Inside/Outside

As we look to the empty tomb we are confident of God’s work in and through our lives. We are on the inside — receiving and thankful for His gifts.

But are hearts are heavy for those who insist on remaining on the outside. They are skeptical, hurt, angry, confused. They have had some difficult things to live through and they don’t trust or believe in Jesus. We may not understand their perspective but we pray for them. We all know and love those who have rejected God’s gift of grace.

And there are others who don’t know at all. They have not heard about the Jesus we know. Even though the heavens do declare, it is important for us to also proclaim our faith in a way that opens doors for conversation. Jesus died for all.

May we be loving to all — those on the inside the walls of faith as well as those who have stepped away or truly have never known Jesus. We don’t know the whole story. Our love and compassion can make an amazing difference in how they view God.

May we love generously with the love that has been given to us!

He is Risen!

He is Risen, Indeed!

Alleluia!

PrayerPoints~ Monday, March 14th

week 5-W

Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 103

“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise is holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits.

He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases; he redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and compassion.

He satisfies my desires with good things, so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5

When I am struggling — and there always seems to be some sort of thing I dread that is coming up — it is really important for me to focus on praising and thanking God for what He has done and recalling those things. Reminding myself of God’s provision in my life is so important..sometimes I have a crazy short-term memory!

I also think it is helpful to encourage others when they struggle to remember. There are times when life is hard and there seems to be no good choice out there. Remembering that God goes before and behind me and hems me in is sometimes hard when  I am caught up in a moment (or days) of discouragement.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Is there someone in your life who can use some encouragement today?

Below is another great Integrity Music Song. Enjoy!

Getting what you deserve

Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Getting what you deserve

Have you ever heard Dave Ramsey speak? One of his classic lines is “Deserve is a dirty word”. Have you ever thought about it in that way?

Typically the world encourages us to “Have it Your Way” or reminds you that “You Deserve a Break Today”. Do most people really need to reminder to put themselves first? Isn’t that the typical sinful nature?

Here are some titles for magazines for women:

  • Self
  • Me
  • All You
  • Allure
  • First
  • More
  • She

Notice a trend here? Buying into this mentality really wreaks havoc on our spiritual life. When we start thinking about what we deserve in the worldly sense, we start a journey on a difficult path that generally leads to dissatisfaction, depression, envy, regret, uneasiness, unhappiness, discontentment, displeasure, fretfulness, restlessness. How quickly we can become dissatisfied with our house, job, spouse, children, vehicle, friends, etc.

If we think about what we deserve in the spiritual sense, it really can put a positive spin on the way we look at others. God graciously extends His forgiveness to us and there is nothing we have done or can do to deserve it. Isn’t that Good News? Contemplating God’s graciousness to us really calls us to consider whether we are sharing that same grace with others and learn how to be content with God’s provisions.

The next time someone causes you a little grief, consider giving them something they don’t ‘deserve’ ~ give them a break, cut them some slack. Maybe they are in a circumstance where they would benefit from God’s compassionate grace and you are the person called to extend it!

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.  9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities
.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.