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MEDITATIONS ON THE HEART~FALL 2012(STARTING 10/28)
1 year ago
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MEDITATIONS OF THE HEART
~FALL/2012
   

10/28
1 year ago

People Are Precious

JOHN 3:16 BBE
16 For God had such love for the world that he gave his only
Son, so that whoever has faith in him may not come to
destruction but have eternal life.

We may be too familiar with John 3:16 for its message to impact
us as it should. When it says that God loves the world, it
means the people of the world.

God loves people -- even the sinners. ALL the people of the
world are loved by God. (That does not mean He approves of
their behavior. But God loves them.)

People are created in the image of God. We are like God, His
children. (You must receive Jesus to be a true child of God,
but originally mankind was created in God's image, as His
children.)

Children are precious to their parents. No matter how many
children a parent has, every child is precious to them. They
are all loved.

So it is with God, who obviously has a huge capacity for love.

A parent may have a child who is a criminal, but that parent,
if they are a good parent, will still care for their son or
daughter and desire good for them. God is no less loving and
caring. He desires good for us -- every one.

When we deal with people who are acting terrible, it can be
difficult to remember they are precious to God.

LUKE 6:35-36 NLT
35 "Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without
expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be
very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the
Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and
wicked.
36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is
compassionate.

People will last for eternity. People will live with God and
give Him pleasure in the ages to come.

Let's stay focused on what is really precious and worthwhile.
Material possessions are nice and have their place, but are
nothing compared to the worth of a human being -- even if that
human being is not perfected yet.

Even with rough edges, people are valuable. You are precious to
God! So is everyone else.

SAY THIS: Every person is precious to God.

1 year ago

You Are All Brothers And Sisters

MATTHEW 23:8-11 NLT
8 "Don't let anyone call you 'Rabbi,' for you have only one
teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.
9 And don't address anyone here on earth as 'Father,' for only
God in heaven is your spiritual Father.
10 And don't let anyone call you 'Teacher,' for you have only
one teacher, the Messiah.
11 The greatest among you must be a servant.

These verses can seem perplexing. Yet they contain some
important truths.

The first is that in the Kingdom of God we are all siblings --
all on the same level.

(Jesus did not specifically address gender in this passage, but
it fits in perfectly. Any attempt to classify women as inferior
or second-class in any way goes against the spirit of what
Jesus said in this passage. And Galatians 3:28 certainly backs
up this idea.)

Jesus is not telling us it is wrong to acknowledge we have an
earthly parent called a father. For the Bible tells us to honor
our father and mother. He must be referring to the custom of
calling someone "Father" as a term of great respect.

For example, there are people who are called "the father of
modern medicine" or "the father of jazz music." The word
"father" used in this way means someone who was the originator,
the one who started it all -- the leader of a movement.

Although it is not wrong to honor someone because of their
achievements, we should not consider humans the originators of
everything. And we are not to set some people up on a pedestal
and follow them instead of God.

It is not wrong to honor people, but it is wrong to honor
people above God.

No one should be allowed to take the place of honor and respect
that belongs to God alone. He is the One who originated all
things. He is the One who deserves our utmost honor, respect,
and obedience. God is our Leader!

And instead of operating like the world and setting up a
hierarchy we are to operate as co-equals. (This is not to say
there should not be positions of authority and leadership. But
all should remember that being in those positions is a matter
of responsibility, not a matter of being better than others.)

All human beings are on the same level. God loves us all. One
person is not more important or valuable than any other person.

The human tendency is to try and distinguish ourselves from
others. We try to elevate ourselves so others will look up to
us and make us feel good about ourselves. Jesus is telling us
we must not operate this way.

We should not need a title to make us feel valuable when God
has already established our value by the price He paid to
redeem us. Being a child of God is the highest position
imaginable. No human title can begin to compare with that.

All special titles and human recognition are ultimately
worthless anyway. They may have some value here on earth. But
only God, the ultimate Judge, truly matters. What others think
of us matters little.

Human organizations always exalt some people while minimizing
others. "These are the important people. These other people are
not very important." But God's people are not supposed to
operate this way.

Finally, Jesus tells a great truth -- which many have not yet
understood. The greatest person is the one who serves others
the most. This is not just a short-term idea, valid only in
this life on earth. This is the way it will be in God's Kingdom
for eternity. Those who serve others the most are the greatest.

In the Kingdom of God status is not measured by a title or an
office or a following (how may fans or friends you may have).
Instead greatness is determined solely by how much you help
others.

God helps everyone all the time. That makes Him the greatest.
The more we help others, the greater it makes us. So don't
worry about a title or an office -- just help people.

SAY THIS: God's family is not a hierarchy.

10/31
1 year ago

Fear Is A Form Of Worship

MATTHEW 4:10 NLT
10 "Get out of here, Satan," Jesus told him. "For the
Scriptures say, 'You must worship the Lord your God and serve
only him.'"

The devil craves worship. He wants us to think he is great and
very capable of causing havoc in our lives.

We should not be intimidated by our enemy. Fear is an
acknowledgment of his ability.

God has told us in His Word, over and over, not to fear.

In the New Testament, the main word used for worship can be
summarized as submission, or an attitude of submission because
of profound reverence.

So being controlled by fear is submitting to the devil out of
respect for his power and ability, and it is worship.

We should not do it!

SAY THIS: I will not fear because God loves me and has redeemed
me out of the kingdom of darkness, over which He has given me
authority through the Name of Jesus.

1 year ago

Sin's Deception

HEBREWS 3:13 NLT
13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still
"today," so that none of you will be deceived by sin and
hardened against God.

Sin advertises that it will bring happiness, but fails to
deliver.

Deception's story is that going God's way is too restrictive --
too hard -- and won't lead to happiness. So sin tells you to
throw off restraint and live for the moment -- do whatever
feels right to you with no thought for the future.

The only problem is that it does not work! Sin's promises are
empty.

All sin hurts people. So all sin will (eventually) make someone
miserable.

Can you make yourself happy by making others miserable? No! It
may seem to work for awhile, but in the end it fails.

Don't be deceived! You cannot make yourself happy by hurting
people.

Instead of happiness, sin actually pays out in death.

ROMANS 6:23 NLT
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is
eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Whatever pleasure sin may bring is something very temporary
which lasts for only a short while. Then it brings death!

HEBREWS 11:25 NLT
25 He chose to share the oppression of God's people instead of
enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin.

Fortunately, there is good news! Jesus came to save us from sin.

MATTHEW 1:21 NKJ
21 "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name
JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."

The good news is that no matter how deeply sin has trapped you,
Jesus will forgive you and free you!

Jesus is not your enemy -- sin is your enemy. Sin only promises
you happiness, then brings destruction, misery, and pain. Jesus
is your friend who came to set you free from sin.

Jesus frees us not only from the punishment of sin, but also
from the power and control of sin.

When you receive Him, Jesus puts His life and love in your
heart, so you don't have to sin.

People sin because they are afraid of missing out on something
good. All sin is based on fear, which results from not truly
knowing God loves us.

But God does love you! Enough to die for you! So you can be
certain that He does not want to withhold any good thing from
you.

MATTHEW 7:14 NLT
14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is
difficult, and only a few ever find it.

Many people read this verse in Matthew and think of few people
making it to Heaven, but that is not what Jesus said. Life, in
full victory, as God intended, is enjoyed by very few people
during our time on earth. The reason is because they allow
themselves to be deceived by sin.

The road of joyful, wonderful life is difficult. It can be a
struggle to keep from being deceived. But Jesus will help you!
He is the Way! So call on Jesus and trust Him to help you!

SAY THIS: I refuse to let sin deceive me!

1 year ago

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