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.

Rosa Parks’ Example

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By refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus in 1955, black seamstress Rosa Parks (1913—2005) helped initiate the civil rights movement in the United States. The leaders of the local black community organized a bus boycott that began the day Parks was convicted of violating the segregation laws. Led by a young Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the boycott lasted more than a year—during which Parks not coincidentally lost her job—and ended only when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. Over the next half-century, Parks became a nationally recognized symbol of dignity and strength in the struggle to end entrenched racial segregation.  (Source: Black History, The History Channel)

We as Americans today need to learn from leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King and citizens like Rosa Parks.  Rosa Parks taught us there is a right way to make our voices heard and to stand up for what we believe and for our rights as citizens-a way where the rights and welfare of others is respected and dignity is preserved.  It is a way without hate speech and violence.  Yet, so many choose the way of hatred and destruction, never considering the rights, feelings, or needs of others who may disagree but who certainly have the same human rights as themselves.

What has our nation become?  Have we as a people forgotten the values our founding fathers and Christian leaders have laid down for and taught us? Have we lost our dignity and all respect for our fellow citizens?  We, as Americans, need to earnestly PRAY for God’s mercy, forgiveness, wisdom, and guidance in the days ahead.  Let us look to and learn from the lives of those who have stood for the rights of citizens and have done so without hate-filled speech and violent demonstrations.  Let us pursue our causes with loving hearts and with Almighty God as our guide and remember the sacrifices of the brave men and women who risk their lives every day for our freedoms and protection. There is a better way!

Zacheriah 7:9: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another.”

Isaiah 1:17: “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”

Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

2 Samuel 8:15: “So David reigned over all Israel. And David administered justice and equity to all his people.”

What to Give the KING for His Birthday?

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What do you give a King for His birthday? A King who truly does have everything? Every year just before Christmas, I ask the King what He would like to receive from me. The answer varies widely, but there are two things in common: The gift is always sacrificial in nature, something I would not do unless He requested it. And it is something I could not do except God enables me.

So what will you give the King of Kings this Christmas? He offers a gift suggestion in John 13:34: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

What do you give a King for His birthday? Think about it! This year, would you celebrate Christmas by giving the King something He really wants … love each another.

#DailyLightforDailyLiving #ChristmasBlessings

What to Give the King? Follow Anne Graham Lotz on Facebook.