Easter

Jesus Sacrificed his Life to Save our Life
Kids Video about Easter and how Jesus Gave it All. Download a coloring page of Jesus at this Link.

Easter Story Message of Jesus

This message has been adapted from Life Church and Fresh Life Church.

Reference: (Fresh Life Church | The Show Must Go On | Pastor Levi Lusko | Easter People, pt. 1)

In God’s Providence, I had, we had, been planning to spend the weeks between now and Easter really getting our hearts ready for all that God wants to do in our lives. As we remember and look back on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and to spend weeks in a series that is essentially a collection of talks built on people involved in the

Easter story, people involved in the Easter story. There were people involved in the Easter story.  And we’re going to be looking at a bunch of the different stories. I invite you to make sure you don’t miss a week, as each

installment will build and show us different angles and perspective. And it’s going to be amazing. Easter people will bring us through Easter. Who knows? Maybe we’ll go weeks past it. It’s fantastic. But we’re going to start in Mark’s gospel, chapter 16. There’s something really, really special that God has shown me. I was actually on an airplane with my wife when this came to me. And this is unlike me. The flight landed. I

didn’t even notice. I had my laptop out. I don’t know if the flight attendant didn’t notice.

But I was still working. And this is how I work. This is how I write my sermons. Now you guys know. I don’t have my fingers involved at all. Just all wrist. But the flight lands. People are getting off. And Cindi is like, um. like I’m normally like totally switched on a flight. But this time, I’m just like, just in it. Just, like headphones on. Just like oh my gosh. This is so powerful. And she’s like, we need to get off this airplane. And so I just grab all my things, and my phone. And like I’m dragging my laptop cord down the aisle. And she’s like, you’re a mess. It was– I was like, God showed me something so special. I can’t wait to show church. I really, I’m really excited. I hope, I hope you are 5% as excited as I am. At least you’re here, baby. All right. So the title is The Show Must Go On. The Show Must Go On. That’s a phrase that originated in the circus. And oftentimes, people would get hurt. Of course, circus is dangerous, y’all, right? I mean, you’ve got trapeze. And you’ve got people walking across a volcano singing worship songs. I mean, you’ve

got– anybody much that? That was awesome. And when someone would get hurt, there was a spirit amongst the performers that we’re not going to allow a setback keep us from doing what we showed up to do. We’re going to keep going. If I have to be the ringmaster tonight, and I was blessed be the lion tamer, if I have to do that, like no matter what happens, we’re going to give the people who came out what they’re here for. The show must go on. And that sort of spirit of never say quit, never, never say die– we have to adapt, we adapt. We need to adapt. Adapt or die, right? But we’re going to figure out a way to do what we came here to do. And that spread to the hotel business and restaurant business. And really, I think any business with a drive and a mission has that sort of up in their tank a little bit. Show must go on. We’ll figure this out. Let’s not easily walk away. Let’s not get discouraged. Let’s not, let’s not get jaded. Let’s stay sweet. Let’s stay, let’s stay spunky. Let’s stay hungry. Let’s foolish. Like, the show– come on. The show must go on. Could you tell two or three people around you– without touching them– the show must go on? The show must go

on. 

And I want to show you that it is that spirit that’s at the heart of what happened on the day Jesus rose, specifically as we look at Easter person number one– Mary Magdalene.

Verse 1, chapter 16, Mark’s gospel, it says, now when the Sabbath was passed, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and the Italian Salome– brought spices, because it’s a spicy salami– that they might come and anoint him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

And they said among themselves, who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us? But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe, sitting on the right side. And they were alarmed. But he

said to them, do not be alarmed. You see Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen. And the church said? I just talked about Jesus rising from the dead. I said, and the church said? He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you into Galilee. There you will see him, as he said to you, This is the greatest show. With apologies to the circus, there has never been a greater show than this one. This is the resurrection from the dead. This is the linchpin of our salvation. This is the cornerstone of our faith. This is the hope that we will go to the grave with. This is what will bring us through the valley of the shadow of death. This is

our victory. The greatest show. I don’t know how you react to like me calling the resurrection of Jesus a show. You’re like, I don’t know. A show is fake. A show– No, no, no. If you look in the dictionary under the word show, you’ll see a display, or you’ll see one of my favorite words– a spectacle. a spectacle. Paul literally said that when Christ rose, there was a spectacle that took place– not only on earth, but in heaven, and in the corridors of eternity. And it, for sure, reverberated through the quarters of hell, too.

In fact, Paul put it this way. Speaking about the spectacle of the resurrection, he said that on the day that Christ died and rose, he took away the weapons of the powers of the authorities. He made a public show of them. Talk about an end zone dance? The devil thought that he had defeated Jesus when he nailed him to the cross. Turned

out, he pounded those three nails into his own coffin. I’m telling you, when Christ rose from the dead, he stripped demon powers. He stripped the devil of authority and honor. And he drag them naked and bound. It was a victory parade.

This is the greatest show, that Christ rose from the dead– a display of power, a spectacle of the enemy, who thought he could take us into the grave, who thought he could drag us into hell with him. But Christ grabbed us from the jaws of death. He grabbed just from our sin. He nursed us back to health. He gave us his life. The resurrection of Christ from the dead is our hope. Without it, we are in vain. Without it we believe in vain. Without it we gather in vain. Without it we trust God in vain.

It’s Christ’s victory over death that can give us hope no matter what we face in this life. And guess what? For this great show, Mary had a front row seat. Mary Magdalene, she had a front row seat. A front row seat in our house is code for– Cindi and I were making out. It all started when we were smooching. And Lauren walked around thecorner, and caught us, caught us kissing. And it’s OK. We’re married. And she’s like ugh. And we’re like uh. And she goes, front row seat. She didn’t like it. She didn’t like it. She did not like it. And so now anytime my kids sense PDA, they just go front row seat? And they’re just like, doing it over avert our eyes? And it’s Cindi’s fault. She’s so fine, I’ll tell you what right now. From row seat. Mary had a front row seat to the greatest show, which is, she was, She, was the first in line to see it. She got to be a part of it. Mark goes on. We’re not going to read his account any further. But he does go on to

actually detail her bumping into Jesus. He just, in a few versus, kind of gives the essence of it. But she got to have a front row seat. And what I want to do is talk about why. I want to talk about how. Because if we’re not careful, it could seem that itwas just a lucky coincidence for her. Man, lucky Mary. Magdalene and her friend Salome, they got to see Jesus rise from the dead. Man, it almost seems like they were just in the right place at the right time. And there’s sort of this fluke thing. Could have been any of the other disciples, but she just got to be the one.

And I want to show you that is not the case, that it was, in fact, the result of a faithful life that led to this climactic victory. And it’s important we talk about that. Why? Because one of the greatest mistakes that a leader can make

is to only analyze their failures, and to sort of assume that the victories will just continue, right? I, for sure, know as a leader, that I do, I do forensic analysis of a failure. Almost like that sink the ships spirit, you know, in a Titanic disaster? Sink the ship. and exhaust everything to understand the failure. Now it is known, in a Titanic disaster. Revist the sight until the true failure is known. Now it isimportant to try and assess why you failed in an endeavor, what you did wrong in a business, how you mentally broke and why your team failed to do what they were there to do. We need to look into our failures. But one of the greatest things you can do as a leader is also do an autopsy on a success. And the mistake that you can make is to coast because something went right, and it really dig in when something went wrong. But sometimes that can be fruitless. But the better question is, how did we do what we did

right, so that we can do more of what we did right? You don’t get to automatically repeat a victory unless you

understand what it was that you did right.

So what one example of this is, your kid brings home the report cards. And you see Ds and a C and a B. And where do you go as a parent? To the Ds. What’s wrong here? Why is this not working? Why, well, tell me about the Ds. And we just want to understand, why are you not doing good in these areas? Why do you have these Cs? We focus and harp on the Ds. You’re missing the point. There’s a B. So they’re capable of success. So what about that B? Talk about the B. Dissect the B. Figure out what’s happening in the B, and how do we spread what’s happening in the B to the D, instead of trying to bring the D up to the B? You see, you’ve got to do the autopsy on the successes, and not just

the failures. So Mary here, I think you’ll agree with me, is having a success story. It’s a great moment. She’s getting to see the empty tomb. She’s getting a– she’s having an angel encounter. This is an angel encounter. Angel– someone say angel encounter

That’s a big deal, an angel encounter. Epic moment. But how did she get there? Oh, for that, we got to go back to Luke chapter 8. You see, it’s her origin story. Every great hero– and Mary Magdalene has been called one of the examples of pure devotion in the entire Bible, by the way. So that’s an epic moment. She’s flexing her superhero

powers.

But the origin story– well, her roots were humble. In Luke chapter 8, we’re told, now it came to pass– and this is, by the way, very early on in Jesus’ ministry– afterward, that he went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the Kingdom of God. How did that work? Well, the 12 were with him. When we think of Jesus’ support squad, our minds, many of us, automatically go to his 12 disciples. Because the teamwork makes the dream work. And if Jesus is preaching the

gospel to every city and getting this message in this news out to every place, we know he can’t do that alone. The great hallmark of a courageous leader is their ability to empower, see greatness in other people, watch their vision be multiplied through lots of different talented individuals. And we think, well, Jesus is doing an amazing thing.

Well, he had to have a team. Absolutely, he had a team. And the 12 were just the beginning. So how did it work that he went everywhere, doing all that he was able to do? How is it that the 12 were able to go everywhere and do all they were called to do? For that, we have to keep reading, where it says, and certain women– that’s how Jesus did what he did. Y’all, certain women– where are my God honoring women at? How was Jesus able to do what he called to do? Certain women. What was their story? Who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities. Well what about the disciples? Were still hoping they would get healed of their evil spirits and infirmities. But these women had been healed and been touched. And they were serving Jesus in a powerful way.

What did it look like? Well, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons— now I don’t care how you count. That’s a lot of demons, right? The way I reckon, anything over three is a bunch, you know? Seven demons. This girl was an unholy Holiday Inn. You know what I’m saying? And it says, verse 3, she wasn’t alone. Mary also had Joanna the wife of Chuza– I don’t know who that is. Oh, it’s

Herod’s steward. Ah. And Susanna– do not forget Susanna. But they weren’t alone either. Because it says of these women, and there were many others who provided for him from their substance. We tend to focus on, when we think of what Jesus did, the actual boots on the ground– his hand on them, raising the widow of [ Nathan’s ] son, doing this work in this place, doing this in that place. But Luke, who’s been called

the Gospel of womanhood, because he so often brings to our attention the amazing cast of rocking biblical women who served God in powerful ways, he tells us yeah, Jesus did all this. And his disciples helped him out. But don’t you dare forget about Susanna and Mary and all these rocking women, the mother of Salome, the mother of James, the mother of– these women were the ones who said, hey, listen, we’ll serve so that you can go. We’ll be here doing what’s needed, so you can do the ministry that you’re called to do, Jesus. So for Mary, it wasn’t just this fluke thing that caused her to be able to see Jesus rise from the dead and get to be a part of this most important, greatest story ever told. For her, it was a way of life, beginning when she started out at rock bottom, and Jesus touched her. So now, with that in mind, that she was regularly doing what she did, and that’s how she got to be a part of that day, we come to John chapter 20, where we’re going to circle back on Mary and read the same story we read a minute ago. But we’re going to see it from a different point of view. 

Bookmark this page to read the account of Mary and Jesus from Luke’s part of view in your next post.

It’s about His Finished Work not Your Works.

Bible Scripture Reading Mark 16. “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. [The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20.] When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”

Mark 16:1-20 NIV

https://www.bible.com/111/mrk.16.1-20.niv

Battling Your Mind to Choose Love

Choose Love for a Blessed Life

Are You Mindful of Choosing Love?

Are you lovable?  Are you mindful to love God and Others?

The title of today’s message is Battling Your Mind to Choose Love.  

Prayer – Let us open with prayer.  Heavenly father, thank you for those listening or watching (and reading) this message.  They are seeking your word and a relationship with you.  Open their hearts and minds to receive your glory from the message.  Help them learn how you perceive love and want it to be applied.  Also, heal those who are sick, comfort those who need this today, lift up our church and country, and forgive us for our sins.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Some people have bought into the myth that love is uncontrollable, that it’s an emotion that just happens to us. In fact, even the language we use implies the coincidence of love.   The meme, “I fell in love,” sounds as if “ love”  were some kind of object to trip over.      I’m walking along one day and—bam!—I fell in love. I couldn’t help myself.

But here’s the truth: That’s not how our mind works. Love doesn’t just happen to you. Love is a choice, and it represents a daily commitment. There’s no doubt that attraction arises, and you may fill uncontrollable. But attraction is not love. It can lead to love, but it is not love.   Love is a choice.  Our mind will frame to either give and receive love or to hold back and push away love.  The commitment which comes with love includes more than emotion, it includes the time, talent and resources you choose to give and receive.

The other day in a Facebook group about finding love, I saw a post with a picture of a heart. Of course, the heart symbolizes love.  There were words in the middle of the heart which said, “it’s all about you”.  Do you find that if a person chooses to focus on themselves, and their problems that is loveable?  What if they break promises because there thinking about themselves, is this an attractive quality?     Does the saying “it’s all about you” give you the idea that if you choose this route you could make yourself more lovable?   Actually, I believe you could make it difficult for your friends and family and friends to be close to you.  And no where in the bible does it indicate that love is “all about you”.   God says he won’t force you to love him (Deuteronomy 30:20).  .   You can choose to unlike, unfollow, and ignore the Bible and God.  You could go a totally different way. You can destroy your life if you choose to do that. God still won’t force you to love him, or others. God won’t force you to receive this blessing of love either.  God gives you free will to love him. He says he give you the choice for prosperity, blessings, long life if you follow his word.  But it’s all up to you.

Declaration:  Please repeat out loud.  It’s not all about me.  The bible says, its about God and others.  I choose to love my Heavenly Father and follow bible principles.  

close up photo of bible
Use the Bible for Moral Principles of Life. Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

Paul tells the Philippian church,  in order to have God’s peace, you should give love through things that are good, deserve praise, and are honorable,  (Philippians 4:8-9).    In addition,  Jesus  tells us that the most important rules in the bible is to love God and love your Neighbor. Loving your neighbor means giving freely, sharing, and being generous for those in trouble, the poor, and the needy.   So you see, love is more than an emotion or words.  Love comes through your mindful honorable actions towards God and our neighbors.  I like to think of this as giving my time, talent, and resources to God.   So give and receive love.  If your falling short choose to renew your mind.  

Declaration: 

I choose to renew my mind and love my Heavenly Father whole heartedly.   I will love him by generously giving my time, talent, or resources to him.  This giving would be to my church, the poor or the needy.   If I’m the one in need, I will ask for help and graciously receive God’s provision through the flock of Jesus.  

Meditation:  During relaxing music do the following:

  1. Ask the Holy Spirt if you are being lovable by your actions?  If your following short say a prayer to be more loving and to  give love and blessings.  
  2. Give God thanks that he gives you the choice to love him.   Thank Jesus for his sacrifice.  Because of Jesus, even when we do not choose to be loveable God will forgive us and allow us to come back to him.
  3. Consider what people in your life are true friends and have demonstrated the truth that love is a choice and a commitment?  These people should be a source of encouragement and a role model. 

Thank you for staying with me through this “Speaking God’s Word” message.    I pray God’s Love to you until  the next time.     If God leads you, subscribe to these messages or give to this ministry your time, talent, or resources  I will receive your love.  Just contact me in the links. 

Scriptures Related to this message.

“Give freely and spontaneously. Don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers GOD, your God’s, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.”

Deuteronomy 15:10-11 MSG

“See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 NIV

Stained Glass Heart by Christine Tyler

“In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable. Put into practice what you learned and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.”

Philippians 4:8-9 GNTD

“Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Matthew 22:37-39 NIV

Children’s Bible Activity

wood bridge cute sitting

Listen to God calls Samuel

Watch God Calls Samuel

The Story of First Samuel 1- 3.Samuel (CEV)

Samel served the Lord by helping Eli the priest, who was by that time almost blind. In those days, the Lord hardly ever spoke directly to people, and he did not appear to them in dreams very often. But one night, Eli was asleep in his room, and Samuel was sleeping on a mat near the sacred chest in the Lord’s house. They had not been asleep very long[a] when the Lord called out Samuel’s name.

“Here I am!” Samuel answered. Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. What do you want?”

“I didn’t call you,” Eli answered. “Go back to bed.”

Samuel went back.

Again the Lord called out Samuel’s name. Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “What do you want?”

Eli told him, “Son, I didn’t call you. Go back to sleep.”

The Lord had not spoken to Samuel before, and Samuel did not recognize the voice. When the Lord called out his name for the third time, Samuel went to Eli again and said, “Here I am. What do you want?”

Eli finally realized that it was the Lord who was speaking to Samuel. So he said, “Go back and lie down! If someone speaks to you again, answer, ‘I’m listening, Lord. What do you want me to do?’”

Once again Samuel went back and lay down.

10 The Lord then stood beside Samuel and called out as he had done before, “Samuel! Samuel!”

“I’m listening,” Samuel answered. “What do you want me to do?”

11 The Lord said:

Samuel, I am going to do something in Israel that will shock everyone who hears about it! 12 I will punish Eli and his family, just as I promised. 13 He knew that his sons refused to respect me,[b] and he let them get away with it, even though I said I would punish his family forever. 14 I warned Eli that sacrifices or offerings could never make things right! His family has done too many disgusting things.

15 The next morning, Samuel got up and opened the doors to the Lord’s house. He was afraid to tell Eli what the Lord had said. 16 But Eli told him, “Samuel, my boy, come here!”

“Here I am,” Samuel answered.

17 Eli said, “What did God say to you? Tell me everything. I pray that God will punish you terribly if you don’t tell me every word he said!”

18 Samuel told Eli everything. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord, and he will do what’s right.”

The Lord Helps Samuel

19 As Samuel grew up, the Lord helped him and made everything Samuel said come true. 20 From the town of Dan in the north to the town of Beersheba in the south, everyone in the country knew that Samuel was truly the Lord’s prophet. 21 The Lord often appeared to Samuel at Shiloh and told him what to say. 

Footnotes

  1. 3.3 They. . . long: The Hebrew text has “The lamp was still burning.” An olive oil lamp would go out after a few hours if the wick was not adjusted.
  2. 3.13 refused. . . me: Or “were insulting everyone.”
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Other Blog Posts to Read

Easter

Easter Story Message of Jesus This message has been adapted from Life Church and Fresh Life Church. Reference: (Fresh Life Church | The Show Must Go On | Pastor Levi Lusko | Easter People, pt. 1) In God’s Providence, I had, we had, been planning to spend the weeks between now and Easter really getting …

Continue reading Easter

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Listen or Watch our Speaking God’s Word Series

Do You have Endurance in Learning the Bible?

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Do you have endurance in reading or learning the Bible?

Do you ever remember picking up the Bible and saying to yourself “this is hard to read”? 

 Did you know that God provided all the rules of living a long, healthy life in the Bible?  There are also many stories to help you know you are loved and protected by His Holy Spirit.   

Keep reading this message (or listening if you’re hearing this message on podcast) to find out more.

For the new Bible reader, it is true that the Bible is hard to read.  Just looking at a book of mostly words and over 1500 pages is quite intimidating.   I believe everyone has been there.  I was blessed to be given a children’s story book with lots of pictures as a child.  I’m sure the pictures are what kept my interest.  This Bible was a manageable size and explained the most well-known stories such as the parting of the Red Seas during Moses’ time and God’s laws given to the Israelites. 

I listened intently of a story given by Pastor Henry Reyenga Junior.  His own story of learning the Bible included daily readings at the dinner table with his family.  His story included how his Grandmother read him a scripture which led him to become a pastor. 

But if you’re an adult and didn’t have the opportunity to learn the bible as a child.  The best ways would be to find a friend who is already teaching the Bible, find a Community Bible Study at a local church or in an interactive online setting.  When you do this, you will find volunteers or paid staff whose true desire is to see you build your relationship with God and Christ.  When you build this relationship, you will be caught up in the love and excitement of God’s purpose for you in Life.  You may become so enthralled with his love, mercy, forgiveness, truth, and strength that you may over time even want to teach others. 

person reading book
If God’s Word Abide in You, Ask what you wish and it Will be done.

Jesus lovingly tells us, If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15:7 ESV).  To know his words, you must study the bible.

Declaration: Repeat after me. “Jesus I wish to abide in you and know your word the bible, I can ask whatever I wish and it will be done!

In Exodus 20, our Heavenly Father spoke directly to his people.  He reminded them what he’s done for them and gave them simple rules to follow.  The rules are called the ten commandments.  These rules in summary, were  to put God above anything else, to refrain from making carved images of other gods and  not to worship other gods.   He shared that he is loyal to those who love him and follow his commands.  He told his people  to never curse while using His name or use his name  without reverence.  He required them to take one day off a week without work (most people today take Sunday’s off). Honor your parents.  And also,  we must not murder, do adultery, steal, lie or be jealous.    It’s impressive that all these rules are laid out in a small chapter in the Bible. Imagine how much more you could learn about life and how to please our Heavenly Father by reading/listening to the Bible regularly.

black female freelancer using computer with dog
God is Loyal to those who Love Him.

For a declaration repeat after me. God is loyal to those who Love Him and I wish to Love Him with All my Heart!

If you want to jump in on reading the bible, it will take endurance.  You will need to read the Bible often.  It is preferable to read every day and meditate on what you’ve read.  It’s easier to have group to read with, this will motivate and encourage you to have the endurance to read. And this will connect you with community.

During the music, meditate on how often you are reading the Bible.  Is it on a regular basis?  If not, pray to God that he could lead you to a study group to help build your knowledge of the Bible.

We have free Bible Studies on Tuesday and Wednesdays (Live and Zoom).  Contact us or Sign up to read the Bible with us today! 

Scripture Reading Exodus 20

Exodus 20 1-26

“God spoke, and these were his words: “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, where you were slaves. “Worship no god but me. “Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the water under the earth. Do not bow down to any idol or worship it, because I am the Lord your God and I tolerate no rivals. I bring punishment on those who hate me and, on their descendants, down to the third and fourth generation. But I show my love to thousands of generations of those who love me and obey my laws. “Do not use my name for evil purposes, for I, the Lord your God, will punish anyone who misuses my name. “Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy. You have six days in which to do your work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to me. On that day no one is to work—neither you, your children, your slaves, your animals, nor the foreigners who live in your country. In six days I, the Lord, made the earth, the sky, the seas, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That is why I, the Lord, blessed the Sabbath and made it holy. “Respect your father and your mother, so that you may live a long time in the land that I am giving you. “Do not commit murder. “Do not commit adultery. “Do not steal. “Do not accuse anyone falsely. “Do not desire another man’s house; do not desire his wife, his slaves, his cattle, his donkeys, or anything else that he owns.” When the people heard the thunder and the trumpet blast and saw the lightning and the smoking mountain, they trembled with fear and stood a long way off. They said to Moses, “If you speak to us, we will listen; but we are afraid that if God speaks to us, we will die.” Moses replied, “Don’t be afraid; God has only come to test you and make you keep on obeying him, so that you will not sin.” But the people continued to stand a long way off, and only Moses went near the dark cloud where God was. The Lord commanded Moses to tell the Israelites: “You have seen how I, the Lord, have spoken to you from heaven. Do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gold to be worshiped in addition to me. Make an altar of earth for me, and on it sacrifice your sheep and your cattle as offerings to be completely burned and as fellowship offerings. In every place that I set aside for you to worship me, I will come to you and bless you. If you make an altar of stone for me, do not build it out of cut stones, because when you use a chisel on stones, you make them unfit for my use. Do not build an altar for me with steps leading up to it; if you do, you will expose yourselves as you go up the steps.”

Exodus 20:1-26 GNTD

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Psalm 73:28
Verse Concepts
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

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Mindfulness

leafless tree growing in field
In the Bible God caught a Bush on Fire to get Moses’ Attention

Is God working in your life? What commands your attention In Life? 

The subject of today’s message is from Exodus 3-4 on how God works to get your attention and what he will do for you.    

PRAYER: God of all creation, open our hearts and minds to give you our full attention.  To learn from your word, the bible.  Thank you for all you do in our lives.  We pray for our community, peace in our country, strong churches, and for your will to be done.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

In the Bible, in Exodus chapters 3 and 4 God meets with Moses. First, God draws Moses attention to a burning bush.   Once he has Moses’ attention, he calls out to him.  He tells Moses know that he has been watching over the Israelite people and that he wants to help them. Next, he sets Moses on an adventure with his people, gives him complete directions for this journey.  The Lord also gives Moses the ability to provide miracles so that the Egyptian people will believe that God sent Moses. 

From this story, you can be encouraged that if you learn to look for God working in your life, by paying attention for his signs, he will speak to you.  He will speak to you in quiet words, through people, through scriptures or through signs.   Also, when you feel weak or too weak to carry on, God will send family, friends or companions to help you through difficult times.

Every year, companies spend trillions of dollars in order to capture your focus (and the focus of your family and friends). They bid for our every emotion possible: fear, happiness, desire, even loneliness.  This is because they know that if they have your attention, they can mold your mind.  Once they have your attention it’s easy to persuade you in all sorts of subjects, make you choose them over more important matters and even get you to buy things you don’t really need.   When your thoughts are dominated by movies, the news, politics, and the never-ending scroll of your social media, you’re not in the best version of yourself. 

God is waiting for you to move in CLOSER before he calls you by name. What does this mean for you? In the midst of your routine, maybe when you least expect it, God will surprise you with an invitation to come to him. But you will have to be on the lookout for him. 

There are many times in the Bible when people ignored God’s call because they were too distracted by other, less important tasks. Be on the lookout for God, and when he calls your name, respond like Moses can see, “here I am”.   Once you respond to God, he will send you on a delightful journey.  One of adventure, peace, joy, purpose, and everlasting life.  

Meditation.  Think about God’s interactions with Moses. Think about the guidance, miracles, and how God had been watching all along before speaking with Moses.  Pray to him that you will move closer to Him and that you will act on his will for you in his life.  Thank him for the upcoming adventure and blessings. 

Scripture Reading: Exodus Ch 3-4

five white sheep on farm
In the Bible Moses was tending Sheep when God was able to get Moses’ Attention.

“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” 

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. 

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 

So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “ I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘ I am has sent me to you.’ ” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation. 

“Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’ “The elders of Israel will listen to you. 

Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go. “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.””

Exodus 3:1-22 NIV

“GOD said to Moses, “Reach out and grab it by the tail.” He reached out and grabbed it—and he was holding his staff again. “That’s so they will trust that GOD appeared to you, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

“So if they don’t trust you and aren’t convinced by the first sign, the second sign should do it. But if it doesn’t, if even after these two signs they don’t trust you and listen to your message, take some water out of the Nile and pour it out on the dry land; the Nile water that you pour out will turn to blood when it hits the ground.”

GOD said, “And who do you think made the human mouth? And who makes some mute, some deaf, some sighted, some blind? Isn’t it I, GOD? So, get going. I’ll be right there with you—with your mouth! I’ll be right there to teach you what to say.”

GOD got angry with Moses: “Don’t you have a brother, Aaron the Levite? He’s good with words, I know he is. He speaks very well. In fact, at this very moment he’s on his way to meet you. When he sees you he’s going to be glad. You’ll speak to him and tell him what to say. I’ll be right there with you as you speak and with him as he speaks, teaching you step by step. He will speak to the people for you. He’ll act as your mouth, but you’ll decide what comes out of it. Now take this staff in your hand; you’ll use it to do the signs.”

GOD said to Moses, “When you get back to Egypt, be prepared: All the wonders that I will do through you, you’ll do before Pharaoh. But I will make him stubborn so that he will refuse to let the people go. Then you are to tell Pharaoh, ‘ GOD ’s Message: Israel is my son, my firstborn! I told you, “Free my son so that he can serve me.” But you refused to free him. So now I’m going to kill your son, your firstborn.’”

On the journey back, as they camped for the night, GOD met Moses and would have killed him but Zipporah took a flint knife and cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched Moses’ member with it. She said, “Oh! You’re a bridegroom of blood to me!” Then GOD let him go. She used the phrase “bridegroom of blood” because of the circumcision.

GOD spoke to Aaron, “Go and meet Moses in the wilderness.” He went and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. Moses told Aaron the message that GOD had sent him to speak and the wonders he had commanded him to do.

So Moses and Aaron proceeded to round up all the leaders of Israel. Aaron told them everything that GOD had told Moses and demonstrated the wonders before the people. And the people trusted and listened believingly that GOD was concerned with what was going on with the Israelites and knew all about their affliction. They bowed low and they worshiped. Moses objected, “They won’t trust me. They won’t listen to a word I say. They’re going to say, ‘ GOD? Appear to him? Hardly!’” So GOD said, “What’s that in your hand?” “A staff.” “Throw it on the ground.” He threw it. It became a snake; Moses jumped back—fast!

GOD then said, “Put your hand inside your shirt.” He slipped his hand under his shirt, then took it out. His hand had turned leprous, like snow. He said, “Put your hand back under your shirt.” He did it, then took it back out—as healthy as before.

Moses raised another objection to GOD: “Master, please, I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer.”

He said, “Oh, Master, please! Send somebody else!”

Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said, “I need to return to my relatives who are in Egypt. I want to see if they’re still alive.” Jethro said, “Go. And peace be with you.” GOD said to Moses in Midian: “Go. Return to Egypt. All the men who wanted to kill you are dead.” So Moses took his wife and sons and put them on a donkey for the return trip to Egypt. He had a firm grip on the staff of God.”

Exodus 4:1-31 MSG

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In the Bible Scriptures of Genesis, Adam and Eve were tricked into eating the Apple.

Genesis 3 Perceiving the Truth from the Lie.

Genesis 6 Having Faith to do what God asks.

Happy New Year!  It’s good to be in 2021, a new year,  and to leave 2020 behind.  So many crazy, wonky events happened in 2020.  Our whole way of life changed.   Let’s all pray that 2021 changes course and improves.   But as a reminder, no matter what happens, God is still in control.    God is in control as long as you remain in him (John 15).    Even any New Year’s resolutions you have our Heavenly Father is in charge.  Are you thinking of any New Year’s Resolutions?  Maybe dieting, exercising, spending more time with your family reading the Bible?  If you read the internet, you will see posts about the high percentage of people who are never able to complete their New Year’s resolution.    That could be why God has led me to talk about mindfulness and the Bible.  

Scientists have shown that what you “think” of will be what you gravitate towards.  If it’s a bad habit that you mull over and over, you could easily move towards that action.   And since we have given the Self Control by God to master of our minds, we must be mindful and practice this. If you have a thought which isn’t in line with what the Bible teaches don’t let your mind take over.  For example, Eve never would have thought to eat the apple on her own.  She had the help of a clever snake to cause her to think about the apple and crave it. And the apple was beautiful to look at.  And too bad she must have followed that craving. She ate from the tree of knowledge of a lie.  And now because of her sin we all know there is a lie and the truth. And we let our lack of self-control of our mind get the best of us.   We must understand that the lie is out there and use mindfulness.  Lemmings are an animal who will follow each other to their death.  When one falls off a cliff, the others will move together to migrate off the cliff just like the first.  Adam did something similar; he followed Eve’s lead and did not follow his creator’s rule, he used no self-control or patience to wait to find God and talk with him.  Thankfully, Jesus Christ came to this world to take our sins away to that we can walk with God again in the Spirit. 

Declaration of faith.  Thankfully, Jesus Christ came to this world to take our sins away to that we can walk with God again in the Spirit. 

Let us review Genesis 1 of the story of Eve eating the apple.  

1The Lord God made many wild animals. But the snake was the most clever of them all. The snake asked the woman, ‘Did God say, “You must not eat the fruit from any tree in the garden”? Is that really true?’

2The woman replied, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden. 3But God said, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. You must not even touch it. If you do that, you will die.” ’

4Then the snake said to the woman, ‘No, you will not die. 5God knows that when you eat the fruit from this tree, you will understand things. You will become like God himself. You will know about good things and evil things.’ 

6The woman looked at the fruit on the tree. She saw that it would be good to eat, and it was beautiful to look at. She wanted to eat it because it would make her become wise. So, she took some fruit and she ate it. Then she gave some of the fruit to her husband who was with her. He also ate it.

7Then they understood things.  They understood that they were not wearing any clothes. So, they took some leaves from figtrees. They fixed them together to cover their bodies.

8In the evening there was a nice cool wind. The Lord God walked in the garden. The man and the woman heard the sound of the Lord God. They hid themselves behind some trees, so that God would not see them. 9The Lord God called out to the man. He said to him, ‘Where are you?’

10The man replied, ‘I heard you in the garden. I was afraid because I had no clothes. So I hid myself from you.’

11The Lord God said, ‘Who told you that you had no clothes? Have you eaten fruit from the tree that I said you must not eat?’

12The man said, ‘It was the woman that you put here with me. She gave me some fruit from the tree. So I ate it.’

13Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘Why have you done a thing like that?’ The woman replied, ‘It was the snake. The snake deceived me with a lie. So I ate the fruit.’

14The Lord God said to the snake, ‘Because you have done this, I will curse you.  Among all the livestock and wild animals, you are the one that I will curse. From now on, you will move across the ground on your stomach. You will eat dust from the ground. You will do this for your whole life.

15I will cause you and the woman to become enemies. Your descendants and her descendants will always be enemies. One of her descendants will attack your head.  You will attack his foot.’

16God said to the woman, ‘I will make it much more painful for you when you give birth to children. You will want to please your husband. But he will rule over you as your master.’

17Then God said to Adam,  ‘You listened to your wife and you did what she said. You ate fruit from the tree after I told you, “You must not eat fruit from this tree.” Because you did that, I will curse the ground. You will have to work very hard to make plants grow in it for your food. It will be like this for your whole life. 18Thorn bushes and thistles will grow in the ground.  You will have to eat plants that grow in the fields. 19You will have to work hard for a long time before you have any food to eat. You will do this for your whole life until you die. Then you will return into the ground. That is where you came from. I made you from the soil of the ground, and you will become soil again.’

20Adam gave his wife a name. He called her Eve. This was because she would become the mother of all people. 

21The Lord God made clothes for Adam and Eve to wear. He used the skins from animals to make them.

22The Lord God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us because he understands good and evil. So, we must not let him take fruit from the tree that gives life. If he eats that fruit, he will live forever.’

23So, the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden. To get his food, Adam had to dig the ground that God had used to make him. 24Then God put special angels to guard the garden. God put them on the east side of the garden. There was also a sword of fire that moved quickly from side to side.  As a result, nobody could go near to the tree that gives life. (Genesis 3 Easy Bible).

Interpretation of Genesis 3 and the Craving of the Apple.

And so you see, Adam and Eve made choices. No one forced them to eat the Apple. But as you know, without the temptation of the mind, they would have left the apple uneaten.  But they did, they entertained that evil thought and became separated From God.  

You are in constant battle for your mind. That’s where the temptation begins. When God gives you an idea that’s inspiration. But when the devil gives you an idea, that’s temptation.  Every day you have to choose which ideas you’re going to accept. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:17 . Accept God’s Salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the spirit which is the word of God. In other words, the Bible is saying if you want to overcome temptation you need to resist the devil, you accept God Salvation as your helmet. What does the helmet do?  The helmet protects your mind and your mind is where the battle against temptation is fought.   

Before you can say no to the devil, you have to say yes to Jesus Christ.  congregation repeat after me.   I say yes to Jesus Christ.  I accept God’s helmet to protect my mind. 

Congregation:  I say yes to Jesus Christ.  I accept God’s helmet to protect my mind. 

Declaration of Faith.   I will take the sword of the spirit which is the word of God and keep it close to my heart. 

————————————————————

Exercising your use of the Bible.

The second step you would need to take is take the sword of the spirit which is the word of God and use it against temptations. This means you would review scripture to make temptation flee. If you only keep your Bible on your desk or on your phone but never pick it up and read it, what good will it be if you’re tempted at work, at school, and traffic?  Wouldn’t that be like having a motorcycle helmet or a bicycle helmet and not wearing it while going 100 mph?   You must review scripture regularly so that it is in your mind and your heart. The Holy Spirit will bring it back to your mind at the moment of temptation. 

photo of mountain under cloudy sky
Noah was a good man and God blessed his family because Noah lived completely right.

The Character of Noah (Genesis 6:9-14)

“This is the report about Noah and his family. Noah was a good man. He was the only person at that time who lived in a completely right way. He stayed near to God in his life. Noah became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth. God saw that everything on the earth had become spoiled. Everywhere, people were attacking each other. God saw how much the earth had become spoiled. Everyone was doing bad things. God said to Noah, ‘I am going to destroy everyone. That is what I have decided to do. Everywhere on the earth, people are attacking each other. Now I will destroy the people and also the earth. So, make a boat for yourself. Use wood from cypress trees to make it. The boat must have rooms in it. Cover the inside and the outside of the boat with tar.”

(Genesis 6:9-14 EASY)

“Noah obeyed God. He did everything that God had told him to do.”

(Genesis 6:22 EASY)

Declaration of Faith:  Wow, Noah obeyed everything God told him to do.   God help me, I pray you increase my faith.  I want to obey everything you ask of me.  I will be mindful to focus on your will in my life. 

Have you noticed that the moment you establish a goal in your life you start hearing people put seeds of doubt in your mind? “Who do you think you are?”  “Or that can’t be done. “The solution to the voice of doubt is to listen to the voice of God instead.   Imagine all the critics in Noah’s life who said,” that guy Noah thinks God speaks to him, but he’s just messing up all of our property values by building that awful arc in his front yard”. The Bible tells us Noah listened to God. And what did he hear?  Noah heard God’s warning that the world was going to be destroyed. Noah believed and acted on what he could not seek. That is the faith of a mustard seed. God is going to give you goals this year for your life, and some people won’t agree with you. But stay focused on what you know God has said to you through prayer and through his word. Go tackle that big arc. 

Closing Prayer

God as we end our service, we are thankful for Jesus.  He takes away our sins when we selfishly follow our ways instead of your will. We reaffirm that we wish to be more like Noah and so you will see goodness from us.    We ask you to send Jesus in our heart.   We know you are working behind the scenes for our purpose and we pray for the health of our country, for the leadership of churches worldwide, we pray for our local and national leaders that they hear and obey your will.  We pray for favor and protection over our families this week.  You are a glorious God and we love you!  In Jesus Name I pray.  Amen.

References: Rick Warren Open Doors, Easy Bible, Life Church Resources. 

Scripture and Christian Song of the Day

Holding the word of God next to your heart will protect you and lead you towards His will. God will talk to you through his scripture. When he does this, pay attention because through the spirit he is talking directly to you. For example, sometimes I’ll have a scripture in my head, hear someone say that scripture and then see it in print from a text I receive.

Be Strong and Courageous Deuteronomy 31:6
Reman in me to bear much fruit. John 15:5
Give thanks, serve with gladness, and come to him with singing! Psalm 100:1

Bible Scripture Review.

Subscribe to be Blessed by Encouraging Messages from God. Remember to be doers of the word. James 1:22. Psalm 73:28Verse ConceptsBut as for me, the nearness of God is my good;I have made the Lord God my refuge,That I may tell of all Your works.

Mindfulness

Is God working in your life? What commands your attention In Life?  The subject of today’s message is from Exodus 3-4 on how God works to get your attention and what he will do for you.     PRAYER: God of all creation, open our hearts and minds to give you our full attention.  To learn from your …

Continue reading Mindfulness

photo of head bust print artwork

Mindfulness Series #1. The Battle in Your Mind.

Use the Fruit of the Spirit and Prayer for the Battle in your mind.

God is guiding me again. I hear the same word over and over from the Holy Spirit. The word is “mindfulness”. This is the subject I should be sharing with you. The daydreams and visons came during my preparation for Christmas Eve Service. I searched the internet for mindfulness interpretations concerning bible scripture. There are very few messages on mindfulness written in the Bible. This is ok, as I have experience as a parent, when dealing with mindfulness. I’ve decided to use my experience, as well as a study devotional, called Mastermind from Craig Groshel of Life Church. Mindfulness is a coping mechanism to deal with depression, worry and stress.

My first experience with the words mindfulness came when my daughter was in middle school.   She suffered a terrible bout of depression, skipping school, drugs, and running off.  The usual adult tactics often used on children weren’t working for her. Well meaning people were using denial with her suffering (oh she’ll get over it) , blaming (oh, she wants attention), segregation from friends (suspensions), and medications.  All these things didn’t work.  The National Institute of Health states that suicide is actually the second cause of death between ages 10 to 34. Suicide is sadly the leading cause of death in the United States. More of us really need to learn and use Mindfulness.

Thankfully, I never gave up on my daughter, which I’d seen some parents do. Where I lived at the time, I was told by therapists that parent’s give up and just move away leaving their children on the street. This was a real eye opener for me. The guidance from my Holy Spirit and the Bible is what I used to cope with the enormity of my problem. The bible teaches that we need to use the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control). I was using the fruit of the spirt everyday in my situation. One city authority, not a therapist, had told me to lock her out of the house as punishment, my God given wisdom told me that this would only be causing cause her to cling on to predators out on the street. I eventually chose to put us through several mental health programs. One was called mindfulless training. It’s a way to learn how to gain awareness of your emotional thoughts and better manage these thoughts to cope with life and destress.

Repeat the Bible Declaration

Galatians 5:22-26
Mindfulness – I will use the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;

Besides depression, another battle of the mind is worry. If we don’t practice mindfulness and self control of the mind we could easily become depressed and fearful. We can worry about all sorts of things. We worry about deadlines, if we turned the stove off, where our kids are, or if we don’t hear from our friends and family. The apostle Paul addressed the church in Philipi telling them not to worry.

Repeat the Mindfulness Bible Declaration.

“Do not worry about anything. Instead, pray to God about everything. Ask him to help you with the things that you need. And thank him for his help.” Philippians 4:6 EASY

Meditiation: Pray to God and ask him to help you be more mindful of your thoughts, to use the fruit of the spirit with your mind and towards others. Ask him for help whenever you need self control over world.

If you enjoyed this message, please share it with a friend and subscribe to the blog so you can be updated. God’s Blessings to you today!

  

 

Do you know when an Angel Shares with Mary about the Birth of Jesus?

Below you will see the scripture from Luke chapter 1 :26-36. This is a very important story, it reveals when an angel from God shares with Mary that she will become pregnant with Jesus. She graciously accepts this news and explains that she is a servant of God. May we meditate on our own circumstances and when there is an opportunity to serve God let us also graciously except the challenge given to us. Accepting these challenge with a good attitude will demonstrate our love for God and encourage others concerning our faith.

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭1:26-36, 38‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Advent during the Holiday Season

What is advent and why do we celebrate it?

Advent has a different meaning depending on the Christian Religion; however, the primary purpose all Christian religions is to share the celebration of the birth of Christ and the miracle of his birth through the Holy Spirit. Mary, the chosen mother of baby Jesus, is told by an Angel that she will have a baby from the Holy Spirit. And she conceives a baby before meeting her husband Joseph. ( Mathew 1:18)

Our Hope in Christ

Without Christ’s birth we could not have a future of hope and peace in this world. A future with God that is different and better than the one we have now. A future to see our loved ones in heaven. We can look forward to seeing our Christian loved ones in heaven. “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:2-3)”

Without Jesus we would be following the old customs of sacrificing for our sons and would not have the Holy Spirit to mediate to God on our behalf.

Jesus is your mediator

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus . . . . (1 Timothy 2:5 NIV)”

The Key is your Hope in Jesus

The key to unlocking the door between you and God is trusting in the story of Jesus. Trusting that God sent Jesus to live among men and die for the original sin in the Garden of Eden. After he died, Jesus beat death by rising three (3) days later, showed himself to his disciples, and then rose to heaven. If you believe, confess and share the story of Jesus you too may have the hope of everlasting life. “”That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Everyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” “(Romans 10:9-13)

Concerning the traditions of Advent

Some religions emphasize two comings of Christ: His birth and the waiting on his return. The first coming at the birth of Christ, the second coming while we may be on earth during our lifetime, or when our life ends here on earth. Historically, religions had different seasons of advent.

The season of advent could begin the last week in November until Christmas., or for other religions, mid November with the start of Lent until Christmas Eve (December 24). “The coming of Jesus”- refers to the several weeks of preparation leading to the coming of Jesus on Christmas Day and the anticipation of His coming again.

Advent Traditions

Advent is a time of reflections, prayers, serving, waiting, and hope. Joy for the season is shown to others by the kindness of serving or giving of gifts. Christians will often travel to see their family and extended family. On Christmas Eve the celebrations begins with fasting, then followed lent fast (November 15-Christmas) by sharing a meal with family and friends. New traditions now include meatless Fridays and skipping snacking between meals.

Advent old traditions included the use of colors, such as purple throughout the season, and the color rose, during Christmas week. Today’s tradition includes decorating with green and red.

Jesus is the Light of the World

The Advent wreath is a traditional centerpiece of the Christmas season and is still in use today. The holy season includes lighting candles each of the four Sundays in Advent. The candle symbolizes: prayer, serving and joy in the waiting and for the coming of Christ. Three of the candles are usually purple (or blue), which reminds us to pray and serve others lovingly and to prepare the way for Jesus. The candle for the third Sunday of Advent is the color of Rose. This color symbolizes our joy as the birth of Jesus draws near.

Scripture reference: “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12).

Traditionally, the tree with its lights was put up on Christmas Eve and left up until Epiphany (January). Today, many people enjoy the holiday season by decorating a tree before Thanksgiving and may take down their tree on Christmas Day.

First Coming

“The Lord answered me: “Write down what I show you. Write it clearly on stone tablets so whoever reads it can run to tell others. It is not yet time for the message to come true. But that time is coming soon. The message will come true. It may seem like a long time before it happens. But be patient and wait for it. These things will happen. They will not be delayed.” (Habakkuk 2:2-3 ICB)

For the second coming of Jesus Christ, we must hold on to our hope and have patience.

“Brothers, be patient until the Lord comes again. A farmer is patient. He waits for his valuable crop to grow from the earth. He waits patiently for it to receive the first rain and the last rain. You, too, must be patient. Do not give up hope. The Lord is coming soon.” (James 5:7-8 ICB)

References.

bible.knowing-jesus.com , Encyclopedia Britannica and Bible.com