Archive for January, 2016

Strengthen and Encourage the Brethren 01/24/16

January 29, 2016

This week’s scripture is from James:

Gold coins“Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”  (James 4:4b)

It can be difficult not to want the things of this world: to have money, to have a fancy home with expensive clothes and things, or to want to have importance or fame and have people admire us, love us, or have to look up to us, to have a position of authority or prestige, to be honored by people, or to attain in life what few others can attain.

Though none of these things is necessarily a sin in and of itself, God says that we are not to be friends with this world. We are in the world, but we are not to be of the world. The more of the world that is in us the more we are of this world. Let us not become friends with the world and lose our friendship with the One who loves us more than the world does, for we belong to Him, not to the world.

May you be blessed by being a friend of God.

Strengthen and Encourage the Brethren 01/17/16

January 18, 2016

This week’s scripture is from Jude:

Jesus Christ 3“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.”   (Jude 1:3)

If you are a child of God, if you belong to Christ and believe on Him as your Lord and Savior, then you will be opposed by the world, the flesh, and the devil. Yet in this, let us not despair, but let us armor ourselves in Christ and contend for the faith that He has set before us. Enrich yourself in the Word of God and let it strengthen you in heart and mind.

Then take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and use it to strike boldly against that which comes against you. Pray and sing out praises to the Lord as you move against the enemy of your soul. He will flee. Share your witness of what Jesus Christ has done for you and what He continues to do. Stand with Christ; and stand in the gap, for Christ is forever victorious.

May the Lord embolden you to share Christ and to contend for the faith.

Strengthen and Encourage the Brethren 01/10/16

January 11, 2016

This week’s scripture is from Ecclesiastes:

Jesus Christ -- Heinrich Hofmann“Consider what God has done …”   (Eccl. 7:13)

A new year has turned and the days stretch out before us like a blanket full of hope and dreams. Perhaps we look with anticipation at the days ahead and wonder what is to come. We hope for good days and peaceful nights, but let us first take some time to remember what the Lord as done for us before we forge ahead. Let us remember all the ways the Lord has blessed us in the past.

Let us remember what those blessings were and how He provided for us, how He healed us or took care of us, how He made a way where there was no way, how He comforted us in our time of despair or need, for the Lord is ever pouring out His blessings upon us, never leaving us or forsaking us, always true to His word. Let us take some time to remember, and to thank and praise the Lord, for He is a good God, and we are His people.

May the Lord remind you of His blessings and His love for you.

Strengthen and Encourage the Brethren 01/03/16

January 4, 2016

This week’s scripture is from Isaiah:

Jesus Christ risen“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth…. I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”     (Isaiah 43:19)

God makes everything new; everything is new through Christ Jesus. Let us bow down in repentance and thanksgiving, for then we are made new in Christ. We become a new person through Jesus, for in Him and through Him all creation trembles and has its being, for He made us and He is with us. He will make a path for us where there is no path, and He will take us through the wilderness of our own heart.

In the places where we are dry, where our life is like a desert, He will bring forth waters of life and restore all that is dead within us, for He will not snap a dry twig but He will bring it to leaf again and to life. Let us humble ourselves before God and see what He will do to make us new again, for He loves us and He is for us and not against us. Come, let us bow our hearts before the Lord and let Him make us new in Christ again.

May repentance and gratitude pour forth from your heart and lips as you seek the Lord.