May God Bless You Today!

via — Hope For Today

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Letters From Home

63706_315156658584187_129777671_n“Mary carried her Bible everywhere she went.  Tucked inside her purse or coat pocket, it never left her side.   Like a cherished keepsake and without fail, every chance she got throughout the day, the words from its worn pages brought her inspiration, comfort, instruction and hope.  One day someone asked her, ‘why’ …  To the stranger’s question she replied, without even having to contemplate what she would say, ‘These are my letters from home.'”

The Bible is like a treasure box filled with letters from distant relatives whose stories guide and shape our lives.  Like pilgrims who have traveled to a promised, far away land, they journeyed to new horizons and braved the challenges of this life, while sharing their experiences and faith with you and me.   From cover to cover, the Bible is God’s amazing gift to us- a collection of love letters from our Father Creator and the story of His Son, Jesus Christ- interwoven within a tapestry of personal accounts which reveal God’s character- His sovereignty, wisdom and power, along with His deep and endearing love, grace, and mercy.

As we read our letters, they instruct and inspire us, reminding us to keep seeking, keep following, keep trusting, keep praying, keep loving, keep marching, and to keep believing that we will one day reach the Promised Land- our heavenly home- where we will, at last, be with our beloved Father and with our precious LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Have you taken the opportunity lately to open the Bible and read God’s letters, written with love to you- His dear child? If you haven’t, I encourage you to do so. If you find the King James Bible difficult to read, find a translation like the NIV or the Holman Christian Bible.

Open to the book of John.  It is the fourth book in the New Testament.  John is a wonderful place to start because the author tells the story of Jesus in such a beautiful way. From His existence with God the Father at the time of creation, to His birth as a human child and His miracles and teachings, to His heart-felt prayer for you and me in the Garden of Gethsemane, and to His cruel crucifixion- every line reveals more of God’s character and endearing love for us, His children.  But the story doesn’t end in sorrow, for Jesus rose from the grave, conquering death for all eternity,  and making a way for you and me to live with Him forever in peace and harmony in our heavenly home! That’s right.  this earthly life isn’t all there is!

God loves you more than you could ever comprehend.  And He left you a treasured keepsake, filled with His words of love and guidance.  They are for you- His beloved Son or Daughter. He knows you and His desire is that you know and love Him.   He longs for the day when you run into His arms and call Him “Father”. He is waiting for you to read the letters He sent and to know His love for you. He has a plan for your life, just as He did for Mary.  She found direction in the letters He sent her and so can you!

If you want to know God’s love and His plan for you, then take time- right now. Open the Bible and read your Letters from Home.

“Hold Fast What Is Good”

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When I was young, a dear mentor once told me something that made an impression upon my heart.  She said,

“In this life, you must remember to sift everything– everything that touches you, whether words, actions, or circumstances- and always hold on to the good.   As for everything else, let it fall to the ground, and more importantly, leave it there.”  

She has long since gone to live with her Savior.  But I remember her advice to this day and have tried to apply it throughout my life.  She was a very wise woman.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: “Test all things; hold fast what is good.”  (NKJV)

Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  (NIV)

SPAM vs God’s Firewall

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Artwork credit: S.P.A.M. by SavedArt

A young digital artist named Matt designed the word art above.  Matt is 20 years old and accepted Christ as his Savior three years ago.  He’s chosen to use his artistic talents to bring glory to God!  That blesses my heart!  I really like this piece and find it so fitting for the day and age in which we live.

There is a spiritual war that has been raging for millennia in the heavenly realm.  As it does, it spills over into our own earthly realm.  This war is one between good and evil, between the forces of God and those of Satan.  Satan is a master of deception and his desire is to bring destruction to God’s creation, especially to mankind.  He is very skilled at introducing seducing thoughts into our hearts and minds, along with all manner of temptation.  Just as digital viruses and spam have the potential to damage our modern computer systems, such attacks from the enemy have the potential to lure us away from God’s will.  When we allow seeds of destruction to grow in our hearts and minds and to spread, they can cause great damage as we act upon them, not only to our own lives, but to the lives of others.

The good news is God has given us a Firewall!  Because of the salvation we have through Jesus Christ, His Son, by the shedding of His blood on the cross, we have victory over Satan!  God’s written word, the Bible, along with His living Word, Jesus Christ, shield us from succumbing to the enemy’s attacks.  There is no better protection!

Ephesians 6:10-18: “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (NIV)

Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (NKJV)

Psalm 119:11: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (KJV)

2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (NKJV)

2 Corinthians 10:4,5: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (NKJV)

Keep fighting the good fight as you continue in your daily walk with the Lord!  And remember God’s Firewall for your life!

In Christ’s Love,

Angela