Friday, March 27, 2015

All Things

All Things

By Sarah P.
We kind of underestimate the Easter story, don’t we? Jesus’s resurrection is the greatest event that ever occurred! He literally conquered death. When his disciples asked Him about eternal life in Matthew Chapter 19, Jesus gave told them the “secret” behind defeating death: “With God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26, NLT)

Read that again. With God, all things are possible. Now apply it to your daily life. All things are possible with God—not just your big, amazing, applause-worthy deeds of valor, not just your career choice or your spiritual callings—all things. The little impossibilities. The things you can’t defeat: feelings of unworthiness, depressing thoughts, character flaws and faults and normal sins that you just can’t nail down—with God, all things are possible.

I was thinking about that the other day. I had gotten frustrated because there was a sin I simply couldn’t defeat on my own. This verse reminded me that God has power over all, even the things that seem small and not worth His time. The truth is, He cares about the small things (1 Peter 5:7)! I can’t conquer my own sinful nature, but there is Someone who can. There is a Healer for my brokenness, a Savior for my sin, a Comforter for my grief, a Faithful One for my faithlessness, a Humble One for my pride.

With God, all things are possible.

The cure for perfectionism, frustration, depression, just plain old sinfulness, is this simple truth: With God, all things are possible.

He doesn’t require us to carry the world on our shoulders; He takes our hands, wipes our tears away, and whispers that we can always come to Him with our burdens (Matthew 11:28-30). Our sin is never too deep, our flaws are never beyond repair, and we are never beyond His reach. Our crosses really aren’t too heavy when the God of the Universe is sharing the load. When I rely on my own strength, I’m refusing to trust Jesus with my life. If I allow myself to think I’m great enough to do life on my own, I’m only fooling myself. Because, really, only with God are all things possible.

Beloved sisters in Christ, listen close. Here’s the secret to changing the world, to defying depravity, to defeating sin and winning the battle with temptation:

With God, all things are possible.

God Bless,


Accepting the Brokenness

Accepting the Brokenness

By Kaitlyn F.
I want to start off with a simple question. How many of you have broken a bone? I personally have not, but I have a friend who has broken multiple bones in her body, and some part of her body is usually in a cast. When you break a bone, don’t you go to the doctor to have them work on healing it so that you won’t have a broken bone? Having a broken bone is painful, and you want it to be fixed rather fast to get rid of the pain, so you head to the doctor immediately. Now I have a different question. How many of you have had a broken spirit? All of us at some point in our lives have had a broken or crushed spirit. So the question is how do you heal a broken spirit. You can’t drive to your local doctor’s office and ask for them to put your spirit in a cast. So how do we heal a broken spirit?

Well I have good news. There is someone out there who can heal your spirit, and all your brokenness. His name is Jesus, and he came down to Earth to die for our sins, but also to be a doctor for the broken. There are a couple verses where it talks about Jesus being our doctor.

Mark 2:17 says, “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners.’”

Matthew 9:12 says, “On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.’”

These two verses talk about how Jesus came for the broken and the sick not for the righteous. But there is another part to this. While Jesus is our doctor, you need to accept the fact that you are broken and that you need him. I feel that as a society, we hide our brokenness and imperfections from everyone even God. We walk around acting like we aren’t broken, but when we do that, we carry the pain that comes with the brokenness. If you had a broken leg, it would be extremely painful to walk on it, and that pain is something that we are trying to hide. But know that it is okay to be broken, to admit that you can’t do this on your own. Jesus said that he is here to be our doctor, but we first have to go and visit him for him to start healing us. Being broken is a good thing, for you are saying that you can’t do this on your own and that you need Jesus, the doctor, and when you lay your brokenness out, he can start fixing you, and do his works with in you.

Friday, March 20, 2015

We Stand the Chance of a Better Love

We Stand the Chance of a Better Love

By Joy W.
We are judgmental and analytical as humans even believers. In the part of the world where I come from it is a disciplinary action for a child to be punished when he or she does something wrong. We believe that by so doing that child would not do such a thing again. In this view it is also believed that whatever befalls anybody good or bad by virtue of their actions is a form of reward or punishment to that person. This reflects in all aspects of religious believes, Islamic, traditional and Christianity.

If you are in my part of the world this is what you will experience. People believe that we reap what we sow as the bible says and every action has its own consequences.

In all the various religions here, they believe that if you wrong the god you believe in, you receive punishment for your actions. In the cultic and other spiritual groups this is greatly practiced. Instant judgement as they call it; you instantly receive punishment for your wrong actions, for breaking their laws and going contrary to their precepts and beliefs. These punishments many times are death but one may ask “how can the dead turn away from his wrong”? This clearly indicates that the devil only comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10: 10) as the bible says. He is only interested in your soul. He can’t worship you? He needs you to worship him forever even in death. Let me just chip this in, in genesis when God created the world and everything there is within he made man ruler over everything. He assigned man the ruler ship duty because he had made us in his likeness and Satan himself was under man. Satan in order to turn things round deceived man into eating the fruit and in that way man loses his power because then, the nature of God in man was gone.

The book of Jonah talks about a man who tried disobeying god but eventually had a change of heart and mind. It amazes me to realize in that passage how God even in punishing us shows us some love as Christians. In Jonah 1 when things were going bad and the men called to him, he answered. He not only hear us his children but even those around us. When it was perceived that throwing Jonah overboard was the only way, God could have allowed him to drawn and die but he didn’t, rather he sent the whale to swallow (Jonah 1: 17) him and safely bring him to shore.

God doesn’t easily give up on us, as a matter of truth and fact he doesn’t give up at all. In punishing us he still shows us love. Even in punishing Jonah he saved him. When you are going through challenges God is there. It could be school, friends, family issues and even consequences of actions taken; God is not dead. With each step he wants us to learn, to gain insight to take us to the next level, to learn something to strengthen and tighten us to face the rather tough challenges. Isaiah 48: 10 says that “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. Malachi 3:3 also says that he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the lord an offering in righteousness. What you become after all the struggles is your offering to God because when you are going through the afflictions you are being purged and purified.

When we know that our lives is God and is woven around him, nothing will press us down, no situation will demoralize us because the power of God in us is greater than the pressure of troubles around us.

In the wilderness he will make away and in the desert water will flow. You will go through waters but it will not bewailed you, you will go through fire but it will not consume you because you are precious to him and dear to his heart. He will never leave you. He has redeemed you. Imagine!! And that’s why in Romans 8: 8 we read that nothing can separate us from his love, absolutely nothing. You are loved my dear. Like Jonah did in 2:2 “I called out to the Lord out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of sheol I cried, and you hear my voice”. And Jeremiah 33: 3 says “call on me, and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things thou knowest not”. He again admonishes us that we should ask anything in his name and he will do it. He says before you call I will answer, isn’t that amazing? Only believe and give it a try. Cloth yourself in his blood and allow yourself to be loved. I love him so much because he first loved me. He loved me even when I was still a sinner. And he loves you as well more than you can imagine. For this reason he left his kingdom above, came down, took our whips and bore our sins on the cross that you and I will be saved forever.

One of the great blessings of Easter. Jesus loves you and i. you are not far from his saving grace. What an amazing grace.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Standing Up, Part 1 and 2

Standing Up, Part 1

By TreAnna B.
            I was recently reading through the book of Acts when a passage caught my eye. Chapter ten is a passage I love, but often forget about completely. This passage tells how Cornelius the Centurion sent for Peter so that he could tell them the good news about Jesus. Verses 9-16 tell of the vision Peter had. This vision changed the ways believers viewed each other.

            Let me provide some background. Jews in these times didn’t associate with Gentiles. Paul and a few of the apostles had only recently begun sharing the news of Jesus with the Gentiles, so, Peter going to Cornelius was a big deal.

            In Peter's vision God says, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” The vision seems to be referring to the food eaten by the Jews, but Peter realizes what it really means, and later in verse 28, he discloses it: He said to them: 'You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.'

            In this way, God eliminated the lines that separated His children. Jew or Gentile, it didn't matter. He loved all of His children.

            Likewise, we can take away a great lesson from this. Today, God continues to love all of His children, despite who they are. He made us all in our own unique way.

            I want to present this passage to you while highlighting the issue of bullying.

            I don't really think I need to say much about how wrong it is to bully, or how important it is to stand up for someone who is being bullied. This is a hot topic in many schools today, so I would be surprised if it hasn't been discussed recently in your day to day lives.

            I do want to put a new spin on the issue – which will come in part 2. For now, just reflect on the passage!

Standing Up

Part 2

            In the first part of this devotion, I outlined Acts 10 and gave you a little bit of context for what it was talking about. Basically this is when Peter explains that God has broken down the barriers between Jew and Gentiles. 
            I equated it with bullying—God loves all of His children so much that in Peter's time He eliminated the lines that separated them.

            This week, I want to put a new spin on the issue.

            When we bully, we put others down. Sometimes we can even bully someone without knowing that we are. I know when I'm with a group of my friends a subtle game of teasing can break out all too easily. Soon, however, this game can evolve into something much darker and more sinister. Normally we end up focusing all of our attention and jabs on one person, who tries to bear the brunt of it with a good-natured smile.

            Until I was on the receiving end I never realized just how hurtful this game of teasing could be. Sure my friends and I never really meant anything by it, but the fact remained that it still hurt.

            Labeling is another form of bullying that many people don't think about. It's as if we see someone and immediately the label appears in our mind. I know I'm just as guilty of this as the next person, but again this is a type of bullying.

            All types of bullying creates lines among us. It's as if we are working to rebuild walls that God has already knocked down. In light of the passage, God stated very clearly that all of His children were precious to Him. We should live together in harmony.

            When Jesus died, He died for all of us—not one specific ethnic group, not only one label. In the end, we we stand up to bullying, we're standing up for God

Perfect Harmony

Perfect Harmony

Samantha W.
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1 NIV
With Easter less than a month away, I’ve been reading on Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. Right before He’s arrested, Jesus prayed for us in the Garden of Gethsemane.

I have given them the glory that you gave me that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:22-23

Unity may seem simple enough, but it is an age-old problem. Even among Christians. In 1 Corinthians 1:10-12, Paul writes, I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there may be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

At the beginning of verse 13 he asks, “Is Christ divided?”

No, Christ cannot be divided. Yet how can we explain the division that still goes on today?

Some of us are Baptists. Some of us are Methodists. Some are Lutheran, Presbyterian, or Anglicans. We can’t see eye to eye, so we form separate denominations.

Before we can unite, we must stand on the same level ground, founded solely on God’s wisdom and Truth. Unity should be easy, but often our own feelings, emotions, and biased opinions get in the way and cloud our judgment.

That’s why it’s important for us to read and study the Bible for ourselves, lest we become as confused as the Corinthians.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Wisdom & Hard Decisions, By Elizabeth A.

Wisdom & Hard Decisions
By Elizabeth A.

Lately, I've been struggling with making decisions. I want to do this, but God might want that. Or I think God wants this … but, no, maybe He doesn't. It's really frustrating, and hard, and I just want to settle on something.  
Sometimes I think God will answer me by giving me a direct answer, or giving me a sign, but after asking one of my friends to pray for me and seeing a few verses, I realize it's not just about God telling me what to do -- God gives us wisdom.  
In James 1:5, God says 'If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.' (NIV) 
I think that shows how incredible God is; that He doesn't just want to tell us what to do and give us all the answers, but He wants to give us wisdom, so that we can learn and grow and understand His ways for ourselves!  
A good example of how much God values our asking for wisdom is Solomon. King Solomon was told he could have anything he wanted (ANYTHING: wealth, power, the destruction of his enemies, etc.), but he asked for wisdom. God was so pleased, that He not only gave him wisdom to be a just, good king, but He also gave him 'both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.' (1 Kings 3:13, NIV)  
And it can be exactly like that for us, too. When we face tough decisions, and we don't know what to do, God will give us wisdom if we ask. I don't know what you're facing; if it's big, or small, or just something you're curious about, but don't forget that even when you doubt your decisions, God will come through.  
If you ask Him for wisdom, He promises you that you will have it, and you can be sure that whatever you decide, God always 'works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.' (Romans 8:28, NIV)  
In that way, you can have faith that God is there, that He respects your decision, and that He is so glad that you asked Him to help you! I definitely want Him to show me wisdom in all of my life decisions.


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