If we have accepted the Lord as our savior God says that we belong to Him. A synonym for belong is ‘to have a home, to have a rightful place’ and the origin of the word belong comes from ‘to reach’. God reaches out to us and Jesus says “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him”. (John 14:23)
It is God and the person who lives in a house that makes it a home and I love the way CS Lewis describes the way God changes our ‘house’ because He wants to make it a fit place for Him to call home!
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage; but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself”.
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The words grace and peace are used together numerous times in the Bible. A lot of the New Testament writers began and ended their letters with the words “grace and peace to you”. Paul started the book of Romans with: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ”. Peter started his second book with: “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
In Acts 4:33 we are told “With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.” The apostles were able to perform great miracles of healing and deliverance because God’s grace was resting upon their lives.
How wonderful to know that when we are in right standing with God His grace rests upon us to do what we otherwise couldn’t accomplish.
Extract from “God’s Promise for Families”
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It is so easy to fall back into despondency, despair and unhappiness – we have to consciously fight these feelings. The two P’s work wonders – praise and prayer!
“The devil has two very masterful tricks. The first is to tempt us to become discouraged, for then we are defeated and of no service to others, at least for awhile. The other is to tempt us to doubt, thereby breaking the bond of faith that unites us with the Father. So watch out! Do not be tricked either way.”
From – Streams in the Desert.
Photo – courtesy of google
Thought this was a brilliant sign to copy and put on the wall in front of my desk for those moments when I feel discouraged, heartbroken, lack patience or just feel so weary I have no energy to carry on.
To remember that “My heart is set on keeping God’s decrees to the very end” (Psalms 119:112). To keep in mind that if I “Listen to advice and accept instruction, in the end I will be wise” (Proverbs 19:20) and “the end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride” (Ecclesiastes 7:8).
To memorize the following words spoken by Jesus “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be His God and he will be my son and daughter”.
As I grow older, I discover more and more that the greatest gift I have to offer is my own joy of living, my own inner peace, my own silence and solitude, my own sense of well-being”. (Henri Nouwen)
We can only experience that joy when we have a personal relationship with Jesus – as we spend time in prayer and meditate on God’s Word. The more familiar we become with someone, the closer we tend to become to that person. The same is true with God. The more we read about what He has done for us and what He desires for us, the more intimate our relationship will be with Him.
Extract from “God’s Promise for Families”
“When we cry out to God in our deep hurt and sorrow He hears us and He answers us with these words “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you”. (2 Kings 20:5)
With the release of the tears that you cry, God is able to begin a healing work in your life.
Extract from – God’s Promise for Families
SIGN ON A CELL DOOR AT THE CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
I am thinking of hiring the cell for myself for a day or two.
Just think – peace, quiet, undisturbed sleep, uninterrupted prayer time, me time, alone time, meditation time, reading time (I am sure they will allow books in the cell – don’t mind paying extra), writing time……………………….!!
“The indescribable grief I felt when I was forced to leave my father when I was twelve slowly turned into anger and bitterness. I felt rejected and unloved, and had no self-worth. When I was nearly fourteen years old, I realised I no longer cried. Alcohol was readily available, and with no parental supervision whatsoever, I began drinking at sixteen years of age.
In Susan Howatch’s book, Glittering Images, she wrote: “Which is better: to express grief and pain by using tear-ducts specially created for the purpose, or to express grief and pain by enduring a silent, secret hemorrhage of the soul?”
For many years my soul was hemorrhaging. As I grew older and began to drink, I discovered it was only when I was under the influence of alcohol that I could cry.”
EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK “God’s Promise for Families”
God, however, saw every tear that I cried and He lovingly “recorded all my tears and preserved them in His bottle! He recorded every one in His book” (Psalms 56:8)
How wonderful is that – God has seen and recorded every tear we have ever cried and with compassion in His heart has collected those tears and kept them, and us, close to His heart.
He is also the One who “will wipe away all tears” (Isaiah 25:8)
Jesus came into this world “to BIND UP the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, ….to COMFORT all who mourn, and PROVIDE for those who GRIEVE…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of GLADNESS instead of MOURNING, and a garment of PRAISE instead of a spirit of DESPAIR” (Isaiah 61:1-3)
God is our HEAVENLY FATHER and Jesus our COMFORTER