“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you… Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
There are times when we all need to comforted, times when we feel afraid, doubtful, or lonely. A call from a friend, a hug from a loved one, a kind word, a listening ear or a heartfelt prayer can go a long way in helping someone through a difficult time.
But God goes beyond anything that we humans can do. In 1 Peter 5:7 He says to “cast all our cares on Him, because He cares for us.” No matter how heavy our burden seems to be, it is not too much for our Lord and Savior. He loves us so much that He invites us to give all our problems to Him. Even the best of friends may get weary listening to our troubles, and can only offer some comfort and guidance. But Jesus always listens, always has the answers and always is there to help. We can find peace beyond any understanding if we only give our problems to Him. (Philippians 4:7)
God knows that there are times when we all feel afraid, alone and confused. He has promised in His Word that He will never leave us. Psalm 23 and Romans 8:35-39 attest to that. He can fill our emptiness, mend our hurts, protect us and give us peace, assurance and hope when we trust His promises. Read Psalm 91:1-7, Psalm 56:11, Isaiah 40:31 and Isaiah 54:14.
Let the dear Savior in your heart and let His peace flow through your life. Let Him take away your fear, your heartaches and your troubles. Then, you too can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” Hebrews 13:6
Thanks be to God!
In His Praise — September 11, 2022
In His Praise!
“…be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil… Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you will be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand. Stand firm then…”
Ephesians 6:10 – 14
We live in a world that seems to be filled with all kinds of evil. It is not uncommon to hear about murders, shootings, kidnapings, abuse and other hateful crimes. Strong drugs that can kill are created with the express purpose of attracting children. Evil is promoted in movies and on tv as entertainment. As a society, it is sad to say that we are no longer shocked when we’re exposed to such things. Although we want to protect our children, it is necessary for their safety, to make them aware of many such dangers.
At times it can be overwhelming. We may feel that there is no good left in the world. We may ask why God is allowing these things to happen. But God calls out the cause of all this wrong, it is the devil himself! God does not leave us helpless though.(John 16:33)
He gives us hope and assurance in these words from Ephesians. God has not forsaken the world. He is always near to give strength and guidance.
As His children we are called to stay strong in our faith, diligent in our witness and confident in our Lord! By covering ourselves with God’s armor and standing firm on Him we can be victorious in the fight against evil.
“For nothing is impossible with God.”
How wonderful to know that we serve a God of miracles! There is nothing that is beyond His power. Things that are too difficult for us to even understand, are simple to our great God.
We can find reassurance of this throughout the Bible. Genesis 18:14, Job 42:2 and Jeremiah 32:17,27 are just few examples found in the Old Testament. Jesus made this statement in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
So many times we look at situations through our human eyes and forget that God is still in control. He is greater than any bad choice we may have made. He is stronger than any hurtful relationship we may be in. He can give hope and healing to those that suffer. When the world says “no” our loving God can say “YES”. When we feel lost and alone, He will comfort. When we need direction He will lead. God himself tells us in Isaiah 41:13-14, “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
What a blessing to know that the God of miracles is with us all the time! He loves us and wants to help us. In things great and small God has it under control. All we need to do is faithfully trust Him in everything.
My command is this: “Love each other as I have loved you.”
Jesus’ words recorded in the book of John sound simple to follow. But what is this love that Jesus spoke about? He said to love as He has loved us. How does Jesus love us?
First of all, Jesus’ love is greater than anything we can ever imagine. He heals the sick, shows compassion to those in need, and is kind and loving. He is our rock and our salvation and He will never leave us. Jesus is our help in times of trouble, our guide, our hope and most of all our salvation. Jesus’ love is never ending and is the same for everyone. We can never completely understand this great, deep love, yet, He commands us to love as He did.
So how are we to love others? We can not heal diseases, but we can be caring and thoughtful of those that are sick. As we lift up their needs in prayer we can share with them how much the Great Physician loves them and wants to help them. We also can show Jesus’ love to others in our actions. We can be respectful, compassionate and kind to all people, we can be ready to help anyone in true need. We can set a faithful example to others in times of trouble by looking to God for strength and direction and most of all by sharing His plan of salvation.
Jesus commands us to love others as He did. Only when we first let His love fill us, can we do this. Just as Jesus reflected the Father’s love, our love for others should be a reflection of Jesus’ love for us.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
The first disciples that Jesus called were fishermen. This verse from Mark, as well as Matthew 4:19, record the encounter. It is interesting that Jesus did not ask the two brothers if they wanted to be fishers of men or if they would consider leaving their fishing boat to follow Him. Jesus simply gave an invitation. Simon and Andrew did not hesitate, they made a decision to follow Jesus and show others about Him. The scriptures tell us that they left their nets immediately and followed him. (Mark 1:18) They were ready and willing to become whatever Jesus wanted them to be.
Jesus gives each of us an invitation to accept His salvation and become His follower. When we accept this invitation we, like the disciples, are called to be His witnesses and share the good news of His salvation with others. In Matthew 5:14 Jesus says that we are the “light of the world.” The world can be a very dark place, but Jesus offers a message of hope, light and life.
There are many that are lost in the world. As children of God, sharing the gospel with others is our responsibility and privilege. As Christians we, like disciples, should be eager to become fishers of men, women and children wherever we go; always willing to let our light shine.
In His Praise!
Good News from East Point C.P. Church
August 14, 2022
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those that are crushed in spirit.”
by Helen Steiner Rice
Somebody cares and always will,
The world forgets, but God loves you still,
You cannot go beyond His Love
No matter what you’re guilty of —
For God forgives until the end,
He is your faithful, loyal friend,
And though you try to hide your face
There is no shelter any place
That can escape His watchful eye,
For on the earth or in the sky
He’s ever present and always there
To take you in His tender care
And bind the wound and mend the breaks
When all the world around forsakes…
Somebody cares and loves you still
And God is the Someone who always will.
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe…”
There are three important points found in these verses:
- We as children of God should be willing to do the work we are called to do with a good attitude. Just as parents instruct their children to do their chores and not complain, so we as God’s children should be happy to do whatever work the Lord gives us to do. There should be no grumbling or fussing about our tasks.
2) Why should we do this? So that our character will grow more Christ-like, our faith will grow stronger, and our walk with Jesus will become more intimate. All this will cause us to become better people and stronger servants for our Lord.
3) We, like the people that Paul was writing to, also live in a “crooked and depraved generation”. Our example can be the only shining light that others see. It is important that we let that light shine for Jesus wherever we go.
God has work for us all to do. The way we go about doing it is our gift to God and our witness to others.
“For this God is our God forever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.”
What a wonderful reminder this verse is that God will never leave us. Whatever or wherever life takes us God is always with us. He guides, protects and moves to bring about good things for us. From birth to death, our God lovingly cares for us and has a plan for us.
As the children’s prayer goes, “God is great and God is good.” We just need to draw close to Him and trust His leadership. He will never forsake us or disappoint us.
“In everything set them an example by doing what is good.”
Have you ever watched the ripples that a stone makes when tossed into the water? They start where the stone lands and then travel out. A larger stone may make larger ripples, but it doesn’t matter if the stone is large or small, there will still be ripples. The same is true of waves made by passing boats on a lake. It doesn’t matter what size the boat is, its movement creates waves that will travel across the lake. Again, a large boat may cause big wave, while a small boat will create only a small wave. Both the stone and the boat have an effect on the water. The stone, the boat nor the water think about what is happening, it is just a natural reaction.
Let’s imagine that we as Christians are the stone or the boat and the world is the water. What kind of ripples and waves are you making? Our actions do make a difference! Of course all of us want to make big ripples and reach a lot of people. But the reality is that sometimes our waves are small and don’t travel very far. The point is that our actions cause a reaction in others no matter how big or small. The way we live (our example) influences others whether we realize it or not.
Unlike the stone, the boat and the water, we do have control over our actions. With God’s help we should strive at all times to set an example of good.
“… yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
Having a positive attitude is something we have to choose sometimes. Happiness does not always come naturally. Sad things happen and we cannot always wear a smile and act as though we’re not bothered or touched by the circumstances. God has given us emotions that do influence our reactions.
In the verses previous to the one above, the prophet Habakkuk had learned from God that Israel was about to be attacked and defeated by the Babylonians! That sounds frightening and depressing. Habakkuk was concerned to say the least, his attitude was not positive about the situation. He questioned why God would allow this to happen. He tried to make sense of it in his own mind. He talked to God; and then, Habakkuk listened to God. Once Habakkuk heard God’s response his attitude changed. He accepted the inevitable. But he was no longer frightened or depressed. His attitude changed to one of acceptance and trust in the Lord. Habakkuk declared that no matter what happened, he would continue to find joy and happiness with the Lord.
We too can find ourselves in predicaments that are unsettling or scary. Our first reaction may be anger, fear or doubt. But God assures us that we are never alone. He walks with us through all of life’s ups and downs.
We may not be able to change our circumstances, but we can definitely change our attitude. By trusting the Lord and believing His word we can choose to be joyful and rejoice in our Lord. We can let the peace that passes all understanding rule our hearts and minds. We can stand firm on His promises.
Here are a few Bible verses that can help reassure us in times of trouble: Psalm 46:1, Philippians 4:19, John 16:33, Romans 8:18, James 1:2-4 and Joshua 1:9.