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MessagesTo Remember and Live By

These messages from the Bible I have read or heard. They have helped me to have hope and given me strength.. I have made a point to write them in one of my journals to help remember them. They have gotten me through the best of times and the worst of times. I now want to share some of them.

The children in Jesus' example asked their father for bread and fish- good necessary items. If the children had asked for a  poisonous snake, would the wise father have granted the request? Sometimes, God knows we are praying for "snakes" and does not give us what we ask for, even though we persist in our prayers. As we learn to know God better as a loving father we learn to ask for what is good for us, and then he grants it.
 
Christ shows us the heart of God the Father. God is not selfish, begrudging, or stingy, we don't have to beg or grovel as we come with our requests. He is a loving Father, who understands, cares and comforts us.

Blessed means more than happiness. It implies the fortunate or enviable state of those who are in God's kingdom. The Beatitudes don't promise laughter, pleasure or earthly prosperity. Being "blessed" by God means the experience of hope and joy, Independent of outward circumstances. To find hope and joy, the deepest form of happiness, follows Jesus no matter what the cost.

Jesus is more concerned with our walk than our talk. He wants us to do right, not just say the right words. Your house ( which represents your life) will withstand the storms of life only if you do what is right instead of just talking about it. What you do cannot be separated from what you believe.
 
Believing in Jesus is the only way to heaven, because he alone died for our sins and made us right before God. Living his way may not be popular, but it is true and right.
 
We often encounter storms in our life, where we feel God can't or won't work. When we freely / truly understand who God is, we will realize that he controls both the storms of nature and the storms of the troubled heart.
 
God welcomes your honest prayers, but be careful not to overlook the love, strength, and resources that he provides in your present relationships. And don't allow bitterness and disappointment to blind you to your oppportunities.
 
If you are waiting for God to provide, consider this: He may be waiting for you to take the first step to demonstrate just how important your need is.
 
When we belong to God, we need not fear death, because we know that death is only the doorway into eternal life.
 
Knowing the Old Testament is the best foundation for understanding the New Testament. In reading the Old Testament, we see how
1. how God used people to accomplish his purposes
2. how God used events and personalities to illustrate important truths
3. how through prophets, God announced the Messiah
4. how, through the system of sacrifices, God prepared people to understand the Messiah's work.
 
Because Christ lives in us as believers, we can remain courageous and hopeful to the end. We are not saved by being steadfast and firm in our faith, but our courage and hope, to reveal that our faith is real. Without this enduring faithfulness, we could easily be blown away by the winds of temptation, false teaching, or persecution.
 
In order to grow from infant Christians to mature, Christians, we must learn discernment. WE must train our conscience, our senses, our mind, and our body to distinguish good from evil. Can you recognize temptation before it traps you? Can you tell the difference between a correct use of Scripture and a mistaken one? As you grow in the Lord and put into practice what you have learned, your capacity to understand will also grow.
 
Faith reveals that God is doing more for his people than we can ever realize through sight alone. When you face difficulties that seem insurmountable, remember that spiritual resources are there even if you can't see them. Look through the eyes of faith, and let God show you his resources. If you don't see God working in your life, the problem may be your spiritual eyesight, not God's power.
 
Many people want to add God and the benefits of Christianity to their lives without acknowledging their personal sin and guilt. But confession and repentance must come before receiving forgiveness. Like David, we must take full responsiblity for our actions and confess them to God before we can expect him to forgive us and continue his work in us.
 
God is ruler over light and darkness, over good times and bad times. Our lives are sprinkled with both types of experiences, and both are needed for us to grow spiritiually. When good times come, thank God and use your prosperity for him. When bad times come, don't resent them, but ask what you can learn from this refining process to make you a better servant of God.
 
If we walk by our own light and reject God's we become self- sufficient, and the result of self- sufficiency  is torment. When we place confidence in our own intelligence, appearance , or accomplishments instead of in God, we risk torment  later when these strengths fade.
 
To live without faith is hopeless; to express sorrow without change is hypocritical. Being sorry for sin is not enough. Repentence demands a change of mind and heart that results in changed behavior.
 
Nothing but truth is acceptable to God.
 
In prayer we can reveal our deepest thoughts to God
 
God expects us to trust him, no matter what.
 
We are here to influence others for God.
 
Let God be your strength when you feel weak, your fortress when enemies come against you, and your refuge when you need to retreat from life's pressures.

" The person who loves God is the one God knows and cares for."
Ask God if there is someone you know who needs to be comforted.
God will fight for me. I just need to trust.
 
Temptation is often the combination of a real need and a possible doubt that creates an inappropriate desire. Jesus shows us the importance and effectiveness of knowing and applying Scripture to combat temptation.
 
Because we know testing will come we should be alert and ready for it. Remember your convictions are only strong if they hold up under pressure.
 
Self control is good, but Christ wants us to practice thought - control as well. Jesus said that we will be held accountable even for our attitudes.
 
Jesus emphasizes the importance of telling the truth. Keeping vows and promises is important it builds trust and makes committed human relationships possible.
 
The Bible condemns making vows or taking oaths casually, giving your word while knowing that you won't keep it.
 
When we are wronged our desire should not be to keep score, but to love and forgive. Pray for those who hurt you.
 
Only God can give us the strength to love as he does.
 
Jesus taught that the essence of prayer is not public style ,but private communication with God. There is a place for public prayer, but to pray only where others will notice you, indicates that your real audience is not God.
 
We must trust God daily to provide what he knows we need.
 
 
 
 

If we refuse to forgive others, God will also refuse to forgive us. When we don't forgive others, we are denying our common ground as sinners in need of God's forgiveness. God's forgiveness of sin is not the direct result of our goriging others, but it is based on our realiizng what forgiveness means.
 
Spiritual vision is our capacity to see clearly what God wants us to do and to see the world from his point of view. This spiritual insight can be easily clouded. Self serving desires, interests, and goals block that vision.
 
worry = being immobilized
concern= moves you into action
 
Jesus tells us to examine our own motives and conduct instead of judging others. The traits that bother us in others are often the habits we have ourselves. Our bad habits and behavior patterns are the very ones that we most want to change in others. If you are ready to criticize someone, check to see if you deserve the same criticism. Judge yourself first, and then lovingly forgive and help your neighbor.
 
Jesus statement " Stop judging" is against the kind of hypocritical , judgemental attitude that tears others down in order to build oneself up. It is not a blanket statement to overlook wrong behavior of others, but a call to be discerning rather than negative. Trust God to be the final Judge.
 
 
 
 

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