Gleanings

PRAYING WITH CONFIDENCE

1 John 5:14-15

One question reverberates through the heart of nearly all Christians at some point in their faith walk: If God knows everything about me, why do I need to pray to have my needs met? The Lord has specific reasons for not using His omnipotence to respond to our desires and hurts unless we share those things with Him.

God encourages us to pray in order to build an intimate and personal relatinship between Himself and us. He is interested in much more than meeting our needs; He also wants to become our source of strength in every trial. We know from experience that developing any friendship takes a commitment of time. Quick three minute prayers – though valuable and important for maintaining continous “fragrant incense” before God – are not enough to sustain a personal connection with our Father.

The Lord wants us to acknowledge Him as the source of everything. Turning our prayers toward God and trusting that they will be answered in His will and timing strengthens our recognition that we can accomplish nothing without Him.

In the Christian life, our dependence upon God grows in direct proportion to our spiritual maturity. Such a concept runs contrary to our nature and culture, which prizes independence above all.

We are privileged to belong to a God who desires a Father child relationship with us. He could certainly meet our needs without a single word from us, but then we could never know the wonder of asking and receiving in love.

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IF YOUR FRIENDS AREN’T FRIENDS, MAKE NEW FRIENDS

If the people close to you are dragging you down, then it may be time to make some changes. Speaker Joe Larson remarked, “My friends didn’t believe that I could become a successful speaker. So I did something about it. I went out and found me some new friends!”

When you really think about it, the things that matter most in life are the relationships we develop. Remember:

You may build a beautiful house, but eventually it will crumble.

You may develop a fine career, but one day it will be over.

You may save a great sum of money, but you can’t take it with you.

You may be in superb health today, but in time it will decline.

You may take pride in you accomplishments, but someone will surpass you.

Discouraged? Don’t be, for the one thing that really matters lasts forever – your friendships.

Life is too long to spend it with people who pull you in the wrong direction. And it’s too short not to invest in others. Your relationships will define you. And they will influence your talent – one way or the other. Choose wisely

— Talent Is Never Enough

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DEATH CANNOT DIVIDE US

John 11: 14-27

Although writers and philosophers have done their best to marshal weighty arguments in favor of life after death, they have not succeeded in bringing comfort to aching, anxious, questioning hearts.

Jesus, however, does not fail to satisfy us. He brings forth no philosophical arguments. He does not try to prove the reasonableness or immortality. He simply declares it! He speaks of what He knows, and answers with the authority of heaven: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25). This resurrection has two aspect. The bodies of believers will be raised, and their spirites will aslo live on in heaven.

What does this mean for grieving Christians whose believing loved ones have died? Death does not sever our love for them, for love belongs to the spirit and not to the body. And when those we love go on a long journey, their thoughts can span the distance as though it were a step, and their love enfolds us as though they stood beside us. So it is today with our dear departed ones.

Are you sorrowing over one who has been called to heaven? Jesus promises that we will be reunited one day, when God gives us back our precious loved ones.

“Christ has replaced the dark door of death with the shining gate of life.”

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HOW TO PASS ON OUR FAITH

2 Timothy 1: 3-7

The world always keeps a keen eye on believers. So desperate to find something genuine and true, they will watch to see if our talk measures up to our lifestyle. Many times, their motives are just to confirm their growing suspicions that nothing true and genuine exists.

In passing along our faith, nothing is stronger than the way we live our lives. We can espouse all the Christian rhetoric we know, but if it does not match our actions, our true hearts are exposed.

Jesus gave everything He had before He left the earth, including His life. While His primary purpose in coming to the world was to save it through His death and resurrection, He also longed to impart to us a solid faith.

And to those whom He gave special attention in teaching them the ways of the heavenly Father, Jesus asked that they do the same to others.

Jesus said to Peter the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, you know all things; You know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” (John 21:17)

Passing on our faith often consists of thoughtful encounters where we verbally express what God means to our lives. But people hear more through what we do than what we say. Living a life that reflects the true nature of our love for Christ is a way we can pass on our faith to the world around us.

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ARE YOU A SPLATTER OR A BOUNCER?

If only life could become easier with every day of living! But that’s not reality, is it? As you get older, truly some things get difficult, but others also gets more easier. In every stage of life, there are good aspects and bad. The key is to focus on the good and learn to live with the bad. Of course not everyone does that. In fact, I’ve foundthat there are really only two kinds of people in this world when it comes to dealing with discouragement: splatters and bouncers. When splatters hit rock bottom, they fall apart, and they stick to the bottom like glue. On the other hand, when bouncers hit bottom, they pull together and bounce back.

Paul J. Meyer, founder of the Success Motivations Institute, says “Ninety percent of those who fail are not actually defeated. They simply quit.” That’s what discouragement can do to you if you don’t handle it the right way – it can cause you to quit. Since you will become discouraged at some point, the question is, Are you going to give up or get up?

Make the decision to get up and bounce back today!

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2 comments on “Gleanings

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