12.31.2014

Trust In The Lord

May this find you hopeful as you trust in the Lord in 2015. Trust in His greatness! For our abilities are limited and our knowledge futile in the sight of God.

Bible Scriptures for Reflection:

Psalm 84:4-5 Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are those who dwell in Your house and Your presence; they will be singing Your praises all the day long. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 [Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.

Psalm 40:4 Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who makes the Lord his refuge and trust, and turns not to the proud or to followers of false gods.

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

Isaiah 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses and trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they look not to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek and consult the Lord!

12.24.2014

Gifts That Keep on Giving

Christmas Eve is officially here, and there are some who still have shopping to do. Forget about the sales or crowds at the mall. Go online without delay to give gifts that will “help rescue families from poverty and bring Christ’s love.”



Ordering is easy at Gospel for Asia Christmas Gift Catalog. Select from a plethora of gifts to meet every budget. Buy your grandma a pair of chickens for $11 not for their "hilariously annoying" clucking sound alone, but for the possibility of income and hope for the family that receives them. “Families sell the eggs or hatch the eggs and sell the chicks.” Grandma doesn’t need another set of Holiday dish towels. Get her a gift she’ll remember always. Let your love for her reach Asia this Christmas for $11 and make a difference!

For the people of Asia, a pair of chickens can create a steady income. Chicken eggs provide food for the family and the extras can be sold at market. Through this simple gift, you may help a malnourished child become stronger every day because of the tasty eggs.

This is a great way to introduce a Christian Christmas tradition because you’re wrapping up presents and giving to the Lord. These gifts are eternal and “100% of what you give for Christmas gifts goes to the field.”

"Jesus Christ is the giver of all good gifts," Hansini explained to her parents, "and it is because of the love and grace of Christ that our family is able to overcome all our financial struggles."



Give to the Ebenezer Scrooge of the neighborhood a lamb for $65. Why not?! Show the love of Christ this Christmas to the unwanted and unlovely. Customize and print at home your free card and leave it on their door or in their mailbox anonymously. It may be their only Christmas gift this year, and one that could begin the healing of the heart.

One lamb will produce up to 30 pounds of wool each year. That's like giving an Asian family 10 miles of yarn! And wool is not the only thing lambs have to offer. Their rich, nutritious milk is an excellent source of calcium and makes delicious cheese. A pair of lambs will reproduce, providing even more lambs for wool, milk, and meat. These little animals truly make a difference.

For the engaged and married couples this year how about a pair of rabbits for $11. They are “furry and cute, and quickly multiply. Providing a steady diet of lean meat and plenty of bunnies to sell.” This gift choice is a no-brainer, and while the recipients will be thankful they are sure to laugh a little as well.

Rabbits are easy to feed and can be raised in a small space—an important consideration in the crowded areas of Asia.

Chose from other Gifts from the Stable. Give gifts this year that “help rescue families from poverty and bring Christ’s love.”

Bless children in Asia and impact communities with a donation to my Gospel for Asia Christmas Campaign. There’s nothing more special than sponsoring a child, but with Hope for a Child you have the opportunity for God to multiply your seed. We cannot change the world on our own, but together we can make a difference. Little is MUCH in the hands of GOD!

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name." John 15:16




12.12.2014

Daily Manna: Who I Am In Christ

Christmas is a joyous time for most, but for some it can be a challenge to get through the heightened spirit of the Season when life happens. The circumstances vary with big questions about the timing, loss, or perhaps the setback. Maybe worse yet, it is a disappointment that is unbearable to carry into 2015.

Whatever your trial, above all remember that it is better to know Jesus than to have answers (at least at this juncture).

As a shepherd for the sheep, I want to assure you that to gain footing and push through the process you must realize who you are in Christ. For I admit without a tight grip on that truth this journey can be difficult—and when trouble comes and it will (John 16:33), you won't be standing on sinking sand. You will be able to bear the weight of it. Grow in that hard place where grace is extended. And as God wills with maturity in Christ, share your testimony of victory to help others.

"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Romans 8:37

God's Everlasting Love Romans 8:31-39 NKJV



Daily Manna is a series of devotions that you may snack on for encouragement today. However, if you have skipped spiritual meals and find you are malnourished please take pause and visit here a while.

I pray my obedience to share His truth brings you encouragement, and enlightens you in God's ways, which are higher than our ways.

12.05.2014

Ridiculous Grace

ridiculous (slang): extremely impressive; unbelievable

Sin happens to the best of us. It shows its ugliness in our family, small circle of friends, and in the church we have it also with leaders and preachers. Of course let us not forget to turn that finger-pointing on ourselves.

We wonder if there is any way of getting up from a fall so hard that God would leave us there. Pass us by, and not give our pitiful soul another thought. Nothing could be farther from the truth of who He is. God is love. And He offers us ridiculous grace as we draw near…broken and shameful with open hands, our will surrendered, and hearts ready to receive the saving knowledge of Christ.

“But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:20-21

Jesus Christ is grace. He is a gift from God that we especially celebrate this Christmas season. It is not a gift that is deserved nor can it ever be earned. Still, He offers it wrapped with mercy to receive in our hearts.



“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9


Jesus died for us, "and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:4-6). His grace is extended to every race, color, religion, and doctrine under the sun. He died for you. He died for me. He loves us equally and unconditionally whether we are for Him or against Him. It matters not, if you believe or despise Him. If you agree with His ways or reject them. He loves us! He has always loved us, and it endures for eternity without change. His love is not persuaded by emotions or circumstances nor does it have limitations.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

God loves us enough that Christ -- His only begotten Son, Jesus -- was made the propitiation for our sin. By His death on the cross He turned away the wrath of God and stood in our place. He took on the rejection and punishment we rightly deserve; whereby we have been given absolution from sin because of love demonstrated on Calvary.

John Piper writes online in Are We to Continue in Sin That Grace Might Increase? “This is extreme grace: Christ's obedience, not ours, is the ground of our justification. God reckons us righteous, and accepts us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness (Titus 3:5), but because of deeds done by Christ in righteousness.” Extreme grace as John Piper penned translates today as ridiculous grace.

What are you waiting for? Whether you are sipping on hot chocolate by the Christmas tree, in public, or in a pew at church—Jesus is holding out His hands to you. He has been longing to embrace you and pour out liquid love that fills every empty hole, mends the broken places, and heals the hurts. There is no reason to wait any longer. How many Christmases have passed? How many new years have rung in without a promise for victory ahead?

You are a sinner, and not alone “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)” Jesus is in the cleaning up and cleansing business. Let your heart be assured that He who came into the world as a babe “did not come to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:17)”



God is offering ridiculous grace in the first most important step of faith when you believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, with benefits to be in right standing before Him and declare victory as an overcomer. Surrender to the will of God and renounce Satan and his hold on you. Begin to disconnect yourself from the realm of darkness with an intentional effort “to resist the devil...and He will flee. (James 4:7-10)”

This Christmas become a Child of God, no longer an illegitimate son or daughter, but rather a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17). Come as you are to the mercy seat of Christ, receive grace, and be saved. Let your name be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27), like the others before you, and those with you today accepting grace as a gift.

God’s Righteousness Through Faith
"But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." Romans 3:21-26
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