Though we didn’t witness the Christmas star 2000 years ago, we always have Jesus as our Bright and Morning Star. He was born as baby to make it possible for us to be born again.
The wise men brought Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh--fit for a king. We can bring Him our lives, purified by fire and come forth as pure gold. Our prayers are as frankincense to go up before the throne room of God as sweet incense,
We come as anointed with myrrh as a symbol of death to self and alive to Christ. What are you bringing Jesus for His birthday?
After I've backfired, sputtered and coughed, I sometimes wish God would hit the recall button on my life.
But since the Creator of the Universe made man out of dirt, I'm sure he can tidy up a messed up life. Then we can come to Him with clean hands and a pure heart.
Each of us is unique—designed for a special place the Lord has for us in the body of Christ. “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay for special purposes and some for common use?
Make the commitment to God to allow Him to continue to work on you. Remember He has a special design and purpose for each of us—to become more than we ever dreamed possible.
Raising Hands Releases Feel-Good Emotions
Raising our hands releases feel-good emotions in our brain. As believers, we typically raise our hands for three reasons.
Raising Hands Reason #1:
We lift them as a sign of surrender when we admit we cannot save ourselves and we cannot direct our own steps. Raised hands is the universal symbol of surrender.
Raising Hands Reason #2:
We also raise our hands to receive from God whatever He has planned for our lives. Even when the enemy attacks us with pain and sorry and we receive things we don’t want or expect, and we accept them without grumbling or complaining, we are blessed. We place our trust and take our stand that “all things work together for good, for those that Love the Lord, and are called according to His promise” (Rom. 8:28).
Raising Hands Reason #3:
The third and most important time to raise our hands is when we are praising God. Quite possibly, is won’t be for what is going on in our lives, but rather that Almighty God is still in control.
Conclusion: Raising Hands Helps Win the Battle!
We are also confident that what the devil plans for evil, God can always use for good. It may help us establish faith, trust or perseverance. But we always win the battle when we keep our eyes focused on God, rather than staring disparagingly at our problem or circumstance.
The huge waves we encounter on this lifeboat to eternity may feel like we’re in a raging storm.
1.We pray for the strength and agility to navigate the twists and turns we encounter in a sea of
2. Pray for the Lord to be with us.
3. We're not to throw up our hands and quit.
4. Ask for the strength and comfort of the Holy Spirit.
5. Pray for the winds of the Spirit to blow us into a safe harbor.
Make the decision now to hold steady before storm clouds begin to gather
The Lord commissions us to be the salt of the earth. Salt, as we know it, is made up of tiny, seemingly insignificant granules that make bland foods quite tasty. In a similar way, when we add sprinkles of compliments and encouragement to our conversations, bland relationships become “tasty.” “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6 esv).
The taste of food is enhanced when spices are added to give it flavor. We are to also add flavor to the lives of others. Scripture explains our purpose: “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?” (Matthew 5:13 msg).
Our lives become a blessing when God uses us to add flavor to other’s lives. I was asked to join a couple of believers who visit an assisted living facility each week. I agreed to go with them once. Joining them was not a top priority, but I reluctantly tagged along. One man plays the guitar. The other person and I joined him in singing happy songs and praying for the residents.
It made an impact on me when I saw the residences faces light up when we entered their rooms. Some sang with us. A number of them reached out to hold our hands when we prayed for them. Compassion swept over me when I realized how long the hours must seem as they lie there staring at the ceiling day after day.
I was shocked when they seemed amazed we took the time to visit. Most of their countenances brightened when we acted as if we cared. Some clapped their hands. Most all of them expressed sincere gratitude because we came to encourage them. It was a profound reminder that life is not all about me. Forgive me Lord, for my insensitivity. Yes, I plan to go again.
Salt acts as a preservative. Reaching out to others is a way to show God is at work in our lives. It helps preserve their faith in God and man.
For more on how to be the salt of the earth check out Louise's books.
Self-sufficiency is determined to stay in control—a precarious place to be. It’s like standing on one foot and expecting to reach my destination by hopping. We often fail to trust God or ask to be led by His Holy Spirit—and all-wise God knows all the ends and outs of a situation.
I can look back and see the many times I’ve fallen flat on my face before I finally got it that it is not within man to direct his own steps.
Pride causes me to behave like a two-year-old who shouts, “I do it myself.” And when I do, God steps back and lets me give it a shot until all the threads of my life are tangled and tied in a hard knot.
Our loving heavenly Father steps away and possibly folds His arms, shakes His head, and says, “Have it your way.” He stands nearby and watches us fail again and again.
There have been many times when I didn’t know what to do and moaned “I don’t know what else to try. All I can do is pray.” Prayer becomes my last resort, rather than my first option.
In spite of my stubborn will, the Lord continues to faithfully keep His promise to never leave me or forsake me.
Even when the Lord helps me succeed, there is such a temptation to take credit for accomplishing everything myself.
Lord, help me depend on your incredible wisdom before making any decision.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE
Regardless of wherever you are, your age, or your health conditions, God has a plan for each of His children. Nothing one does is insignificant to our heavenly Father. A friend who is bedfast and can hardly move, she spends her time on the phone encouraging and counseling others. She is also an incredible prayer warrior—lying flat on her back.
The night my husband, Carey, died, I was fifty-five years old. In previous years, I’d followed him around and helped him with his work. Now, I was forced to face life alone. As soon as the doctor said, “He’s gone,” I cried, “Lord, Jesus, receive his spirit.” Then, I turned and stomped my foot and growled, “Satan, you don’t win. You may have closed one door, but God will open others.” This became a self-fulfilling prophesy. God began to teach me how to be the person He planned for me to be. After about two years of readjusting, I became the spiritual advisor in a psychiatric hospital.
From there, the Lord moved me to the country to manage a Christian retreat center for 15 years.
When I decided to step away at age 75, I went to China four times to teach in an underground Bible school.
Next, the Lord nudged me to write a book on a unique way to deal with aging. “Hidden Treasures for Golden Years” won the Selah award for the best book on Christian Living 2011. It has been used in a home group for seniors.
The second book, “Splashes of Living Water” looks at how we can be a living example in developing good interpersonal relationships. It is currently being used in a Ladies Bible Class.
The third, “Marvels and Mysteries,” explains miraculous ways God, as the architect, designed the world, mankind and animals to function in incredible ways.
The fourth book is a devotional for seniors called, “Over the Hill, Onto the Mountaintop.” It is filled with humor and dozens of human interest stories about believers who have learned the secret of how to live an abundant life.
The last book, just published, “Out of Darkness, Into His Marvelous light,” use a new approach of using the five God-given senses, similar to rungs on a ladder, to climb out of discouragement and depression. It has just been chosen as a study for a church home group in in a nearby city.
Your calling may not seem great, but God has a divine purpose for your life. It is to give you hope and a plan so others will see Christ in you as your hope of glory.