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HOPE OF HEAVEN

BREAD

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5 (NIV)

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 2 Peter 3:10-14 (NIV)

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:1-4 (NIV)

10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. Isaiah 40:10 (NIV)

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” C.S. Lewis

“Hope can see heaven through the thickest clouds.” Thomas Brooks

“A little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but a lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul.” D. L. Moody

“He suffers my happiness here to be imperfect, that so I may be pressing on to that place where I shall be perfectly happy forever. Lord, guide me in this Christian race, and keep my mind intent on thee; rejoicing when I see thy face, and trusting when I cannot see.” K. H. Bogatzky

“Our duty as Christians is always to keep heaven in our eye and earth under our feet.” Matthew Henry

“Most of us find it very difficult to want ‘Heaven’ at all – except in so far as ‘Heaven’ means meeting again our friends who have died. One reason for this difficulty is that we have not been trained: our whole education tends to fix our minds on this world. Another reason is that when the real want for Heaven is present in us, we do not recognize it. Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise.” C.S. Lewis

“No man is fit to comprehend heavenly things who has not resigned himself to suffer adversities for Christ.” Thomas a Kempis

“A follower of the Lord walks with his feet upon the ground, while his eyes are fixed upon heaven. He knows that all the things around him are passing away, and that all that is before him will last forever.” Roy Lessin

“The main object of religion is not to get a man into heaven, but to get heaven into him.” Thomas Hardy

“The people of God are to model the new heaven and new earth, and by so doing awaken longings for what God will bring to pass.” Philip Yancey

HEART SAVOR

• I am to keep earth under my feet and my eyes fixed on heaven.
• My treasures are to be stored up in heaven not earth.
• My inheritance in heaven never perishes or spoils or fades away.

THANKFUL FOR HIS LOVE

BREAD

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)

3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. 4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:3-4 (NIV)

28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? Psalms 27:1 (NIV)

28 For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. Psalms 37:28 (NIV)

1 Then Job replied to the LORD: 2 “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” Job 42:1-3 (NIV)

1 I love you, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalms 18:1-2 (NIV)

17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all. Psalms 34:17-19 (NIV)

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca (tears), they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. 7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. Psalms 84:5-7 (NIV)

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. 12 O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you. Psalms 84:11-12 (NIV)

BUTTER

“God’s love is always supernatural, always a miracle, always the last thing we deserve.” Robert Horn

“And He looks you right in the eye & whispers: You have enough of Me & courage to do this hard thing. You have enough of Me & strength to not give up. You have enough of Me & love to keep on giving. You have enough of Me & peace to know that you are carried. You have enough of Me to simply rest. You have enough of Me — and I am enough. You are enough — because the great I AM is in you…and with you… and for you. And that alone is completely enough.” Ann Voskamp

“We are never beyond the Shepherd’s eye. In our sorrows He observes us incessantly, and not a pang escapes Him; in our toils He sees all our weariness, and writes in His book all the struggles of His faithful ones. These thoughts of the Lord encompass us in all our paths and penetrate the innermost regions of our being. Not a nerve or tissue, valve or vessel of our bodily organization is uncared for: all the littles of your little world are thought of by our great God.” Charles Spurgeon

“Luther was once found at a moment of peril and fear, when he had need to grasp unseen strength, sitting in an abstracted mood tracing on the table with his finger the words, ‘Vivit! Vivit!’ (‘He lives! He lives!’). It is our hope for ourselves, and for His truth, and for mankind. Men come and go; leaders, teachers, thinkers speak and work for a season, and then fall silent and impotent. He abides. They die, but He lives. They are lights kindled, and, therefore, sooner or later quenched; but He is the true light from which they draw all their brightness, and He shines forevermore.” Alexander Maclaren

“Whatever has captured your heart will control you.” Sheri Rose Shepherd

“God is our Refuge, our Strength and Salvation, A Mighty Fortress is the Lord Almighty. There is no equal, no power beside Him. Forever our Champion is the Lord our God. Our Savior, He is King over all the earth.” Lyrics to Defender (Call Upon The Name Of The Lord)

“Christian thanksgiving is the life of Christ in the heart — transforming the disposition and the whole character. Thanksgiving must be wrought into the life as a habit—before it can become a fixed and permanent quality. An occasional burst of praise, in the midst of years of complaining, is not what is required. Songs on rare, sunshiny days; and no songs when skies are cloudy—will not make a life of gratitude. The heart must learn to sing always. This lesson is learned only when it becomes a habit which nothing can weaken. We must persist in being thankful. When we can see no reason for praise—we must believe in the divine love and goodness, and sing in the darkness. Thanksgiving has attained its rightful place in us, only when it is part of all our days and dominates all our experiences.” J. R. Miller

“One act of thanksgiving when things go wrong with us is worth a thousand thanks when things are agreeable to our inclinations.” Saint John of Avila

“Life is a furnace and the faithful live by the Shadrach-prayer of only 4 words: ‘Even if He doesn’t.’ This world doesn’t have anything that can burn down the faith of a heart on fire for God.” Ann Voskamp

HEART SAVOR

• If God is for me who can be against me?
• Because He loves me and has my best interest at heart, where He leads me I will follow.
• Thanksgiving in all circumstances shows trust in the One Who controls all.

THE GRACE OF EMPATHY

BREAD

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. Hebrews 4:14-15 (NIV)

17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God. Hebrews 2:17 (NIV)

18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:18 (NIV)

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)

8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us. 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 (NIV)

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15 (NIV)

1 So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. 2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, 3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were destined for them. 1 Thessalonians 3:1-3 (NIV)

12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:12-13 (NIV)

BUTTER

“The Oxford Dictionary defines empathy/empathize as understanding and sharing in the feelings of someone else, relating to and having insight into the circumstances/feelings of another, putting yourself in their place. It is different from sympathy/sympathize which is feeling sorry for someone. Empathy flows from a heart that has walked as the other has walked and has felt both the pain and the joy of the like circumstance and is now on the other side. It comes from one who is faithful to call back from the Valley of Baca (tears) to the one who is still in the midst – helping them to go from ‘strength to strength’. Who has not been exquisitely ministered to by someone who has lived through like circumstances? Isn’t that who we seek out when going through our throes? In God’s great economy it is one way of His making beauty out of our ashes as we walk alongside encouraging others with kindred struggles as our own.” BHY

“In community with other believers, as we humble ourselves and open up to receive from the body of Christ, we will be strengthened to see the full kaleidoscope of His plan and be encouraged in the grace of waiting.” Sylvia Gunter

“Encouragement costs you nothing to give, but it is priceless to receive.” Anonymous

“If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back – ‘Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track; And if, perchance, Faith’s light is dim, because the oil is low, Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go. Call back, and tell me that he went with you into the storm; Call back, and say He kept you when the forest’s roots were torn; That, when the heavens thunder and the earthquake shook the hill, He bore you up and held you where the very air was still. Oh, friend, call back, and tell me for I cannot see your face, They say it glows with triumph, and your feet bound in the race; But there are mists between us and my spirit eyes are dim, And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him. But if you’ll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry, And if you’ll say He saw you through the night’s sin-darkened sky If you have gone a little way ahead, of friend, call back – ‘Twill cheer my heart an help my feet along the stony track.” Mrs. Charles Cowman

“On Him then reckon, to Him look, on Him depend: and be assured that if you walk with Him, look to Him and expect help from Him, He will never fail you. An older brother, who has known the Lord for forty-four years, who writes this, says for your encouragement that He has never failed him. In the greatest difficulties, in the heaviest trials, in the deepest poverty and necessities, He has never failed me; but because I was enabled by His grace to trust in Him, He has always appeared for my help. I delight in speaking well of His Name.” George Mueller

“If I were a pastor, I would want to preach in the spirit of the New Covenant, inviting everyone in the congregation to see the heart of God revealed in the cross of Christ. I would encourage them to interpret all of life’s hardships not as problems to fix or struggles to relieve or pain to deaden, but as important elements in a larger story that all God’s children long to tell. I would urge them to accept wherever they are on the journey, whether happy or miserable, as the place where God will meet them, where He loves them, where He will continue to work in them. And I would offer my own life as a growing, struggling, sometimes painfully unattractive example of what doing that might mean. I would beg God to deliver me from Calvary-denying sermons, which leave people feeling scolded and pressured….I would ask God to never let me again preach an Eden-denying message where psychological insights replace biblical wisdom in a misguided effort to repair emotional damage when the real problem is a serpent-inspired determination to experience life without God.” Larry Crabb

“One of the highest of human duties is the duty of encouragement…It is easy to laugh at men’s ideals; it is easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm; it is easy to discourage others. The world is full of discouragers. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a man on his feet. Blessed is the man who speaks such a word.” William Barclay

HEART SAVOR

• I am to comfort others with the comfort I have received.
• I am to “call back” to others telling them of God’s faithfulness through all circumstances He allows in my life.
• Empathy encourages others forward.

WRONG ACTIONS BEAR CONSEQUENCES

BREAD

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NIV)

16 The wages of the righteous bring them life, but the income of the wicked brings them punishment. Proverbs 10:16 (NIV)

15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. Deuteronomy 30:15-18 (NIV)

18 The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. 19 The truly righteous man attains life, but he who pursues evil goes to his death. 20 The LORD detests men of perverse heart but he delights in those whose ways are blameless. 21 Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free. Proverbs 11:18-21 (NIV)

6 The house of the righteous contains great treasure, but the income of the wicked brings them trouble. Proverbs 15:6 (NIV)

28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:28-32 (NIV)

6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. Romans 8:6-8 (NIV)

12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:12-14 (NIV)

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:7-9 (NIV)

BUTTER

“We judge things by their present appearance; but the Lord sees them in their consequences. If we could do the same we would be perfectly of His mind; but since we can’t, it is an unspeakable mercy that He will manage for us, whether we are pleased with His management or not; and it is regarded as one of His heaviest judgments when He gives any person up to the way of their own hearts, and to walk according to their own wisdom.” John Newton

“We want to believe that we are autonomous, but the gospel assures us we are under the jurisdiction of God. We want to believe that we are good at heart, but the gospel says we are far worse than we could possibly imagine. We want to believe we are wise, but the gospel says we are foolish. We want to define ourselves by our desires and preferences, but the gospel says that God has already defined us in the act of creating us. We want to believe that we can do whatever we want today without fear of eternal consequences, but the gospel unapologetically declares that there will be the most fearsome and eternal consequences for our sin. That is an offensive message. That is an ultimately offensive message…. But the gospel cuts against the grain with a message that counters it all: You are disobedient, you are dead, you are doomed. (And, of course, until Christ found me I, too, was disobedient and dead and doomed.) This bad news of the gospel is so offensive (yet so demonstrably true!) that few people stick around to hear the good news—the good news that there is hope and forgiveness and freedom for those who will put their faith in Jesus Christ and receive his salvation. The bright stars are only visible against the dark sky, and the ultimate joy of the gospel only shines against the ultimate bad.” Tim Challies

“In God’s eyes, impurity is one of the most revolting sins, because it twists and distorts one of God’s most precious gifts: human love. Impurity drags this gift down to the level of the beast. Yet impurity – surrounding us as it does in the form of filthy stories, suggestive remarks, open vulgarity; in magazines, on television, in the movies, through the Internet – has a better press agent than purity. Purity is considered smug, but impurity is considered smart – and the consequences of this vicious sin are played down. Satan fails to speak of the remorse, the futility, the loneliness, and the spiritual devastation that go hand in hand with immorality…Christ can cleanse you and give you victory over your sin. Jesus said to the immoral woman, “Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11). He says that to you as well – and He never told anyone to do something without offering them the power to do it.” Billy Graham

“Just as there are always blessings to obedience, conversely there will always be consequences to sin. Every sin carries with it a death sentence – death to trust, death to relationship, death to freedom, etc. etc. We do not sin merely as unto ourselves, sin’s tentacles are far reaching and devastating – like a ripple in the water when you cast in a stone. We get to choose to sin or not but God chooses the consequence. Just read about what happened to King David after his encounter with Bathsheba and how it affected the rest of his life. God is severe in His judgments because He knows what sin does to a life and the lives of others. This is not a winking, joking thing with Him. He doesn’t want us to go there (to say the least) – He has far greater, pleasing and perfect plans for us than that. It is all too important to note that while a believer in Jesus is forgiven for sin that does not mean there will not be consequences. Just saying….” BHY

HEART SAVOR

• Sin is an insidious monster – stay away from it at all costs.
• Believers are forgiven but that does not erase consequences.
• The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.

WORTHY OF PRAISE

BREAD

“Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.” Nehemiah 9:5-6 (NIV)

16 “O LORD Almighty, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.” Isaiah 37:16 (NIV)

25 “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. 26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. 27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:25-31 (NIV)

12 It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts. Isaiah 45:12 (NIV)

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 3 For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts. Psalms 95:1-8 (NIV)

1 Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. 2 I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. 3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. 5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, 6 the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them– the LORD, who remains faithful forever. 7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, 8 the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. 9 The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. 10 The LORD reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD. Psalms 146:1-10 (NIV)

BUTTER

“You awaken us to delight in Your praise.” Augustine

“Be not afraid of saying too much in the praises of God; all the danger is of saying too little.” Matthew Henry

“When God would quicken my affections, he gives me a glance of heaven, that so I may be in love with what I see. When I begin to bless myself, and rest in my happy privileges, he draws a veil over the bright vision, that I may rest in nothing but himself, nor loathe what I so greatly love. He suffers my happiness here to be imperfect, that so I may be pressing on to that place where I shall be perfectly happy forever. Lord, when thou showest thyself, let me love thee; when my mountain stands strong, let me praise thee; when thou withdrawest thyself, let me follow thee; when thy countenance is hid, let me still believe that thou lovest me: under all my changes here, let my soul be always breathing, panting, longing, and reaching after thee, till I shall so perfectly enjoy thee, that I may never lose thee more Amen. Lord, guide me in this Christian race, and keep my mind intent on thee; rejoicing when I see thy face, and trusting when I cannot see.” K. H. Bogatzky

“The pulse of prayer is praise.” William Arthur Ward

“Men in general praise God in such a manner that He scarcely obtains the tenth part of His due.” John Calvin

“Praise as hard as you pray.” Laura Black

“Man’s chief work is the praise of God.” St. Augustine

“Whenever you react with praise and thanksgiving for an opportunity to grow more like Jesus in your way of reacting to things, instead of grumbling or feeling self-pity, you will find that that whole situation will be changed into a great blessing.” Hannah Hurnard

“Praise is the beauty of a Christian. What wings are to a bird, what fruit is to the tree, what the rose is to the thorn, that is praise to a child of God.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“In prayer we act like men; in praise we act like angels.” Thomas Watson

“As believers determined to honor Christ with every portion of our lives, our lips should come into harmony with our actions as we praise God at every opportunity. This is how we live with a heavenly perspective—one that is set on the One who can transform our darkest situation into one of hope and light.” Michael Youssef

“Praise is about what God desires us to do, not about the power of your circumstances. When you get your eyes off your immediate problem and put your focus on God, you are redirecting yourself toward what God will do for you, not what man has done to you. At that point, God can work in your life to produce real growth.” Michael Youssef

HEART SAVOR

• I am to praise God from Whom all blessings flow.
• All of life can turn into a blessing in God’s omnipotent hands for the child of the King. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV)
• Praise and thanksgiving are to be my natural response to everything in my life. 20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” 22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. Job 1:20-22 (NIV)

CUT THE WORLDLY CORD

BREAD

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17 (NIV)

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:18-19 (NIV)

13 Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 1 John 3:13 (NIV)

14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. John 17:14-18 (NIV)

4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. James 4:4 (NIV)

27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27 (NIV)

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. Titus 2:11-15 (NIV)

9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. 2 Timothy 4:9-11 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Such as are haughty and self-conceited, rush against the mighty hand of God, and destroy themselves; but those that are humbled under it, will be protected by the same. Whatever knowledge or skill we may obtain in the schools of human learning, the Scripture does not yet allow us to be truly wise, but calls us blind and mere worldly students, till we learn to be poor in spirit, lowly in heart, and dead to the world. Therefore, the more a man dies to this world, the more is he enlightened.” K. H. Von Bogatzky

“Jesus modeled for us the proper balance. He walked among the worldly without becoming like them. He mingled with sinners but He never sinned. He showed them God’s love and spoke the Truth without compromise. Even when He faced betrayal and torture and an excruciating death, Jesus stood for Truth because He knew the eternal significance of His sacrifices.” Michael Youssef

“Does my life and conduct correspond to my high calling as a Christian? Am I actuated by the love of Christ instead of worldly ambition? Do I prefer God’s honor to my own and justice to gain? When I look to myself, I feel such a burden of sin that no other hope of salvation is left me but in the mercy of Christ alone.” Gregory VII – Hildebrand

“A Gospel-empowered believer rests his or her identity in Christ. In his Epistles, the Apostle Paul often used the expression “in Christ.” We can’t come close to addressing the breadth of this phrase, but to be “in Christ” means to share in Christ’s death and resurrection, and to be placed under the headship of Christ rather than under the curse of Adam. It means that we now live with a completely different relationship with God. Christ’s death and resurrection are the foundations of the Gospel-driven life. Dying with Christ means finding no life in the things that used to run our lives and it means living under a new dominion and a new King. For instance, while self and success are the central motivations in a performance-driven life (expressed in varied ways), Christ calls us to do everything for his glory and not for our own. Being raised with Christ means rising to a new way of living under his Kingship… Rather than being driven by a selfish desire to be successful for our own glory, we’re moved by a passion and calling by God upon our lives to be image-bearers and missionaries in obedience to Christ and for the glory of God.” Tom Wood & Scott Thomas

“The entertaining of any worldly lust, and indulgence of any known wilful sin, is an accursed thing, by which we are deprived of the power of God, and cannot stand before our enemies. Behold, therefore the severity of God, and be more earnest. Make all haste to flee from the lust of the world, especially from the lust of the eye, which is the love of money. Examine thyself closely in other things, and whatever sinful lust harbors in thy breast, be faithful to put it off, and flee from it, else you must not wonder at your being so weak in spirit. He that does not resist the sinful motions of his heart, will very easily give a loose to his hands and tongue; but he that immediately subdues the inward corruptions, will certainly be preserved from their breaking out in any sinful actions. O Lord, deliver me from all accursed things, and keep my heart always under thy closest inspection and discipline. Amen.” K. H. Von Bogatzky

HEART SAVOR

• I am to have no other gods before God. Living for the world in lieu of living for God is improper priority (to say the least). In this I deny myself of God’s achieving power of conquering sin in my life and enjoying life to the fullest measure.
• God searches my heart and so should I. In building my “temple” I am to be strong and do the work. 9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 10 Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.” 1 Chronicles 28:9-10 (NIV).
• It is easy to fall into the pattern of following after the world instead of God. I am to be diligent in this pursuit. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. John 12:26 (NIV)

Cast Off Fear 4.20.16

CAST OFF FEAR

BREAD

18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 (NIV)

15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 (NIV)

7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1 (NIV)

21 At that time I commanded Joshua: “You have seen with your own eyes all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings. The LORD will do the same to all the kingdoms over there where you are going. 22 Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.” Deuteronomy 3:21-22 (NIV)

1 But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:1-3 (NIV)

7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalms 23:1-6 (NIV)

BUTTER

“What giants are you facing? The giant of peer pressure? Of different ideologies and philosophies fighting for control of your life? What about giants like social injustice, moral deterioration or crime? Or maybe the giant of fear, joblessness, broken relationships or family conflict? Young David faced a giant named Goliath, a member of the Philistine nation – a bitter enemy of God’s people. Goliath was more than nine feet tall and clothed with heavy armor. His spear was about the size of a tree trunk. Goliath was one of the largest men in recorded history. He defied the army of Israel, challenging them to send a man against him. David volunteered. Goliath had David out-armed and out –experienced. Goliath was a great warrior; David was not. His only weapon was a slingshot – and a deep dependence on God. And God gave him victory.” Billy Graham

“If I could hear Christ praying for me….I would not fear a million enemies.” Anonymous

“There is never a fear that has not a corresponding ‘Fear not.’” Amy Carmichael

“God incarnate is the end of fear. The heart that realizes that He is in the midst…..will be quiet in the midst of alarm.” F.B. Meyer

“This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: ‘I will help thee’. ‘It is but a small thing for Me, thy God, to help thee. Consider what I have done already. What! Not help thee? Why, I bought thee with My blood. What! Not help thee? I have died for thee; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help thee! It is the least thing I will ever do for thee; I have done more, and will do more. Before the world began I chose thee. I made the covenant for thee. I laid aside My glory and became a man for thee; I gave My life for thee; and if I did all this, I will surely help thee now. In helping thee, I am giving thee what I have bought for thee already. If thou hadst need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it thee; thou requirest little compared with what I am ready to give. ‘Tis much for thee to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow. “Help thee?” Fear not! If there were an ant at the door of thy granary asking for help, it would not ruin thee to give him a handful of thy wheat; and thou art nothing but a tiny insect at the door of my all sufficiency. “I will help thee”.’ O my soul, is not this enough? Dost thou need more strength than the omnipotence of the United Trinity? Dost thou want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit? Bring hither thine empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it. Haste, gather up thy wants, and bring them there – thine emptiness, thy woes, thy needs. Behold, this river of God is full for thy supply; what canst thou desire beside? Go forth, my soul, in this thy might. The Eternal God is thine helper!” C. H. Spurgeon

“It is only the fear of God that can deliver us from the fear of man.” John Witherspoon

“Men who fear God face life fearlessly. Men who do not fear God end up fearing everything.” Richard Halverson

HEART SAVOR

• If God is my Father, what need have I to fear? He Who brings out the starry host one by one and calls them each by name is able to handle all things concerning me. Who could need more strength than the Omnipotent God?
• I fear no evil for God is with me.
• I depend on God and God delivers me victorious – always.

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