Demonstrating Our Love for God

    Sunday, February 20, 2011, 9:40 AM [General]

    "One of the ways we demonstrate our love for God is by demonstrating our love for our spouses"

    Billy Graham, The Journey, pub. 2006 by Thomas Nelson 


    How do you demonstrate your love for God?  Do you live His law of love towards Him, others and self?  Are you quick to encourage and lift others up when they are overwhelmed, stuck, or discouraged?  Are you there to respect their abilities and lend a hand where their abilities stop and yours continue?


    The above questions are significant because they reflect how God treats and interacts with us.  He bears our burdens and sends love and encouragement to us, perhaps through an uplifting thought or psalm, or perhaps by leading someone to call or write showing you that you are not alone in your struggles.  He also knows our emotional state and what gifts He has given us and is quick to encourage by taking up where we leave off to accomplish what seemed to us an impossible task.


    Has it occurred to you that God demonstrates His love for us in the same way we demonstrate ours for Him?  It's all about transcending the self and making the others' needs more important than our own.  After all, Jesus did not look forward to the pain and the suffering that the cross would bring, but He did it anyway so that the sin barrier between man and God could be removed.  Can we do any less with such an example?  That's today's encouraging word.


    copyright 2011, Pastorsrus, All Rights Reserved

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    Everyone Needs Comfort and Encouragement Sometimes

    Saturday, February 19, 2011, 8:18 AM [General]

    Everyone needs encouraging, comforting words when life gets hard for whatever reason.  Perhaps things you've tried to do just didn't work out or perhaps you've lost a relationship through death, divorce or break-up.  Perhaps you've been hurt or betrayed in some way.  Whatever the cause, you know you hurt, and sometimes that hurt can feel almost unbearable.


    What helps you get through these kinds of times?  Do you share in a post like this?  Do you reach out to God for His love and care?  Do you decide to do something special for yourself like maybe buy that book you've been wanting or that cd or dvd?  Do you think of others who are hurting, perhaps not the same way you are, and you decide to get your mind off yourself and make their day a little brighter, perhaps with a phone call, a visit or a snail mail or ecard? 


    Pastor George and I have been on both sides in that we've needed comfort and encouragement when the path God has for us gets hard and that we've been blessed to be His instruments of comfort and encouragement so that hurting brothers and sisters in Christ have broken free from despair, discouragement and depression to move on to be and do what God has for them to be and do.  


    God's word tells us to share each others' burdens because it helps us.  It helps the comforter grow in love and compassion, and it helps the hurting to know that he/she is not alone or unsupported during a tough time in this journey called life.


    I remember when I was single and one of my guy friends called me with woman problems.  It was very important to him to share, but emotionally and physically it was hard for me to be there for him.  I had a devastating day at work and was nursing a migraine that was pretty severe.  I shared that with my friend, but he felt his need was urgent and persisted in asking me for gal-type advice and encouragement.  Desperate, I cried out to God to take up where I left off so that I could be His instrument for my friend.  He strengthened me to give my friend what he needed so I could suffer in peace.  The point is that it's not always convenient to be there for someone who needs.  Those of us who are God's can do what seems impossible like with the above example.  It's not our power but His that makes the difference.


    Pastor G and I pray daily that we can be Jesus to whoever He sends across our path.  The sometimes unspoken part of the prayer is that He empowers us to do and be what that person needs us to do and be in spite of of our human limitations.  That's my prayer for you as well.  God made us in His image, and part of that is being a comforter and an encourager.  That's today's encouraging word.


    copyright 2011, Pastorsrus, All Rights Reserved


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    There's More to God than You Think

    Friday, February 18, 2011, 10:03 AM [General]

    Most believers know that God is worthy of praise and worship, and that's so very true!  But if you stop there, you miss out on some precious experiences with God.


    You would probably answer the question "why did God create you?" with "to serve Him now and for eternity along with praising and worshipping Him".  If you look at the story of creation, you'll see there's more.  You see God interacting with Adam and working with him to teach him about this beautiful paradise He created for him.  God gave the garden to Adam to dress and keep, and God showed Him how.  God gave Adam dominion over the animals, and He showed him how to interact with them and take care of them, too.   He took part of Adam and gave him someone to share paradise with as well as interact with in ways that God and Adam couldn't becauses of the differences between flesh and spirit.  God continued habitually walking in the garden and seeking the man and woman out to share and interact.


    Just like God created Eve from part of him, God created us with part of Him.  He did say, "Let us create man in our likeness."  Have you ever paused to think what that really means?   God created us in love so that we could be love to Him and each other.  That's a relational thing, and that's what's missing from the praise and worship equation.  God created us to be up close and personal with Him in a multi-level relationship that begins here in this life and lasts for eternity. 


    Ever wonder what eternity with God will be like?  Look for Him daily in the garden of your heart.  That's today's encouraging word.


    copyright 2011, Pastorsrus, All Rights reserved 

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    Encouraging Words vs Discouraging Words

    Thursday, February 17, 2011, 12:18 PM [General]

    I just looked at a reply to a question I was led to post about what kind of relationship do believers have with God and mentioned various Bible great ones and their varying relationships with Him.  The reply was from someone who says she is a believer, and she stated that she thinks believers' association with God is theraputic and not relational.  It made me very sad that someone could derive joy from answering a question in that way.  If I were down or having a bad day, does it matter to the person who replied to me as to how I might feel about her discouraging words?


    How much do we all care about how our words and attitudes affect others?  How much do we realize that what we do or say can have a positive or negative impact on someone's day and life?  God's Law of Love towards Him, others and self  makes this principle clear.  It's a great gauge to judge the impact of our words and actions.  Today, I encourage all to use this very important gauge from this moment on and consider not only your own feelings and perspective but how what you say or do may impact others.  True, we are all different, so you might consider thinking about the one that could be negatively impacted the most by what you want to say and gauge your words and actions accordingly.  That's today's encouraging word.


    copyright 2011, Pastorsrus, All Rights Reserved

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    What it means to be created in God's image

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 9:51 AM [General]

    All those who have read the Bible have seen the scripture (Genesis 1:26) where God says "Let us make man in Our image."  Have you ever wondered what God means by that?  Well, we are flesh and God is spirit, so that can't be it.  Scripture shows God having hands, a back (that's what Moses saw), knees (He loves to dandle Israel), hair (Jesus is pictured as having hair like wool), and eyes.  So, it's clear that although there are obvious differences between flesh and spirit, we can appear similar.  But similar is not the same, so there must be something more.


    Then, there's Jesus, who was God in the flesh.  He said that He and the Father are one, or the same.  By extrapolation, so is God the Holy Spirit.  How are they the same?  Is it appearance, or is there more?  In an ah ha moment it occurred to me that Jesus was talking about how God the Father thinks about things, how He approaches them.  In today's language, it could be said they are on the same page.  So, I got to thinking that that's what God wants us to be with Him as well:  on the same page, in agreement.  Okay, the next question is how can this be?  We believers know that we are indwelled and led by God the Holy Spirit and that God the Holy Spirit transforms us daily in to being more like God.   God is spirit, so we are learning about how to be spirit while we are in the flesh.  That's God's image.  But there's more!  God, in His very essence is love.  So God the Holy Spirit is working in us daily to re-create us into the love that God is.  That's an amazingly wonderful concept, and I pray you think so, too.


    God has also created us in His image with mind, emotions, will and creativity.  Why?  That's another journal post.  Hope you enjoyed today's encouraging word.


    copyright 2011, Pastorsrus, All Rights Reserved

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    God's Promise and Coping Tool for Life's Tough Times

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 10:32 AM [General]

    When believers go through tough times, what is it that sustains us?  How can we move on to be and do what God has for us to be and do in spite of the obstacles we face?  Pastor G and I are no strangers to life's tough times, and I am here to share that God has taught us much through them in addition to one very important spiritual fact that has sustained us through the years.  We hold on to Jesus' promise never to leave or forsake us, so we know we are never alone.  We also hold on to the spiritual fact that God's love is always with us.  It's a connection that can't be broken.


    I offer you these verses for you to hold in your heart today and for the rest of your life.  Tough times happen to us all, and God is here for us in word and spirit always. Romans 8:35, 38-39.


    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?


    For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,


    Nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is Christ Jesus our Lord. 


    That's today's encouraging word.  Blessings to all.


    Copyright 2011, Pastorsrus, All Rights reserved


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    About Love

    Monday, February 14, 2011, 11:12 AM [General]

    Today is a day we celebrate love, and that's a wonderful thing!  It's always great to actually show others how much they mean to us in tangible ways.  How are you showing love to those in your life today?  Are you doing something to make them feel special?  Are you giving gifts?  Are you giving time?  Are you giving attention? 


    The thing is, love is who and what God is at His very core.  He is always showing those of us who are His how much He loves us in physically and spiritually tangible ways.  How has He shown His love to you today?  How have you shown your love to Him today?


    Scripture tells us to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith.  Do you ever examine yourself to see where you are as far as love is concerned?  Are you patient, kind, humble, thoughtful, outwardly focused, and filled with joy and peace?  Some scriptures you'll want to check out are 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and Galatians 5:22-23.  That's today's encouraging word.


    copyright 2011, Pastorsrus, All Rights Reserved

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    One of God's Precious Gifts to You

    Sunday, February 13, 2011, 4:34 PM [General]

    There's no question about it that life gets tough sometimes.  God knows that, and Jesus told us that He gives us His peace.  Scripture calls it the peace that passes all understanding.


    Have you ever wondered how to receive this gift?  All you need to do is ask God, for He gives good gifts to those who ask.  This peace is always in His will, plan and purpose for you to have and live in no matter what is going on in your life. 


    I don't know about you, but sometimes things get so physically and emotionally overwhelming that without this precious gift, I would lose my stability.  Then, I would be no good to those God sends across my path, my ever-lovin' husband Pastor G or myself.  When I think about it, asking God for this treasured gift is like asking Him to help me love myself the way He wants like He says in the Great Commandment to love Him, others and self.


    So, I pray that God grants you His peace that passes all understanding when you request it from Him.  Now that's a prayer I know will be heard and answered.  That's today's encouraging word. 


    copyright 2011, Pastorsrus,  All Rights Reserved


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    Your Relationship With God Can Be More Than Sovereign

    Saturday, February 12, 2011, 3:38 PM [General]

    Pastor G and I, like you, have grown in our relationship with God over the years.  We began like most do and worshipped a sovereign God.  Then God started to draw our attention to the various types of relationships that believers had with Him.  We saw that Abraham was called God's friend.  Friends share and interact and care about each other.  We saw God almost let Abraham talk Him out of destroying Sodom and Gomorrah.  Wow!  We can actually have an impact on God's plan and choices if He allows it!  That's amazing, we thought.  


    Then God showed us Moses and how Moses loved Him so much that he cared more about God's reputation among foreign nations than having a new people of God begin through him.  That's so unselfish and so looking out for someone else's needs as opposed to gratifying the self.  Then there's Job, whose relationship with God was unshakeable and who had enough confidence God wasn't going to turn him into a grease spot when he demanded God explain to him what was going on because he racked his brain but couldn't honestly find fault in his actions or choices. 


    The closest relationship was between Jesus and the Apostle John.  We saw how John was transformed from the loudmouth he had been to the loving, supportive friend he became.  He was the only disciple who was there while Jesus was on the cross, and it was to John that He entrusted the care and support of His mom Mary.


    So, Pastor G and I told God we wanted to be His friends in any way He wants: like Abraham, John, Moses or Job, or a combination of all.  God gives you that choice, too or you can choose to continue as you always have been with Him.  He loves you enough to let you choose just how much of Him you want in your life.  That's today's encouraging word.


    Copyright 2011, Pastorsrus, All Rights Reserved



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    Unity in the Church...Living Psalm 133

    Friday, February 11, 2011, 12:16 PM [General]

    Jesus looked around and asked who His brother, mother and sister were.  He answered that all were His mother brother and sister.  As believers, we are family, and God wants us to live in unity.  Yes, as family members, we may have disagreements and conflicts, but can we resolve them by not necessarily capitulating (that would open the door to a conscience issue) but agreeing to disagree? 


    What unites us is love, and that's what God is at His very core.  As believers, we are being transformed daily into His image, so we are ever becoming love more and more.  We have so much in common that it covers the differences just like love covers a multitude of sins.


    So, can we be brothers and sisters in Christ and be bridges of love to each other and those God sends across our path or must we be barriers because of misunderstanding and doctrines of men?  That's today's encouraging word.


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