FREE TO CHOOSE

December 29, 2015

A new year, a clean slate and endless choices. We have 366 days ahead of us, (2016 is a Leap Year!) and how we choose to live each day depends on us. We may not be able to choose our circumstances, but we are free to choose our reactions, attitudes, and our conduct. Since we are free to choose, here are some excellent choices I want to make, and I hope you join me!

CHOOSE TIME ALONE WITH GOD. We can start each day spending time with God to get His perspective, wisdom, direction, strength and peace, or we can “wing it” on our own. Psalm 63:1 tells us: “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You…”  It usually doesn’t go as good when we “wing it.”

CHOOSE GRACE. Let’s opt to treat others with the lavish grace that God pours out in our life. In Matthew 10:8 we find these words of Jesus: “Freely you have received, freely give.” We can show grace to others only because we’ve received it from Him.

CHOOSE TRUTH. Instead of allowing damaging thoughts pull us down, let’s believe what is true. We find truth in God’s word. Christ said that if we abide in His word, we will know the truth, and the truth will make us free. (John 8:32) Believing the truth of His Word, we’ll be free!

CHOOSE TRUST. We have a choice: to worry and be afraid, or to trust God. We can’t do both. Psalm 9:10 says, “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Why would we not choose to trust our Faithful God?

CHOOSE TO LIVE FOR JESUS. It’s either our selfish agenda, or His; our lives revolve around ourselves, or they revolve around Him. The Apostle Paul wrote that “…those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14)

CHOOSE SURRENDER. Our burdens can get really heavy; we weren’t made to carry them. That’s why we have the privilege of giving them to God. Peter’s encouragement to believers is to cast “all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) Our Heavenly Father wants us to trust Him with our burdens.

CHOOSE CONTENTMENT. It’s easy to gripe and complain; to be grumpy instead of thankful. Let’s learn what the Apostle Paul learned: to be content. He said, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” (Philippians 4:11) When we are content, we are thankful!

CHOOSE TO END THE DAY PROCLAIMING GOD’S FAITHFULNESS. We can end each day lamenting how bad it went, or thankfully proclaim God’s faithfulness. Here’s a recommendation from the Psalmist: “It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord…to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness every night.” (Psalm 92:1,2)

Don’t forget: we’re free to choose!

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CHRISTMAS ACRONYM – H

December 5, 2013

Using the letter “H” of our Christmas acronym of the names of Jesus (see post from December 1), today we’ll look at Jesus, our HIGH PRIEST.

You might wonder, “Why do I need a High Priest, anyway? I think I can manage without one.” NO! Let’s dig a little deeper.

In the Old Testament, the High Priest had a very important ministry. Besides teaching God’s Law, he spoke to man on God’s behalf and offered sacrifices for the sins of the people. In fact, only the High Priest could enter into the Most Holy Place once a year, on the Day of Atonement, to offer a blood sacrifice for the sins of God’s people. He was the only mediator between God and man.

In the book of Hebrews, written after Christ’s time, we find Him as our “merciful and faithful High Priest” (Hebrews 2:17). He came to our sinful world, was tempted and suffered just like mankind throughout history. BUT…He was sinless, and that’s why He gave Himself up and shed His own blood as a sacrifice for our sins. He sympathizes with our weaknesses. Even now, as our High Priest, He is interceding for us before our Holy Father God, and because He represents us, we are encouraged to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

Yes, we all need Jesus as our High Priest. Let’s praise Him today because through Him we have confident access to our Most Holy God and His throne of grace.

What a gift! Enjoy it all year long!


CHRISTMAS ACRONYM – C

December 3, 2013

We are building our Christmas acronym with the names of Christ. Although there are several of His names that start with the letter “C”, today we’ll look at only one: CHRIST.

NEWSFLASH: “Christ” is not the last name of Jesus. “Christ” is the Greek translation of “Messiah”, which literally means “The Anointed One.” In the Old Testament, Kings, priests and prophets were anointed with oil, symbolizing that God had set them aside for a very special mission.

Christ Himself explained His special mission in John 10:10-18. In that passage, He declared that He came to lay down His life, and give “abundant life.” Later in Ephesians 2:4 and 5, the apostle Paul wrote: “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).

Yes, Christ is the Anointed One who fulfilled a very special mission: He came to give us the gift of abundant, eternal life. As you give and receive gifts this Christmas season, thank God for LIFE in Jesus, the greatest gift of all. It can’t be bought or wrapped; you won’t find it under any Christmas tree….but you can receive it in your heart!

“The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:23


COUNT YOUR “X” BLESSINGS

November 26, 2013

Since there aren’t too many “X” blessings, let’s bend the rules a little for today’s “Count Your Many Blessings” list. Let’s allow words that start with “eX” on our list, also. (I hope you’re OK with that!) Here are some of my “X” / “eX” blessings: x-rays, exercise, excellence, exceptions, extensions, explanations, experts and extras.

In John 1:16 we read about Jesus: “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” (NKJV) That means that Jesus gives us grace piled upon grace, and we all need that “extra”! The truth of extra grace is expressed in a sweet old hymn: “He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater…He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.”

Extra grace is an “eX” blessing that we can all thank God for! Take 3 minutes and 8 seconds to enjoy this hymn sung by the Gaithers here: http://youtu.be/YN9-Ri6qjZY


JESUS ALWAYS HAS THE LAST WORD

June 24, 2010

When He lived on this earth, Jesus always had the last word. In fulfillment of his mission, (Isaiah 61:1-3) He healed the sick and brokenhearted; He set spiritual captives free, comforted all who mourned, gave beauty for ashes. Whatever the situation, He always had the last word, and we can praise God for His words of grace, compassion, healing, life, forgiveness and restoration. Here are a few of many examples:

WORDS OF HEALING: To the man with the withered hand He said: “Stretch out your hand.” (Matthew 12:13).The man was made whole!

WORDS OF GRACE: To the Centurion who pleaded with him to heal his servant who was “paralyzed, dreadfully tormented, Jesus said: “Go your way, and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” (Matthew 8:6,13)

WORDS OF LIFE: To the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue He commanded: “Little girl I say to you, arise”. The little girl immediately arose and walked. (Mark 5:35-43)

WORDS FORGIVENESS: He assured the woman caught in adultery, about to be stoned by the self-righteous religious leaders that He would not condemn her, adding “Go, and sin no more”. (John 8:11)

WORDS OF RESTORATION: After healing blind Bartimaeus, He sent him on his way, restored! “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” (Mark 10:52)

WORDS OF AUTHORITY OVER DEATH: Standing before the tomb of His friend Lazarus, who was dead for four days he called out: “Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43,44) Death lost its power!

WORDS OF SALVATION: On the cross, having paid the price for our sins with His perfect, sinless life, “He said, ‘It is finished’ and bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” (John 19:30) There is nothing we can add to His perfect work of salvation. He had the last word.

TODAY: What about us? Whatever situation we find ourselves in, Jesus wants to have the last word. I’ve found it a fact that I can turn to His words and find sufficient grace for my trials, compassion and healing for my pain, forgiveness and restoration when I seek it, and life in times when it seems all hope is gone. He wants us to take the time to read and listen to His everlasting, unchanging, true words, and trust in Him. PRAISE GOD! He always has the last word!


Eternal Encouragement for YOU!

February 27, 2010

Welcome to the blog of Eternal Encouragement at  WordPress.com. This is my first post.

This morning, as I was reading a passage from the Bible (NIV), this verse found in 2nd Thessalonians 2:16,17  jumped off the page at me:  

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,

who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,

encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

The concept of encouragement has been important to me throughtout my life, and even more in the past few years. Just today I was thinking about the importance of it all morning. As I was seated in my cubicle, answering the phone, responding to e-mails and working on the computer at my place of employment, I tried to mentally identify the things and the people that are – or have been at some point – encouraging to me. The more I meditated on it, the more I thought “I’ve got to share this! Encouragement can’t be kept to myself! It should never be private!”

And so this blog was born…with a strong desire to share some of the encouragement I’ve received along the way, in hopes that you will find renewed hope, and pass it on to others, too!

Just like Paul says, it’s by God’s grace that we have eternal encouragement and good hope. If you feel discouraged, look to Christ, who longs to give us an abundant, satisfying life of grace!

 


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