From the time we awake in the morning, until we close our eyes at the end of the day, we make decisions. Every day we make decisions that effect what we do, and how we do them. Something that our God has given to each and every one of us, is the right to make decisions. Each decision we make will have an effect on our lives. Some will have a long lasting effect and some will not.

 Our Bible is full of good and bad decisions people have made. The bad decisions started in the book of Genesis with Adam and Eve, and continue throughout the Old Testament with people who did not follow the plans God had given them. A good example is Abram. He followed God’s plan to leave Haran and go to Canaan in Genesis 12.
 Today it has continued in the New Testament with people who have not followed God’s plan, but made their own plans. It is something God’s word said would happen and we have the evidence before us today.

The good news is we can make decisions that follow God’s plan for us. It can start when we open our eyes in the morning. We can start our day with a talk to our God and close the day with God on our hearts.

We have been given important decisions to make in our near future, which will have long lasting effects on the church. The decision on who will be our next minister will have a major effect on who we are, and where we are going. Please pray every day that the man we choose will be the one who preaches God’s Word with power and truth. It is important that we pay attention to every aspect that this man brings. His love of the truth, his ability to communicate to all, his devotion to his family, and humility to others. Help us God to do Your will.
 We also have a building to build. Pray that God will open doors to help us with this work. We also pray, that when we finish building a place to worship, it is filled with people listening to God’s Word preached.

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Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. -1Thess 5:11

Be an encourager, the world already has plenty of critics. When I heard this comment on a TV program I said “how true”. We as Christians really need to be encouragers if we are to let our lights shine. We have plenty of examples in our Bible to show us how to encourage others. In Acts the 18th chapter we see the encouragement that was given to Apollos by Priscilla and Aquila. Teaching people the scriptures with a loving spirit, will have more effect than beating them up with our knowledge. That is what Priscilla and Aquila did, and then when the brethren at Ephesus heard him speak the scripture with a fervent spirit, they encourage him to go to Achaia. It gave Apollos the strength he needed to preach the Word of God.

When we encourage someone, we give them comfort. This what our Jesus did. When the woman was caught in adultery in John 8:1-11, in verse 11 Jesus said to the woman “I do not condemn you either. Go. From now on, sin no more.” Jesus knew this woman could lead a life that would let her light shine. We can take comfort and to encourage someone because we know the Lord is still in charge and will always be there to hear us. We can also take comfort and encouragement in the fact that our God has a place prepared for us as Jesus tells us in John chapter 14. How good is that our Lord has a place of comfort for us.

How do we speak to someone, does it encourage? That should be our goal. This world has plenty of critics to tell us how to do something, but our lives must be led in such a way that shows people how to live by example and deed. This little light of mine, let it shine, let it shine, all the time, so that I can be one who encourages people.

We have many critics in this world, but Jesus was not one of them. Follow the example that Jesus gave us and be encouragers.

 

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This is a list that I made up a couple of years ago, that I have modified and added to a little:

Human life: created in His image – Genesis 1:26&27

  • Soul (Spirit) – Ecclesiastes 12:7; Matthew 16:26 (Mark 8:36)
  • Purity: wickedness/disobedience is unacceptable – Genesis 6-9; Genesis 11; Genesis 19
  • Faithfulness: even a lack (or shortage) of faith is unacceptable – History of Israelites
  • Obedience (through faith) – 1st Samuel 15; Proverbs 21:3; Hosea 6:6; Hebrews 11:1
  • The Kingdom (Church) - John 3:16; Matthew 13:44-46;
  • Unity – Psalm 133
  • Truth – John 4:23&24; 8:32; 14:6; and John 17:17
  • Love – While love for God and Christ are obvious through the writings of the apostle of love, John, we have learned through our study of Thessalonians, that TRUE LOVE FOR THE BRETHREN are equally as important – and that love should be increasing as time passes!

 

Do we value the same things that our LORD values?  If we do there should not be anything that we won’t do to maintain our values throughout our Christian walks.  We need to remember and help unbelievers understand that there is only one way into the Kingdom - John 14:6 & Acts 4:12. When the Gospel message is answered and a life is lived faithfully to God’s standards, valuing those things that God values is demonstrated and He will fulfill His promise! – Rev. 2:10! 

 

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     These scriptures remind us that no matter what is going on around us in our world or what others try to do to or against us, we can withstand and endure anything walking in God’s counsel and protection.

Psalm 1: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.  He shall be like a tree, planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.  The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.  Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.  For the LORD knows the way of the righteous.  But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

Psalm 2: “Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.’  He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall hold them in derision (shall scoff at them).  Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure; ‘Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.’…”

Psalm 11: “In the LORD I put my trust; how can you say to my soul, ‘Flee as a bird to your mountain’?  For look!  The wicked bend their bow; they make ready their arrow on the string that they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart.  If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?  The LORD is in His holy temple, the LORD’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.  The LORD tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.  Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup.  For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright beholds His countenance.”

May The LORD continue to bless us as we continue walking firmly in His direction!

 

 

 

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           When we experience difficulties, we must try to remember that we can always find comfort and peace by meditating upon God’s Holy scriptures and spending time “talking” to God.  When we become disappointed or discouraged because of the actions of others, or when we are facing unusual or challenging health or circumstances in life, our faith leads us to rely upon the very word that we are obedient to and follow as our guide and direction in life.  The following are but a few more of the many:

19th Psalm: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the expanse shows the work of His hands…The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.  The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.  They are more desirable than gold, (even fine gold); sweeter also than honey and the drops of the honeycomb.  Moreover, by them your servant is warned and in keeping them there is great reward…Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

111th Psalm: Hallelujah! Praise the LORD! I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright and in the assembly of the congregation…The works of the LORD are great, sought out and studied by all who delight in them.  His work is honorable and glorious, and His righteousness endures forever.  He has made His wonderful acts to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and full of compassion…The works of His hands are truth, faithfulness, and justice; all his precepts are sure – are trustworthy.  They are upheld forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.  He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and Awesome is His name.  Reverence for the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have those who do His commands; His praise endures forever.

1st John 1:7: But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.

Our God and Savior is a Loving, Powerful, Awesome, Majestic, Just, and Wonderful LORD!

 

 

 

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