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Our Life line in Tough Times.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor 10:13; KJV).

This is one of those special verses for me. The Greek word for temptation has a wider meaning than just temptation to sin; it can mean trial and adversity. So, what this verse means is that the trials you face are no different than from what everyone faces, so don’t feel you have been picked out for unique treatment. Be encouraged as the apostle Paul teaches us in this verse that God will not allow the trial to overwhelm you and he will provide the way out; praise God.

So how will God help? Well first of all he exhorts us to cast our cares on him as he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Be patient (Heb 6:12), get into the word and prayer so you can hear from him. One of the main ways he will show us the answer to our tests and trials is in his word. Find the direction for your situation in the Bible. For example, if you need healing, meditate, confess and build up your faith with scriptures such as: “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by E-sai-as the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” (Matt 8:17) and “by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). Focus on God’s promises, speak them and the answers will come. We serve a faithful God who never changes (Heb 13:8).



Shine up Your Crown!

The other day I was reading in the eighth Psalm and verse 5, where king David wrote about man, that God has: “crowned him with glory and honour” (KJV). Well none of us are earthly kings or queens so it’s nice to think that we can still wear a crown. However, I got thinking about CROWNS and realized that the Bible actually contains a lot of verses about crowns.

King Solomon taught about wisdom that she will give us a: “crown of glory” (Prov 4:9). In Psalms it is recorded that the Lord: “crowneth the with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (Ps 103:4). Wow, crowns of glory, honor, beauty, loving kindness and tender mercies.

Let’s take a look in the new Testament. If we love God and stand up under tests, trials and temptations we will receive: “the crown of life” (James 1:12). The apostle Peter, in addressing leaders in the church, promised them an eternal reward: “the crown of glory that will not fade away” (1 Peter 5:4). God has saved a crown of righteousness for Paul and all of us as Christians that we will receive at the second coming of Jesus or when we meet him at our physical death (2 Tim 4:8). If we live for Christ and endure the pressures and sufferings of this life, we will reign with Jesus in the life to come (2 Timothy 2:12).   

Praise God. I don’t know about you but that sounds better to me than having a worldly king or queen’s crown.

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God’s Amazing Promises to Us

“This Book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: For then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Josh 1:8-9; KJV).

In the old Testament men and women lived under a law they could never completely keep, but God was merciful and blessed them when their hearts were right toward him. This was their relationship with him.

Now, if we have given our lives to him, we have Christ in us (Gal 2:20) and through his death we were justified (made just as if we had never sinned) (Rom 3:24). We are new creations in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:17), we have his forgiveness (Eph 1:7). We no longer live under the law, driven by the dictates of the flesh, but by faith we live in obedience to God as the Spirit leads us (Rom 8:1-2). We are redeemed (purchased at a great price) from the curse of the law, poverty, sickness and death (Gal 3:13). God has adopted us as his children (Rom 8:15), he is our Abba Father (Daddy). He has taken us out of the power and authority of darkness into his wonderful kingdom of light (Col 1:13-14). We are more than conquerors in Jesus (Rom 8:37).

Let’s commit to grow into all God has for us. If we press into him, he will work in us through his word and power to change, transform, use and bless us (James 4:7-8; Phil 1:6).

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The Bible makes quite a few references to trees. In Proverbs 3:18 we read that wisdom is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her. King David taught us that if we meditate in the word we will be like a healthy, fruitful tree firmly planted in well-watered soil (Psalm 1:2-3). Another psalmist wrote that: “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon”. (Psalm 92:12; KJV).

Jesus also talked about trees; he said that trees would be recognized for their fruit (referring to our lives) (Matt 12:33). We learn in Revelation 22:2 that we will see the tree of life in heaven. So, what do we think of when we think of trees? I think of beauty, strength, support, a conduit for nourishment, life giving, a well-developed root system and fruit bearing.

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit” (Jer 17:7,8). Wow, that sounds good to me. We need to let this verse encourage us today - spend some time reading and meditating God's word and enjoy being blessed.

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Believing for the Impossible

In Genesis 18:14 (KJV) we read: "Is anything too hard or for the Lord?" This is what the Lord said to Abraham when he told him that Sarah would have a baby in her old age. Jeremiah told the Lord: "there is nothing too hard for thee"(Jer 32:17) and in Job 42:2 Job told God: "I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee”.

In Matthew 19:26 we read that with God all things are possible. The Greek word used here for possible is dunatos and it implies that when we try to do things in our own strength nothing much is accomplished but God can do what for us would seem impossible. The Angel Gabriel told Mary, the mother of Christ: “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). Finally, Ephesians. 3:20 reads that God can do: "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think". Do you get the picture? Don’t bang your head against the wall, just give your challenges to God. If you are trusting God for something impossible then allow these verses to encourage you; stand on them - and keep on standing.

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