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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Write It Down

If you are like most Christians, you no doubt enjoy reading the Psalms. These verses, most of which were put to music, were used as expressions of praise to God for His love, His goodness and His mercy.

 I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me. Psalm 13: 6

The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!  Psalm 18: 46

 Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.Psalm 28: 6

But many of them, written by David when he was experiencing persecution from his enemies, were songs of lament, hardship and the wrath of God.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42: 5

Arise, LORD, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies. Awake, my God; decree justice. Psalm 7: 6

You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me. Psalm 18: 48

The prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah and others also wrote about God's faithfulness, wisdom and His willingness to forgive.

For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41: 13

For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Hosea 13: 11

Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips. Hosea 14: 2

What about you? What has God done for you? What do you have to be thankful for? Has God forgiven you, blessed you, comforted you in times of distress?  Why don't you do what the Bible writers did? Why not write it down? This will help you in a number of ways:

It will help you recognize what you have to be thankful for.
It's something you can refer back to when things might be rough and you tend to forget what God has done for you.
You can write some verses of praise and memorize them. Use them to comfort you when you are feeling down.
It will help you identify those areas of your life that you need to pray to God about, either because you are weak in those areas, or you simply don't know what to do.

By now I think you know what I'm talking about. I'm talking about journaling. You can use a simple spiral notebook, or if you prefer something fancy you can click on the link below. If you do, I will receive a small commission.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Passing The Baton

Usain Bolt's final gold captivates the Twitter worldLike most people, I have been watching the 2016 Olympics every chance I get, and I'm blown away by the extraordinary performance of the athletes - even the losers. To me, they appear almost superhuman. And as I watched Usain Bolt, the athletic phenomenon, capture another gold medal in the men's 4 x 100 m relay, a thought ran through my mind. What if the person passing the baton was a second too late, or what if he stumbled and fell? The thought confirmed something I already knew. We all need someone to depend on. No one man - or woman - however great, achieves success on his/her own strength.

This is proven in the lives of many great men in the Bible. Moses had Joshua, Elijah had Elisha, the Apostle Paul had Barnabas and even Jesus depended on His disciples - especially Peter, James and John - to assist Him in His work. Just as these great men supported and received support from trusted individuals, so too we should train ourselves to be dependable. Those with whom we live and work should be able to count on us to do what we are supposed to do, when we are supposed to do it. And we in turn should not be selfish with our gifts, but should be willing to pass them on to others the way Elijah passed his mantle over to Elisha, and Jesus did with His disciples. He said to them, "Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father" (John 14: 11).

 So, can you pass that baton, or grab it when it comes to you? Whatever your situation in life may be, you are needed. If you feel that you are lacking, ask the Holy Spirit to equip you to fulfill the role that is expected of you. You may never be a Usain Bolt, but you can be part of a formidable team that runs the race to victory.

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