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Posts Tagged ‘God’

Bible

Moses reminded the Israelites that, “Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD” Deuteronomy 8:3 (NASB).

 

When the Israelites left Egypt, they didn’t have a bible. They were guided by Moses, who was listening to God. He then taught the people and wrote down God’s instructions. He was the first bible writer. The reason God felt it was important to put down His words in writing is because as much as we need physical food to nourish our bodies, we also need spiritual food to nourish our mind and our spirit.

 

Eating is vital for each of us but eating together nourishes us in many other ways. Sitting down to dinner as a family at least five days a week results in fewer teenage pregnancies, lower levels of depression and lower rates of suicide among boys.

 

In the same way, we should each have personal bible study, but there’s also great benefit when we study it and pray together as a family. Make the Bible a part of every day!

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Adoption

Taking a child into your life, one who was your flesh and blood but rather one God chose for you, is one of the most loving actions from a parent to that child.

 

My supervisor told me once that he sat with his young daughter and told her “If there were a hundred kids lined up by a wall for me to choose from, and you were one of them, I would still choose you.” Adopted children, like biological children, need to be assured daily of their parents’ love.

 

God set the pattern and taught about this loving relationship.  Paul wrote, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” Ephesians 1:5 (NLT2)

 

I like the fact that adoption was not a sudden decision or an afterthought in God’s part, like it isn’t for today’s adoptive parents.

 

What a blessing it is for adoptive parents to remember that God also adopted you and loved you with an everlasting love!

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Most every family begins when a couples declares their lifetime commitment to each other and to God on their wedding day. They have no idea what their life together will be like, if they will have children or not, or how long life will last. But they can trust that “God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that he won’t stop before it is complete on the day that Christ Jesus returns” (Phil. 1:6, CEV).

 

God was there at the beginning and will be there at the end.  Nothing catches Him by surprise, and He knows how to carry us safely to the successful end.

 

Every good thing, every relationship, and every family has a beginning. And every one of these has an end too. Much of what determines the end is what happens at the beginning. It sets the stage for the rest of the relationship.

 

Commit yourself and your relationship to God, follow Him as you begin your life together, and trust Him as He carries you safely from the beginning all the way to the end.

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ABANDON

A story is told of a newborn baby that was abandoned in the cold of winter. The mail carrier saw a bundle near a house. He thought he heard the faint sound, perhaps an animal. Carefully he unwrapped the bundle to discover a baby, nearly frozen to death.

Immediately he called 911 and held the baby as close to him to begin to warm him up until the police and ambulance arrived. They took the baby to the hospital, and miraculously, the baby survived.

It is hard for us to understand who would abandon a newborn baby at any time of the year. In many states, all they have to do is take him to a police station or a fire station, no questions asked!

There is one thing we can count on: “The LORD will not abandon his people, because that would dishonor his great name. For it has pleased the LORD to make you his very own people” 1 Samuel 12:22 (NLT2).

God will never abandon us. He loves us…we are His own! (more…)

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Whose gods do you walk with?

Scripture: For all people walk each in the name of his god, But we will walk in the name of the LORD our God Forever and ever. Micah 4:5 (NKJV)

Observation: The Commentary Critical and Explanatory of the Whole Bible provides this explanation of vs. 5: For—rather, Though it be that all people walk after their several gods, yet we (the Jews in the dispersion) will walk in the name of the Lord. . . The resolution of the exile Jews is: As Jehovah gives us hope of so glorious a restoration, notwithstanding the overthrow of our temple and nation, we must in confident reliance on His promise persevere in the true worship of Him, however the nations around, our superiors now in strength and numbers, walk after their gods [Rosenmuller]. As the Jews were thoroughly weaned from idols by the Babylonian captivity, so they shall be completely cured of unbelief by their present long dispersion (Zec 10:8–12). (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.)

Application: Today’s gods are abundant. Work, money, beauty, entertainment, possessions, power, prestige, toys, knowledge, titles, etc. Entire families compete with other families trying to keep up with them, looking for the happiness they see in others. . . without realizing that often “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.” Many parents sacrifice quality family, or one-on-one time together by enrolling their children in every extra-curricular activity they can think of – soccer, karate, music lessons (not just one but several instruments), dance, theater, cheerleading, beauty contests, etc. Children, not to say their parents, are often exhausted at the end of each day, and as the weekend approaches, instead of rest and worship time what awaits them is another long list of activities (camping, games, parties, etc.). The frantic pace of their lives, the lack of down time, the absence of family time is driving them farther apart and leaving them depleted of energy for each other, much less for their time with God.
Parents need to set their priorities straight by establishing first a personal time and connection with God, then a couple’s time with each other and with God, and finally family time together and with God. As Eugene Petereson paraphrases this text in The Message: “Meanwhile, all the other people live however they wish, picking and choosing their gods. But we live honoring GOD, and we’re loyal to our God forever and ever. Micah 4:5 (MSG).

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, Help us to maintain a personal daily connection with You, as well as couple and family time with each other and with You. Bless us as the gods of this world call for our attention away from You.

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In God’s gates

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. Psalm 100:4 (NKJV)

A new study finds that faith or religion can do more to provide “sustained happiness” than other types of social activities, like taking a class, volunteering for charity, or even playing sports.  Writing for TODAY, Eun Kyung Kim[i] explains that “Going to church, mosque or synagogue regularly often provides a more reliable boost in mental welfare than belonging to an active group like a book club, political organization or a sports team.”

According to researcher Mauricio Avendano of the London School of Economics (LSE) and Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands. “The church appears to play a very important social role in keeping depression at bay and also as a coping mechanism during periods of illness in later life.”  American psychologist Jennifer Harstein added that religion tends to have longer lasting power than other types of activities for many people.  Religion has permanence in our life.  As she said, “Our religious affiliation is something that’s longer term. You can go, you can leave, it’s always there.  It’s sustained, like the happiness, whereas a sports group ends. It might be seasonal. Or a volunteer opportunity might end.”

While sports, politics, or hobbies can play an important role in our lives, religion tends to reach a deeper level for us.  As Harstein explained, “We know that spirituality is something that really helps people feel like they find that higher power, they find that center, that groundedness”

The study from LSE study also found that religion also helped ease symptoms of depression and help the sick cope better with their illness. One of the reasons this is so is because houses of worship often help lessen burdens for people.  When we go to church we get to present our burdens to God, and share them with people who care about us and who pray, support, and encourage us.  That gives us a powerful boost even in the most discouraging of circumstances.  This is something that social clubs, sports, or politics can’t ever do for us.

Father God, may I be blessed as I enter within your gates weekly, and may I also be a helper to those that come to your courts for help.

[i] http://www.today.com/health/study-religion-faith-can-help-provide-sustained-happiness-t39036

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Trust more with age

In the LORD I put my trust; How can you say to my soul.  Psalm 11:1 (NKJV)

According to Robert Preidt,[i] from WebMD, research shows that trust increases as people get older and, moreover, that people who trust more are also more likely to experience increases in happiness over time.  It also appears that this trust is not limited to one generation; for millennials, generation X, and baby boomers alike, levels of trust increase as people get older.

The authors of this research comment that older people are more likely to look at the bright side of things.  As we age, they say, “we may be more likely to see the best in other people and forgive the little letdowns that got us so wary when we were younger.”

There is a negative side to this rise in trust among older people which puts them at higher risk for scams and fraud.  At the same time, the researchers didn’t find any evidence that those negatives detract from the benefits of being more trusting. The positive link between trust and well-being was consistent across a lifetime, the study authors said, suggesting that trust is not usually a liability in old age.

In looking back at her own life, Ellen White wrote: “I was very young when I began to serve the Lord. I am now eighty-five years old…and the Lord has never forsaken me. Always he has been my helper, as he will be yours if you will trust in him. It is because I so greatly desire to work for the salvation of souls that I do not give up to infirmities. I am determined that as long as God permits me to live, I will proclaim the message of warning to the world. I want my voice to reach many more before I shall give up my labors. I expect to have trials, but I do not dread them. The Lord knows what I can bear, and he will give me strength to endure. He will sustain me in my weakness, enabling me to follow on, and to know that his going forth is prepared as the morning.”[ii]

It is our privilege to learn to trust God from the time we are young and until we grow older, and to transmit that trust to all around us.

Father God, people, things, and institutions pass away, but you are forever.  Help me to trust more every day in you while I’m young and even as I grow old.

[i] http://www.webmd.com/news/20150327/people-may-grow-more-trusting-with-age-study-finds?ecd=wnl_men_040115&ctr=wnl-men-040115_nsl-promo_4&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

[ii] Youth Instructor, June 9, 1914

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