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Joyful Heart 8.16.17

JOYFUL HEART

BREAD

3 But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Psalms 68:3 (NIV)

12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 (NIV)

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 (NIV)

1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Philippians 3:1 (NIV)

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 (NIV)

11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalms 16:11 (NIV)

7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. 8 The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Psalms 28:7-8 (NIV)

13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:13 (NIV)

15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15 (NIV)

3 It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:3-4 (NIV)

17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NIV)

Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Fewer doctrines of the Christian faith are more comforting than the sovereignty of God. It humbles you in good seasons, provides hope in hard seasons, and gives joy in all seasons. The doctrine of God’s sovereignty is a constant nourishment for the soul. The sovereignty of God is a sweet pillow that you can lay your head on at night. It is a beautiful truth not only that God is in control over all, but is also working everything out- the good and the bad–for your good and for His glory. This sweet doctrine is medicine for the soul that you can take in any season of life.” David Qaoud

“Grace softens the edges of past pains, helping to highlight the eternal. What you are left with is peace that’s profound, joy that’s unshakable, faith that’s ironclad.” Joni Eareckson Tada

“Circumstances do not have the power to steal your joy. Joy is the by-product of experiencing God’s sovereign grace even in the midst of seemingly impossible circumstances.” Anonymous

“Strengthen me Lord according to Your glorious might. Give me great endurance and patience and joy so that I may walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel. May I please You in all that I say and do. You alone are faithful to keep me from falling and to equip me for this so great an endeavor. May I, through Your great power, leave the aroma of sweet Jesus in my every encounter that I may change my sphere by bringing Your Presence to every circumstance You present me with today. Always for your glory alone and my good.” BHY

“Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God.” Leon Bloy

“Solid joys and lasting treasure none but Zion’s children know.” John Newton

“The surest mark of a Christian is not faith, or even love, but joy.” Samuel Shoemaker

“Happiness depends on what happens; joy does not.” Oswald Chambers

“What impression do you want to leave with others if the only thing they have to go on is your countenance, attitude or expression? Sadly, for some of us the message would be ‘unhappy home,’ ‘mad at the world,’ or ‘depressed and downtrodden.’ As believers in Christ, we must not live there. Rather, our lives should reflect whose we are. The Scriptures teach us in Psalm 68:3, ‘…may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.’ If you’re a child of the King, then take on an attitude of royalty. Reveal God’s presence in your life. Hold your head high, greet others with genuine hospitality and be careful to show loving-kindness to all people. By doing these things, you will become a bold witness for Christ without ever having to open your mouth.” Renee Nail

“This God is no stranger to the hard road. This God walked the hardest road for us. And whatever road we’re walking one now—then somehow, someway—that road is good. There’s not just breadcrumbs of good for you on it; the road itself is good… In this hard, He is doing something holy. He is doing something transformative. Even as our hearts rage. Even as they break….This upside down road, where His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), where troubles are an opportunity for great joy (James 1:2) because troubles usher us into His presence, and in His presence, there is fullness of joy. (Psalms 16:11). This is Who. A God who does not forsake. A God who is not cruel. A God who is not stingy with grace. Not a sparrow falls outside of His care. When we find ourselves walking through a dry and weary land where there is no water, shaking our fists at why…Fix the eyes on this God. Remember and rest in Who. Maybe comfort isn’t found so much when we ask ‘Why is this all unfolding here and now?’ — Maybe comfort is found more when we rest in Who is enfolding us all here and now.” Katie Ganshert

“Ecstasy and delight are essential to the believer’s soul and they promote sanctification. We were not meant to live without spiritual exhilaration, and the Christian who goes for a long time without the experience of heart-warming will soon find himself tempted to have his emotions satisfied from earthly things and not, as he ought, from the Spirit of God. The soul is so constituted that it craves fulfillment from things outside itself and will embrace earthly joys for satisfaction when it cannot reach spiritual ones… The believer is in spiritual danger if he allows himself to go for any length of time without tasting the love of Christ and savoring the felt comforts of a Savior’s presence. When Christ ceases to fill the heart with satisfaction, our souls will go in silent search of other lovers… By the enjoyment of the love of Christ in the heart of a believer, we mean an experience of the “love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us” (Rom. 5:5)… because the Lord has made himself accessible to us in the means of grace, it is our duty and privilege to seek this experience from Him in these means till we are made the joyful partakers of it.” John Flavel (1630-1691)

HEART SAVOR

• Joy lies in knowing our lives rest in the hands of a sovereign, omnipotent, good God who loves us.
• Christians should be the most joyful people on earth.
• The joy of the Lord is my strength.

Not I But Christ 8.14.17

NOT I BUT CHRIST

BREAD

20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. 5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 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. 9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. Romans 8:3-11 (NIV)

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Galatians 1:3-5 (NIV)

21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)

4 “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” John 15:4-6 (NIV)

7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NIV)

13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

BUTTER

“We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by ‘looking unto Jesus’. Keep thine eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to Him; when thou liest down at night look to Him. Oh! Let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail thee.” C. H. Spurgeon

“God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible. What a pity when we plan only the things we can do by ourselves.” A.W. Tozer

“Focus on the Father, not your flaws. Look to the Savior, not the self. The Messiah, not the mirror.” Ann Voskamp

“Life is hopeless without Christ. But He is alive, and He is willing to fill every void in your life. You can look to Him for all the right answers to your every question. Jesus will meet you right where you are. God knows you, and He loves you. He knows your deepest needs. Keep His Word close to your heart, and you will not be deceived.” Michael Youssef

“Jesus is the One who shows us the paradoxical route to meaning in a chaotic and hostile world. It’s the paradox of the gospel: Strength is found in weakness. Control is found in dependency. Power is found in surrender….God uses the frustrations of this life and the hurt of relationships to compel us to look beyond what we can control to the God who controls all things in order to woo us to himself. As we move from control to surrender, we move from chasing the wind under the sun to embracing God above it.” Dan Allender

“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

“Are you fighting with the adversary today? Are Satan, the world, and the flesh, all against you? Be not discouraged nor dismayed. Fight on! For God Himself is with you; Jehovah Nissi is your banner, and Jehovah Rophi is the healer of your wounds. Fear not, you shall overcome, for who can defeat Omnipotence? Fight on, ‘looking unto Jesus;’ and though long and stern be the conflict, sweet will be the victory, and glorious the promised reward.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“Sure, these crops were planted by the hand of the Farmer but it’s clear every single day we look out at them: they rest in the hand of the Father. It’s only a mirage to think that any of us have control, that we turn the world.” Ann Voskamp

“God is always looking for boys and girls and men and women who are available to Him. Look at Judges 6:34: “Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon.” The literal meaning of this verse is this: The Spirit of the Lord was worn around him like a suit. It covered him all over. The Spirit of the Lord came all over him. God was not looking for the most courageous person. He was not looking for the most powerful warrior. He was not looking for the best strategist or the best thinker. He was looking for a man who, conscious of his own weakness, was nevertheless willing. He was looking for a man who would be dependent on God’s power, not his own. He was looking for a person who was willing to grow in his faith in God, who was willing to take God at His word, though he might ask for confirmation three times. God was looking for someone through whom He could demonstrate His unparalleled faithfulness.” Michael Youssef

“I arise today Through God’s strength to pilot me: God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak to me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to save me, From snares of devils, From temptations of vices, From every one who shall wish me ill, Afar and anear, Alone and in a multitude.” St. Patrick

“For every one look within, take ten looks at Christ.” Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“We need to keep reminding ourselves that without the Lord we can do nothing. It needs to become a habit of mind with each of us to tell the Lord as we tackle each task, ‘I can’t do this without your help, please help me’, and then to expect to be helped because we have admitted our helplessness, given up self-reliance and are now looking to Him.” J. I. Packer

“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

HEART SAVOR

• I can’t do it, He never said I could. He can do it, He always said He would.
• The One Who gives the power gets the glory.
• Apart from Christ, I can do nothing eternal. All things lasting come from His omnipotent hand.

LOATHE THE SIN – LOVE THE SINNER

BREAD

22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:22-23 (NIV)

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned–Romans 5:12 (NIV)

6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:6-7 (NIV)

1 An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. 2 For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin. 3 The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful; he has ceased to be wise and to do good. 4 Even on his bed he plots evil; he commits himself to a sinful course and does not reject what is wrong. Psalms 36:1-4 (NIV)

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. Romans 6:11-14 (NIV)

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9-10 (NIV)

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:19-21 (NIV)

11 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 1 John 3:11 (NIV)

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:7-11 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Sin is the dare of God’s justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power, and the contempt of His love.” John Bunyan

“I remember two things: that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.” John Newton

“Christians are rapidly losing sight of sin as the root of all human woes. And many Christians are explicitly denying that their own sin can be the cause of personal anguish. More and more are attempting to explain the human dilemma in wholly unbiblical terms: temperament, addiction, dysfunctional families, the child within, codependency, and a host of other irresponsible escape mechanisms promoted by secular psychology. The potential impact of such a drift is frightening. Remove the reality of sin, and you take away the possibility of repentance. Abolish the doctrine of human depravity and you void the divine plan of salvation. Erase the notion of personal guilt and you eliminate the need for a Savior.” John MacArthur

“All the commandments of God are commandments of love tending to our real good and great happiness; far from being grievous to those who have faith and love, the practice thereof is life and peace. The world may think it a grievous burden; but this is a great mistake indeed. Sin is grievous. In hatred, envy, anger, revenge, pride, there is nothing but torment and slavery; but in love there is a sweet rest and pleasure. Thus a sinner always punishes himself, and is robbed of great peace and blessing, by transgressing the commandments of God.” K. H. Von Bogatzky

“Sin is the sickness of the soul. It is deforming, weakening, disturbing, wasting, and killing, but, we bless God, not incurable. Jesus Christ is the great Physician of souls. Wise and good people should be like physicians to everyone around them; Christ was so. Souls that are sick with sin need this Physician, for their disease is dangerous; nature will not help itself. No mortal can help us; we have such need of Christ that we are eternally ruined without Him.” Matthew Henry

“It is easier to denounce a thousand sins in others than to slay one of our own.” John Flavel

“Looking at the wound of sin will never save anyone. What you must do is look at the remedy.” D. L. Moody

“Before there can be a right relationship between man and man, there must be a right relationship between man and God, and the sin which spoils that must be repented and removed.” Michael Wilcock

“The only fear a Christian should entertain is the fear of sin. All other fears are from Satan sent to confuse and weaken us. How often the Lord reiterated to His disciples, ‘Be not afraid!’” Isobel Kuhn

“A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.” Charles Spurgeon

“Rescue the perishing, Care for the dying, Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; Weep o’er the erring one, Lift up the fallen, Tell them of Jesus the mighty to save. Though they are slighting Him, Still He is waiting, Waiting the penitent child to receive; Plead with them earnestly, Plead with them gently; He will forgive if they only believe. Down in the human heart, Crushed by the tempter, Feelings lie buried that grace can restore; Touched by a loving heart, Wakened by kindness, Chords that are broken will vibrate once more. Rescue the perishing, Duty demands it; Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide; Back to the narrow way, Patiently win them; Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died. Rescue the perishing, Care for the dying; Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.” Fanny Crosby

“There is something contagious about a heart of love. People who are selfless with their love can make giant waves in this world where those who cling to selfish desires cause only ripples. In fact, those who have hearts of love view the people around them as being most important. A heart that bears the marks of God’s intimate love is not a selfish heart. When we look directly into God’s heart of love, we are transformed forever. The selfish desires that once dominated our heart’s landscapes vanish in an instant, replaced by a desire to lavish love on others. As God begins to transform our hearts through His grace and kindness, we become vessels willing to reciprocate this type of love. Something happens inside of us. We begin to realize the twofold effect of loving God and loving others – not just friends and family, but others who cross our paths every day. Hardened hearts begin to melt beneath the warmth of Christ’s love overflowing from our lives. People who we never thought would let the name of Jesus roll off their lips suddenly praise Him because we have taken the time to love them the way God has commanded us to love. Once we learn how to abide in His love, our feelings of jealousy, greed, and anger die a quick death. A true champion extends grace and kindness because he knows the transformation that has taken place in his own heart, and he realizes those who receive God’s love and grace have no other course of action but to give God’s love away.” Michael Youssef

“Instead of being unhappy, just let your love grow as God wants it to grow. Seek goodness in others. Love more persons more…unselfishly, without thought of return. The return, never fear, will take care of itself.” Henry Drummond

“The best use of your hands is always love. The best way to say you love is always time. The best time to love is always now.” Ann Voskamp

“In short, a flourishing human existence finds its source of power in God — and is demonstrated through a life of love.” Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel

“Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, and learning.” Frederick Faber

“The Christian’s compassion must be like God’s – unceasing.” William Barclay

“My great point in preaching is to break the hard heart and to heal the broken one.” John Newton

HEART SAVOR

• I am to hate sin because it is a death sentence and it always destroys. It is a path filled with sorrow and destruction in the vessels in which it takes root. I am to flee from it.
• I am called to love people out of it by my actions and my words. 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. Jude 1:22-23 (NIV)
• I am to live a life of love and Biblical love always acts.

MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION

BREAD

11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 1 As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2 (NIV)

24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness– 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. Colossians 1:24-29 (NIV)

19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20 (NIV)

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

11 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:11-15 (NIV)

20 “Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations. Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save. 21 Declare what is to be, present it– let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. 22 ‘Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.’” Isaiah 45:20-22 (NIV)

BUTTER

“A hero is someone who does something selfless, something sacrificial. A hero is someone who puts the needs of another above his or her own. Sometimes heroes are known in their lifetime for their achievements, and sometimes we call them heroes after they’re gone. In that case, we sometimes call them unsung heroes because we didn’t realize how heroic they were until time had passed. One unsung hero from the New Testament is Andrew, Peter’s brother. Andrew didn’t get a lot of ink in the New Testament, but what we do read about him is significant. Andrew is primarily known as the guy who brought others to Jesus. In fact, when he discovered that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah of Israel, he went and found his brother and brought him to the Lord. How easily Andrew could have kept this to himself and said, ‘I don’t want Peter to get in here. He probably would try to take over the whole operation.’ Instead, Andrew brought him to Jesus. In fact, every time we read about Andrew, he is bringing someone to the Lord. We might say that Andrew is the patron saint of unsung heroes, the kind of people who are willing to do what needs to be done and fly under the radar. They just want God to get the glory. And here is the thing we need to remember: If we had more Andrews, we probably would have more Simon Peters.” Greg Laurie

“Celebrities are people who make news, but heroes are people who make history. Time makes heroes but dissolves celebrities.” Daniel Boorstin

“Jesus’ whole life was a witness to his Father’s love, and Jesus calls his followers to carry on that witness in his Name. We, as followers of Jesus, are sent into this world to be visible signs of God’s unconditional love. Thus we are not first of all judged by what we say but by what we live. When people say of us: ‘See how they love one another,’ they catch a glimpse of the Kingdom of God that Jesus announced and are drawn to it as by a magnet. In a world so torn apart by rivalry, anger, and hatred, we have the privileged vocation to be living signs of a love that can bridge all divisions and heal all wounds.” Henri Nouwen

“I owe my conversion to Christ to an unknown person, who certainly was no minister in the ordinary acceptation of the term; but who could say this much, ‘Look unto Christ and be saved, all ye ends of the earth.’” Charles H. Spurgeon

“Nothing is beyond God’s capacity, ability, or desire to redeem, restore, and reconcile.” Deidra Riggs

“There will be times when God will put a burden on your heart to approach a certain person or say a specific thing or go to a specific place. You have a choice in the matter: you can go, or you can not go…You can be a Jonah, or you can be an Ananias.” Greg Laurie

“Jesus gave all His followers – not just a few – the immense privileged duty of the ministry of reconciliation. He sent us to proclaim the Good News – with both our actions and words – that through His blood we no longer need remain alienated from God and even each other – wallowing in the filth of our sins, lacking significance, always coming up wanting. His desire is for all to be turned back from our miserably sad point of departure – which we were all born into excepting Adam and Eve – to walk again in the garden, so to speak, in the cool of the day; to commune with Him; to be filled with the fullness and completeness that He alone gives and to experience the life that is truly life. God greatly desires to bring back the lost wanderer to the former state of harmony that our original parents were privy to and He confoundly uses people like me and you to accomplish this great work. That’s actually what the word reconcile means in Scripture – ‘to bring back to a former state of harmony.’ Christ’s blood reconciled us allowing those who would believe in Him the changing back to that time of no variance. That amazing Truth is to be shared and not hoarded and He calls all of His followers to be faithful to the task.” BHY

“The Christian is a new creature, born and taught from above…and has renounced the confused, distant, uncomfortable notions he/she once formed of God…He/she sees God in Christ, reconciled, a Father, a Savior and a Friend, who has freely forgiven him/her all his/her sins and given him/her the spirit of adoption; he/she is now no longer a servant, much less a stranger, but a son/daughter; and because a son/daughter, an heir already interested in all the promises, admitted to the throne of grace, and assured expectant of eternal glory.” John Newton

“It is His love for man, His compassion for the human race, that prompts God to hate sin with such a vengeance. He gave Heaven’s finest that we might have the best; and He loathes with a holy abhorrence anything that would hinder our being reconciled to Him.” Billy Graham

“Paul dedicated himself to telling people about the cure for the plague of sin. He never allowed their relentless attacks, false accusations, or assaults on his integrity to stop him. He maintained his focus on positive living by remembering the costly price Jesus paid for the cure, as well as his own calling as God’s ambassador. ‘We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God’ (2 Corinthians 5:20). No matter how difficult our circumstances, how severe our pain, or how unbearable our life seems, we can find release from these burdens. How? By remembering that we are ambassadors of the Lord of glory and by sharing His message of reconciliation with others. When we focus on others, sharing the Good News of God’s deliverance with people tormented by fear and anxiety, our own burdens will lighten. Nothing is more uplifting. ‘All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation’ (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). As long as we live on this earth, we have a purpose: to be God’s messengers and to serve on His behalf. When we begin to understand this role, nothing can keep us down for very long.” Michael Youssef

HEART SAVOR

• “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteous of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
• God has given to all His followers the immense privileged duty of the ministry of reconciliation.
• I am to be faithful to the task.

MERCY – MERCY – MERCY

BREAD

29 “You warned them to return to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, by which a man will live if he obeys them. Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen. 30 For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you handed them over to the neighboring peoples. 31 But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.” Nehemiah 9:29-31 (NIV)

1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. Psalms 57:1 (NIV)

13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13 (NIV)

9 In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. Isaiah 63:9 (NIV)

17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” Daniel 9:17-19 (NIV)

6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6 (NIV)

8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 (NIV)

50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. Luke 1:50 (NIV)

23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26 The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. 28 But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. 29 His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ 30 But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32 Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:23-35 (NIV)

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! James 2:12-13 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Nothing graces the Christian soul as much as mercy.” Ambrose

“Mercy imitates God and disappoints Satan.” John Chrysostom

“God’s willingness to show mercy appears by His joyfulness when sinners take hold on His mercy. God’s goodness is that He rejoices at the salvation of sinners and is glad when His mercy is accepted. God rejoices when a poor sinner comes in and takes hold of His mercy. What an encouragement to believe in God! He is a God of pardons. Mercy pleases Him. Nothing prejudices us but unbelief. Unbelief stops the current of God’s mercy from running, shut God’s bowels, closes the cavity of Christ’s wounds, so no healing virtue will come out. As far as the heavens are above the earth, so far is God’s mercy above our sins. What will tempt us to believe, if not the mercy of God?” Thomas Watson

“Among the attributes of God, although they are all equal, mercy shines with even more brilliance than justice.” Miguel de Cervantes

“Something happens when we come to God for His grace and mercy–something that is so radical and so amazing that it can only be described as death to our old selves. It is the overwhelming desire to please the One who has loved us with such amazing and unconditional love…I may not get better overnight; I may not be the fine, upstanding, and wonderful Christian I thought I was, but I now have a desire to please the One who loved me (and gave Himself for me). That desire is the soil in which goodness grows–not perfectly, by any means, but it does grow.” Steve Brown

“There is a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea.” Frederick William Faber

“The mercy of God is that attribute which we, the fallen, sinful race of Adam, stand in greatest need of, and God has been pleased, according to our needs, more gloriously to manifest this attribute than any other. The wonders of divine grace are the greatest of all wonders. The wonders of divine power and wisdom in the making of this great world are marvelous; many wonderful things have happened since the creation of the world, but none like the wonders of grace. ‘Grace, grace!’ is the sound that the gospel rings with, ‘Grace, grace!’ will be that shout which will ring in heaven forever; and perhaps what the angels sung at the birth of Christ, of God’s good will towards men, is the highest theme that ever they entered upon.” Jonathan Edwards

“To added affliction He addeth His mercy, to multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.” Annie Johnson Flint

“I love Him because He first loved me. His goodness and mercy and compassion to me are new every day. And my assurance is lodged in these aspects of His character. My trust is in His love for me as His own. My serenity has as its basis an implicit, unshakable reliance on His ability to do the right thing, the best thing in any given situation. This to me is the supreme portrait of my Shepherd. Continually there flows out to me His goodness and His mercy, which even though I do not deserve them, come unremittingly from their source of supply – His own great heart of love.” Phillip Keller

“We have every reason to hold on firmly to the faith we profess, for He who has called us is faithful! It is Jesus who saves us, lives to intercede for us, allows us to approach the throne of grace with confidence, and grants us His abundant grace, mercy, and peace.” BHY

“He that demands mercy and shows none ruins the bridge over which he himself is to pass.” Thomas Adams

“Participate with God and proclaim the Gospel, not because you have a low-grade sense of guilt that you ought to act, but do them because you have a high-grade sense of grace that makes you want to act. Do them because you know that you were once impoverished in your sin, a slave to Satan, orphaned from God, and alone in this world. Yet God reached down his mercy-filled hand into your sin-soaked heart and through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son on a blood-stained cross, He lifted you up to new life by His alluring love. You now have nothing to fear and nothing to lose because you are robed in the riches of Christ and safe in the security of Christ.” David Platt

“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

“Do you wish to receive mercy? Show mercy to your neighbor.” John Chrysostom

“The God who needs nothing, came needy. The God who came to give us mercy, was at our mercy. And He who entered into our world, He lets us say it in a thousand ways– that there is no room at the inn. God steps directly before us in the needs we can indirectly neglect.” Ann Voskamp

“God hath in Himself all power to defend you, all wisdom to direct you, all mercy to pardon you, all grace to enrich you, all righteousness to clothe you, all goodness to supply you, and all happiness to crown you.” Thomas Brooks

“Peacemakers are people who breathe grace. They draw continually on the goodness and power of Jesus Christ, and then they bring His love, mercy, forgiveness, strength and wisdom to the conflicts of daily life. God delights to breathe His grace through peacemakers and use them to dissipate anger, improve understanding, promote justice and encourage repentance and restoration.” Ken Sande

“Our moods may shift, but God’s doesn’t. Our minds may change, but God’s doesn’t. Our devotion may falter, but God’s never does. Even if we are faithless, he is faithful, for he cannot betray himself (2 Timothy 2:13). He is a sure God. And because he is a sure God, we can state confidently, ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.’ And what follows the word surely? ‘Goodness and mercy.’ If the Lord is the shepherd who leads the flock, goodness and mercy are the two sheepdogs that guard the rear of the flock. Goodness and mercy. Not goodness alone, for we are sinners in need of mercy. Not mercy alone, for we are fragile, in need of goodness. We need them both. As one man wrote, ‘Goodness to supply every want. Mercy to forgive every sin. Goodness to provide. Mercy to pardon.’ Goodness and mercy — the celestial escort of God’s flock. If that duo doesn’t reinforce your faith, try this phrase: ‘all the days of my life.’” Max Lucado

HEART SAVOR

• God desires for His children to be merciful. Just as we have been freely given mercy we are to freely give mercy to others.
• God does not look lightly at the unmerciful heart.
• Goodness to provide and mercy to pardon follow the child of the King all the days of their life – what a blessed assurance we have!

HE IS MORE WE ARE LESS

BREAD

27 To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:27-30 (NIV)

1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. Hebrews 1:1-4 (NIV)

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)

23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? 26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:23-26 (NIV)

21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:15-20 (NIV)

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (NIV)

6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:6 (NIV)

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36 (NIV)

BUTTER

“I have but one passion: it is He, He only.” Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf

“And if you don’t lie prostrate on the ground before that cross, you have never seen it: if you are not humbled in the presence of Jesus, you don’t know Him. You were so lost that nothing could save you but the sacrifice of God’s only begotten. Think of that, and as Jesus lowered Himself for you, bow yourself in lowliness at His feet. A sense of Christ’s amazing love to us has a greater tendency to humble us than even the conscious awareness of our own guilt……Pride cannot live beneath the cross.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“When we think of the apostles, we think of holy men of God. And though they were gifted and dedicated, they also were ordinary. Jesus did not call these men because they were great; their greatness was the result of the call of Jesus. A great writer can take an ordinary piece of paper, and with the addition of his or her words, it suddenly becomes extremely valuable. It wasn’t the paper that was valuable; it was what the writer put down on that paper. A great artist can take a canvas and paint, and suddenly it becomes a costly work of art because of what the artist did. It wasn’t the canvas that was valuable; it is what the artist painted on the canvas. As believers, we recognize in ourselves that we are sinners separated from God. But let’s also recognize that when Christ came into our lives, He gave us value. He put His treasure in earthen vessels, or in jars of clay, which are our lives…With a new confidence and boldness, we have something to offer. It is not self-confidence; it is God-confidence. It is not self-esteem; it’s God-esteem.” Greg Laurie

“Our great honor lies in being just what Jesus was and is.” A. W. Tozer

“Our souls are not wired for celebrity or for ego-inflating self-advancement. We were not created to stand on top of pedestals. Rather, our best life is the one in which we decrease, become less, and leave the pedestals and the awesome to Jesus alone.” Scott Sauls

“Scripture permits us to broaden the definition of idolatry so that includes anything on which we set our affections and indulge as an excessive and sinful attachment. Therefore, the idols that we can see are certainly not the whole problem. Idolatry includes anything we worship: the lust for pleasure, respect, love, power, control, or freedom from pain. Futhermore, the problem is not outside of us….the problem is in us….the heart’s instinctive plotting in this idol construction is amazing. We know we are called to imitate God. This means we are to live for His glory, not our own. We are to make Him famous, not ourselves….the purpose of all idolatry is to manipulate the idol for our own benefit…..but (we) need the power of God, the message of Christ crucified and risen. Other therapies can offer sobriety, but only this good news is powerful enough to liberate the soul.” Ed Welch

“Humility is the mark of true greatness, especially in the heart of a leader. Humility makes the great greater.” Dr. John Dickson

“The love of God, when taken hold of, frees us from any need to be noticed, to make a name for ourselves, to find significance through achievement and advancement or from having access to fame and fortune. We already have these gifts and these blessings in abundance—in infinite supply—from the Father who is not blind to our value but who sees us and loves us dearly.” Scott Sauls

“It is the Spirit’s way first to strip us of our own righteousness and strength, to show us our nakedness and nothingness, to fill us with godly sorrow for sin, and then lead us to Jesus for pardon, sanctification, and justification. Christ being the Vine, we must first be planted in Him, and draw nourishment and strength from Him by faith. Then it is fulfilled, ‘They shall feed and lie down’ on His pasture, ‘and none shall make them afraid,’ Zephaniah 3:13. Then we shall be able to bring forth good fruits, and obtain victories; for it is God Himself that thus makes us perfect in every good work, and prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies.” K. H. Von Bogatzky

“The loss of God’s centrality in the life of today’s church is common and lamentable. It is this loss that allows us to transform worship into entertainment, gospel preaching into marketing, believing into technique, being good into feeling good about ourselves, and faithfulness into being successful. As a result, God, Christ and the Bible have come to mean too little to us and rest too inconsequentially upon us.” The Cambridge Declaration

“I am not my own today. I belong to another. I have been bought with a price. And I will live every moment of this day so that the Great Purchaser of my soul will receive the full reward of His suffering.” Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf

HEART SAVOR

• When I walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit I leave the aroma of Christ and not the stench of death.
• I am to reflect Him not flesh.
• Embracing God’s love for us keeps us from clamoring for the mere accolades of man. Christ is more than sufficient and desirous to meet our every need – be it physical or emotional. All we need do is ask. Those who are filled and overflowing with Him are ever so winsome to be around. No longer needy, they have something to give.

THE ACHIEVING POWER GIVER

BREAD

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 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 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:17-18 (NIV)

16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Romans 1:16 (NIV)

33 It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. 2 Samuel 22:33 (NIV)

7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. 8 The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Psalms 28:7-8 (NIV)

11 The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. Psalms 29:11 (NIV)

11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11 (NIV)

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated– 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:32-40 (NIV)

13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

BUTTER

“A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God’s work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness. When God’s warrior marches forth to battle, strong in his own might, when he boasts, ‘I know that I shall conquer, my own right arm and my conquering sword shall get unto me the victory’, defeat is not far distant. God will not go forth with that man who marches in his own strength. He who reckoneth on victory thus has reckoned wrongly, for ‘it is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts’. They who go forth to fight, boasting of their prowess, shall return with their gay banners trailed in the dust, and their armour stained with disgrace. Those who serve God must serve Him in His own way, and in His strength, or He will never accept their service. That which man doth, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth He casteth away; He will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love. God will empty out all that thou hast before He will put His own into thee; He will first clean out the granaries before He will fill them with the finest of the wheat……Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up.” C. H. Spurgeon

“If I am going to walk in this present life according to my high calling as a Christian, I need a strength higher than my own strength. I need the power of Christ. How is this power of Christ to be mine? It’s not enough just to imagine that I have this power. It’s not even enough to take the second step and reckon myself dead to sin and alive to Christ. There must also be a communication of the power of Christ to me through the agency of the Holy Spirit who indwells me.” Francis Schaeffer

“When a man has not strength, if he leans on God, he becomes powerful.” D.L. Moody

“When God is our strength, it is strength indeed; when our strength is our own, it is only weakness.” St. Augustine

“Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up.”… But, however much Satan may urge this course upon you, you cannot follow it if you are a child of God. His divine fiat has bid thee go from strength to strength, and so thou shalt, and neither death nor hell shall turn thee from thy course. What if for a while thou art called to stand still; yet this is but to renew thy strength for some greater advance in due time.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“Though assaults be many, and my enemies mighty, if God strengthen me, I have enough to comfort me; for the greater my enemy, the more glorious my victory; and the more glorious my victory, the more triumphant my glory.” K.H. Von Bogatzky

“It is so easy to give thanks for what one naturally chooses, but that does not cover the ‘everything’ of the text…One morning lately, in speaking of some small trouble, I quoted ‘In everything give thanks,’ and at once someone answered ‘But I cannot give thanks for everything.’ Now if our God tells us to do a thing and we say cannot, there is something wrong somewhere, for we all know the words ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me’ – that is, all things commanded. It is treason to say ‘I cannot.’ But first we should make sure that we are commanded to do this. The text says give thanks IN everything, not FOR everything. All God’s biddings are enablings. We can do that. We will do that.” Amy Carmichael

“‘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

“When we have exhausted our store of endurance, When our strength has failed ere the day is half done, When we reach the end of our hoarded resources, Our Father’s full giving is only begun. His love has no limit; His grace has no measure. His pow’r has no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!” Annie Johnson

“Fight the good fight with all thy might; Christ is thy strength, and Christ thy right.” John Samuel Bewley Monsell

HEART SAVOR

• Works done in the flesh are not eternal – only those works done through the power of the indwelling Spirit will make it through the fire which will test the quality of each man’s work (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).
• It is God who gives the achieving power and the One who gives the power gets the glory.
• God will not own what man has done unaided by His Righteous Omnipotent Hand.