, but God wants us to know we can trust Him in the midst of it. He’s helping us get rid of the dregs — weakness, fear, complacency, and the hopeless resignation that all of life is unfair. He’s on guard, looking to strengthen us for what He sees coming. And He is fulfilling the promise of Colossians 1:11, “God will strengthen you with his own great power so that you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient.”

It’s a process that doesn’t usually feel good at the time, but God assures us it will be good in time.

Father God, thank You for reminding me that You’re more interested in preparing me than keeping me comfortable. I confess no part of me likes suffering. But I know I can trust Your heart for me. And that means I can trust You when You allow me to be poured into situations I would rather avoid. Keep shaping me. Keep strengthening me. I know the work You’re doing in me is good. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:

James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (NIV)

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Encouragement For Today

God Is Working All Things for Your Good

”We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 NLT).

God is a good God, and he has good plans for your life. Other people have bad plans for your life, and you may make some bad plans yourself, but God only has good plans for your life.

Not everything in your life may be good—God didn’t promise that. He didn’t say everything that happens in your life would be good. Friend, we live on a broken planet. Nothing works perfectly. Your body is broken. It doesn’t always work the right way. Your mind is broken. It doesn’t think the right way. The weather is broken, the economy’s broken, relationships are broken. Nothing is perfect.

God did not promise us perfection. That’s called heaven! In heaven, there is no sorrow, sadness, sickness, or suffering. We should not expect heaven to be on earth, because the earth is filled with brokenness. But even in the middle of all this brokenness, God has a good plan for your life. He is greater than your bad choices, and he can fit even foolish decisions into a good plan. What a God! He can turn crucifixions into resurrections.

The Bible says in Romans 8:28, “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (NLT). This is not a promise for everybody in the world. Not everything is working together for good for everybody. But everything is working together for good for those who say, “God, I give you my life. I want to fulfill the purpose you made me for.” And even then, it doesn’t say all things are good. It says they all work together for your good—even the bad and even the bitter.

Have you noticed that when you make a cake, the individual ingredients don’t taste good? Flour by itself does not taste good. Raw eggs do not taste good. Vanilla by itself does not taste good. But mix it all together, and you can create a tasty masterpiece.

When you let God work all the “ingredients” together, God can take the bitter, put it in the batter, and make you better. Why? Because he’s a good God.

The more you pray, the better you’re going to know your purpose. And the better you know your purpose, the more God can use everything in your life—even the bitter and broken things.

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Daily Hope with Rick Warren.