Strengthen and Encourage the Brethren 08/13/17

August 15, 2017

This week’s scripture is from John:

“If the world hates you, know that it hated me first.” (John 15:18 CEV)

If we belong to Christ, we should not be surprised that the world hates us. If we belonged to the world then the world would love us, but if we love Christ, the world will not love us for it did not love him. If He was persecuted, we too can expect to be persecuted. To be a follower of Christ is now derided, for if we oppose the world’s values and the world’s view, the world will not love us and it will fight against us for it hates what Christ is and what He taught; what He represents the world hates. For the world loves sin and rebellion; it loves what Christ does not love. It does not want to repent; it does not want to do the things that God says or believe the things that the Lord says to believe. But if we are His children, we must; we must believe; we must do; we must teach His word; we must insist that His way is the right way. We must.

May the Lord bless you to be in the world but not of the world.

Strengthen and Encourage the Brethren 08/06/17

August 7, 2017

This week’s scripture is from 1 John:

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.   (1 John 5:14)

The Lord will answer our prayers, for He is faithful to His word. However, sometimes we pray and we don’t get our prayer answered or it is not answered like we want it to be answered. This is not because the Lord didn’t hear us or because He answered wrongly. The Lord answers prayers that are according to His will. If we pray a prayer that doesn’t line up with His word or is not aligned with His will for us, then we will not get the answer we might want. The Lord always knows what’s best for us, and He will not give us what is not best for us. Pray according to His word and His will, and you will receive His best for you.

May the Lord bless you to pray in His will for your life.

Strengthen and Encourage the Brethren 07/30/17

July 31, 2017

This week’s scripture is from Ezekiel:

He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” (Ezekiel 37:3)

At times our spiritual life can become bone dry. For some reason we feel like we’re not connected to the Lord as we were before. We may sometimes seem to have lost our motivation to pray, to read the word, to go to church, to seek the Lord. God may seem distant or just not there. A spiritual dryness comes over us and we become dry and withered in our spirit. We may know that we need to get back into the living water that flows from beneath the throne of grace, but not how to get there. Let us begin with calling upon the Lord in repentance and in thanksgiving. Call upon the name of the Lord and recall all He has done for you in the past. Repent of any wrongs and give Him thanks for all He has done. Praise His name, sing to Him a song, pray and read His word aloud. Let His words water your soul and refresh your spiritual life.

May the Lord of glory give you grace this very day.

Strengthen and Encourage the Brethren 07/23/17

July 24, 2017

This week’s scripture is from Matthew:

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.   (Matt. 4:23)

Good things happen when Jesus is present in our lives. If we read and follow His word we learn what He wants us to learn and we can then teach others. Knowing His word we can spread the good news of the kingdom of God to all around us and to the ends of the Earth. And it is Jesus who changes us from who we were before we knew Him to who we are supposed to be. He heals us in all the ways we need to be healed. It is miraculous that He heals us spiritually, mentally, and physically. When we come into the Lord’s presence with praise and thanksgiving we make ourselves available for the power of the Holy Spirit to come over us to heal us and make us whole, and to make us more and more like Christ. Let us come before the Lord with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving; let us come into His presence and be healed.

May the Lord bless you with His presence.

Strengthen and Encourage the Brethren 07/16/17

July 18, 2017

This week’s scripture is from 2 Timothy:

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  (2 Tim. 2:1 ESV)

We know that God loves us, that He is for us and not against us. We are grateful for those times when He intercedes for us like when we are healed or made well, or when a difficult or seemingly impossible situation is resolved or made right, sometimes in ways that only God can do. But this is not always so. God takes the eternal view on things.

Sometimes He does not change the difficult situation in a wonderful way; sometimes He allows us to go through the fire; sometimes we or our loved one does not get well or fully recover. Sometimes God is more interested in strengthening our faith than in our current situation, for He wants us to turn to Him, to rely on Him, to find our strength in His strength, to know the depth of His grace, to bind ourselves to Christ and Christ alone, for He has said that His grace is sufficient. May it be so with us.

May the Lord bless you with His grace in your life.

Strengthen and Encourage the Brethren 07/09/17

July 13, 2017

This week’s scripture is from Malachi:

“For I am the Lord, I change not.”  (Malachi 3:6a)

How can we be sure in a world that is ever-changing? It seems everything around us keeps changing. What is here today may not be here tomorrow. People come into our lives and people go. What we have today we may not have tomorrow. The news says this, the news says that. Yesterday it said this was true, but today it is not. Nations clash and the world is tilted on its axis. Yet there is one who does not change; He is not tossed about by the waves of time and trial. Nothing surprises Him or throws Him off-balance, ever, for the Lord is steadfast and true; He is righteous and always perfect. His timing is perfect; His word is perfect; His love is perfect. He changes not. Let us lay hold of Him who is unwavering and unchanging.

May the Lord be your rock and your righteous blessing.

Strengthen and Encourage the Brethren 07/02/17

July 4, 2017

This week’s scripture is from Galatians:

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.”   (Gal. 5:13a)

Our freedom is found in Christ alone, for in Christ we are set free from the bondage of sin and death. Christ calls us to be free by being in Christ and following Him. Let us celebrate our freedom in Christ by giving it to others. Let us follow His commandment to spread the Good News of salvation, for coming to salvation in Christ is coming into the freedom found in Christ. Let us explore our freedom in Christ by drawing ever closer to Him who sets us free, for the closer we are to Him the more free we will be from the bondage and sin of this world. Find your freedom in Christ and be free as He wants you to be free.

May the Lord bless you with the freedom found only in Christ Jesus.

Strengthen and Encourage the Brethren 06/25/17

June 28, 2017

This week’s scripture is from Psalms:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 ESV)

The Lord said that troubles will come and each day has trouble enough, but God is there for us in every situation. Though our world be turned upside down, though even the earth itself give way, though nations and kingdoms rise up and fall, the Lord Almighty is with us. He will be our strength and our fortress; He is our shield. He will be there to help us in any kind of trouble. In our own lives, when trouble comes, let us remember to turn to Him who is always there for us, for He says we are to come to Him and to be still and know that He is God. He is all-powerful. He is for us and not against us, for He loves us as His children.

May the Lord bless you with His love and mercy each day.

Strengthen and Encourage the Brethren 06/18/17

June 19, 2017

This week’s scripture is from John:

“Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”  (John 4:48)

Certainly Jesus performed signs and wonders, and many remarkable miracles, several of which are recorded in the scriptures, including feeding 5000 people with a boy’s lunch and healing the sick, the lame, and the dying, casting out demons, and even raising the dead to life. Some of us have been fortunate enough to see miracles in our own lives or in the lives of others in our time which have taken place through the power of Jesus’ blood and the Holy Spirit, but our faith does not rest in miracles or signs and wonders. Our faith, our belief, our trust rests in Him who is holy and righteous, the One who brought us salvation, the greatest miracle of all, that we might be reconciled to the Father and know Him. Christ is the greatest of miracles.

May the Lord bless you to believe.

Strengthen and Encourage the Brethren 06/11/17

June 12, 2017

This week’s scripture is from Matthew:

“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matt. 6:13 NET)

A time of trial and testing is never pleasant, but sometimes the Lord uses such times to build us up spiritually. Such times force us to flex our spiritual muscles and thereby strengthen us to stand against temptations, against the wiles of the enemy of our soul, the accuser who continually delights to point out our failures and number our sins against us before the Lord. But there is One who sits at the right hand of the Father continually making intercession for us, who can deliver us from the evil one, for He is the One who was without sin, who sacrificed Himself that we might be able to stand and resist evil and temptation in His name and by the power of His blood. Let us not fail to call on Him in times of trial and temptation.

May the Lord bless you and deliver you from evil.