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Immeasurable Mercy 2.8.16

IMMEASURABLE MERCY

BREAD

13 David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.” 1 Chronicles 21:13 (NIV)

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 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; 2 in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 3 No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. 4 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 6 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Psalms 25:1-6 (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)

We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. Daniel 9:18 (NIV)

18 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. Micah 7:18 (NIV)

2 LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy. Habakkuk 3:2 (NIV)

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

4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 (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

“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

“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

“Grant, Almighty God, that as You have made known Your law, and has also added Your gospel, in which You call us to Your service, and also have invited us with all kindness to partake of Your grace; O grant, that we may not be deaf, either to Your command or to the promises of Your mercy, but render ourselves submissive to You everywhere, and so learn to devote all our faculties to You, that we may in truth avow that the rule of a holy and religious life, has been delivered to us in Your law, and that we may firmly adhere to Your promises, lest through any of the allurements of the world, or through the flatteries and delusions of Satan, You should suffer our minds to be drawn away from that love which You have once for all manifested to us in Your only begotten Son, and in which You daily confirm us by the teaching of the gospel, until we at length shall come to the full enjoyment of this love in that celestial inheritance, which has been purchased for us by the blood of Your only Son.” John Calvin

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

“It is impossible to get from preoccupation with behavior to the gospel. The gospel is not a message about doing things. It is a message about being a new creature. It speaks to people as broken, fallen sinners who are in need of a new heart. God has given His Son to make us new creatures. God does open-heart surgery, not a face-lift. He produces change from inside out. He rejects the man who fasts twice a week and accepts the sinner who cries for mercy.” Tedd Tripp

“God’s mercy is vast and beyond our comprehension. He will never reject anyone who turns to Him for mercy. Nor will He force Himself on anyone who chooses to live without Him.” Michael Youssef

HEART SAVOR

• God is merciful and does not treat me as my sins deserve.
• When I was dead in my sins, God Who is rich in mercy made me alive with Christ.
• I must renounce my sin to receive mercy.

Be Kind 2.5.16

BE KIND

BREAD

23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:23-26 (NIV)

14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 (NIV)

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:30-32 (NIV)

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV)

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 2 Peter 1:3-9 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness.” Isaac of Syria

“If we will look back upon the past, many of us will find that the very time our heavenly Father has chosen to do the kindest things for us, and given us the richest blessing, has been the time we were strained and shut in on every side. God’s jewels are often sent us in rough packages and by dark liveried servants, but within we find the very treasures of the King’s palace and the Bridegroom’s love.” A. B. Simpson

“Kind words also produce their image on men’s souls; and a beautiful image it is.” Blaise Pascal

“It becomes every person who purposes to give himself to the care of others, seriously to consider the four following things: First, that he must one day give an account to the Supreme Judge of all the lives entrusted to his care. Second, that all his skill and knowledge and energy, as they have been given him by God, so they should be exercised for His glory and the good of mankind, and not for mere gain or ambition. Third, and not more beautifully than truly, let him reflect that he has undertaken the care of no mean creature; for, in order that he may estimate the value, the greatness of the human race, the only begotten Son of God became himself a man, and thus ennobled it with His divine dignity, and far more than this, died to redeem it. And fourth, that the doctor being himself a mortal human being, should be diligent and tender in relieving his suffering patients, inasmuch as he himself must one day be a like sufferer.” Thomas Sydenham

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Mother Teresa

“The Isle of Man has for its coat of arms three legs, and turn them which way you will, you know they always stand; and such is the believer—throw him which way you will, he finds something to stand on; throw him into death, or into life, into the lion’s den, or into the whale’s belly, cast him into fire, or into water, the Christian still trusts in his God, and finds him a very present help in time of trouble. ‘On whom dost thou trust?’ We can answer boldly, ‘We trust in him whose power will never be exhausted, whose love will never cease, whose kindness will never change, whose faithfulness will never be sullied, whose wisdom will never be nonplussed, and whose perfect goodness never can know a diminution.’” Charles H. Spurgeon

“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

HEART SAVOR

• I am to clothe myself in kindness towards others.
• I am to follow the Lord’s lead whose kindness towards me will never change.
• Kindness is contagious and the warmth of its fire will soften the hardest heart.

Loyal 2.3.16

LOYAL

BREAD

1 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father’s house. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. 1 Samuel 18:1-4 (NIV)

15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.” Ruth 1:15-18 (NIV)

When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3 The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “but do not speak of it.” 4 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the LORD has sent me to Jericho.” And he replied, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho. 2 Kings 2:1-4 (NIV)

24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 (NIV)

18 O LORD, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. 1 Chronicles 29:18 (NIV)

1 When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. 2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, show yourself a man, 3 and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go, 4 and that the LORD may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’” 1 Kings 2:1-4 (NIV)

6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6 (NIV)

BUTTER

“He was the most balanced and perhaps the most beloved being ever to enter the society of men. Though born amid most disgusting surroundings, the member of a modest working family, He bore Himself always with great dignity and assurance. Though He enjoyed no special advantages as a child, either in education or employment, His entire philosophy and outlook on life were the highest standards of human conduct ever set before mankind. Though He had no vast economic assets, political power or military might, no other person ever made such an enormous impact on the world’s history. Because of Him……..people have come into a life of decency and honor and noble conduct………He came to set men free from their own sins, their own selves, their own fears. Those so liberated loved Him with fierce loyalty. It is this One who insists that He was the Good Shepherd, the understanding Shepherd, the concerned Shepherd who cares enough to seek out and save and restore lost men and women.” Phillip Keller

“Want of trust is at the root of almost all our sins and all our weaknesses, and how shall we escape it but by looking to Him and observing His faithfulness. The man who holds God’s faithfulness will not be foolhardy or reckless, but will be ready for every emergency.” Hudson Taylor

“Hast thou, O my soul, felt the weight of thy own guilt and misery, and been enabled, in reality and truth, to lay hold by faith of the blood of Christ for thy redemption, and faithfully to devote thyself to him in heart and life? Then hast thou a sure foundation to go upon: let it be thy constant care firmly to depend upon these and such like blessed declarations; for every blessing thou standest in need of. Has Christ brought life and immortality to light? Then look unto him and live. Is there redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins? Then throw all thy guilt upon his atonement. Has he blotted out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against thee? Then shake off self-righteous dependences, and legal fears also. Did he die for thy sins? Then let his goodness and love lead thee to unfeigned repentance; let the sense of thy sins break thine heart, but encourage thy hope in the gospel.” K.H. Von Bogatzky

“Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the full in every situation that you believe to be the will of God.” Jim Elliot

“But there’s a decision that I find God is asking us to make: whether we are going to choose to interpret our circumstances based on what we hold to be true about God, or whether we’re going to judge what we hold to be true about God based on our circumstances. People ask how we’re doing, and I like to say: ‘We have a faithful God.’ Every promise he’s kept, every need he’s met.” Laura Story

“Faithfulness rarely feels heroic; it feels much more like showing up and hanging in. It is a matter of going to our cell, whatever form that might take, and letting it teach us what it will. Availing himself (Brother Lawrence) to consistent faithfulness yielded the blessing of both proficiency and presence—the presence of God—right there in midst of the monotony of dirty pots and pans.” Margaret Guenther

“The kind that made a vow and had the bravery to let it age. The wrinkled faithfulness of monogamy. How she said that the bravest love is wildly faithful and it falls hard again every morning. It knows what we seek may be found in what we already have. I feel his hand around me in sleep. We sleep like this night after years of nights, light of the moon stretching long across our room, the pillows, us growing old in this romanced ordinary. It’s grace and fresh gratitude that can make us strong enough to marvel in the seeming monotony of anything. And the happily married have eyes that look long enough to make the familiar new. When he comes up behind me and hugs me at the stove, I still whisper it to him: “I still can’t really believe I get to be married to you.” Ann Voskamp

HEART SAVOR

• Loyalty is unearthly in its ultimate joy.
• God desires my faithful, loyal love.
• Loyal love is wholehearted.

GOD’S APPOINTED SEASONS

BREAD

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)

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)

17 I thought in my heart, “God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed.” Ecclesiastes 3:17 (NIV)

6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him. Ecclesiastes 8:6 (NIV)

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:12-14 (NIV)

1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Psalms 1:1-3 (NIV)

14 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” 15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. 16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. Psalms 31:14-16 (NIV)

1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:1-2 (NIV)

1 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people–everyone whose name is found written in the book–will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. 4 But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.” Daniel 12:1-4 (NIV)

BUTTER

“No righteousness of God’s people ever goes unrewarded so those who are faithful under persecution will shine like the stars forever and ever.” Bible Knowledge Commentary

“Doubt not His grace because of thy tribulation, but believe that He loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness.” Charles Spurgeon

“Faith raises the soul above the difficulty, straight to God Himself, and enables one to stand still. We gain nothing by our restless and anxious efforts….It is therefore true wisdom, in all times of difficulty and perplexity, to stand still – to wait only upon God, and He will assuredly open a way for us.” C.H. Mackintosh

7 O LORD, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. Psalms 30:7 (NIV) “See, my soul, in this verse, a picture of thine own experience; how much art thou like David! When I look up to heaven, how often do I see the sun both shine and set! When I look down into myself, how often do I see my comforts rise and fall! One while I am upon Mount Tabor, and have a glance of heaven; another while I lie in the valley of Bochim, weeping, because I have lost sight of my heavenly country. Joshua’s long day is many times turned into Paul’s sad night. 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

“Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father; There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not; As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be. Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon and stars in their courses above Join with all nature in manifold witness To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!” Thomas O. Chisholm

HEART SAVOR

• There is a time and a season for every activity under heaven.
• God has glorious purpose in all His ways. Even if I cannot understand Him, I can trust Him.
• I am blessed if I delight in the Law of the Lord, acknowledging Him in all my ways and He will make my path straight.

Fearless 1.29.16

FEARLESS

BREAD

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)

22 “Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.” Deuteronomy 3:22 (NIV)

5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:5-9 (NIV)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:10-13 (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)

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 43:2-3 (NIV)

31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32 (NIV)

BUTTER

“I have not given you the spirit of fear but of a sound mind. Therefore today I call you Fearless, the way I called Gideon a valiant warrior when he was afraid to fight. I am the same God who gave Gideon the strength to win his battle with the enemy, and I am your God. The only time something will overtake your heart is if you take your eyes off Me. I don’t want you bound up in terror. As long as you are walking in My power and Truth, you have nothing to be afraid of, and no matter what it looks like now, Victory will always be yours. So fear not, my beloved; I will never leave your side–day and night I am fighting for you. Love, Your King who removes all fear.” Sheri Rose Shepherd

“Jesus promised His disciples three things: that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble.” F.R. Maltby

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

“The devil fears a soul united to God as he does God himself.” John of the Cross

“‘There is no fear in love’, writes the apostle John, ‘but perfect love drives out fear…’ He goes on to point to the source of that perfect love: ‘We love because He first loved us”. In other words, the cure to fear is not a change in circumstances, rather a deep grounding in the love of God. I ask God to reveal His love to me directly, or through my relationships with those who also know Him—a prayer I think God takes great delight in answering. When I get depressed about my present failures, I ask God to remind me of my true identity: one who will be made perfect and has already been forgiven. ‘You’ve got to go deeper’, said the nun to my burned out pastor. ‘Sink the well into a water table that never runs dry’…Thomas Merton conceded that everything in modern city life conspires against such surrender. We worry (fear) about money, about what we need to have and to know, about whom to compete with and what is slipping out of our control…(he) found the secret to true freedom: If we live to please God alone (the One who loves us), we set ourselves free from the cares and worries that press in on us.” Phillip Yancey

“Jesus! The Name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease.” Charles Wesley

“All fear is bondage.” Anonymous

“Hope, it is exquisitely fragile and it is an exceptional force and it is essential to faith and you can’t afford to lose it. Lose your fears but never your hope.” Ann Voskamp

HEART SAVOR

• God does not want me to fear. 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 4:6-7 (NIV)
• The Omniscient, Omnipresent, All-Powerful and Loving God is for me, who can be against me?
• My God is with me – in everything.

Grateful 1.27.16

GRATEFUL

BREAD

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 (NIV)

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)

8 Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 9 Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 10 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. 11 Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:8-11 (NIV)

1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalms 107:1 (NIV)

28 You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. 29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalms 118:28-29 (NIV)

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 2 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)

15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15 (NIV)

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalms 100:4-5 (NIV)

17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

BUTTER

“To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives-the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections-that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.” Henri Nouwen

“Patience in the moment only comes from gratefulness for the moment. …. ” Ann Voskamp

“But, grateful eyes truly do see grace and goodness, even in the most difficult and unattractive packages. The Gratitude Syndrome makes you desire what you already have rather than always needing to have what you think you desire. Gratitude makes life’s horizon bright and big rather than dark and distant. It turns what you have into more than enough.” Jennifer Rothschild

“The root of joy is gratefulness … It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” David Steindl-Rast

“Thanksgiving is good, but thanks-living is better.” Matthew Henry

“Prayer, praise and thanksgiving all go together. A close relationship exists among them. The Scriptures join these three things together. Psalms is filled with many songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving, all pointing back to the results of prayer. Thanksgiving includes gratitude. In fact, thanksgiving is the expression of an inward, conscious gratitude to God for mercies received. Gratitude is an inward emotion of the soul, involuntarily arising therein, while thanksgiving is the voluntary expression of gratitude.” E.M. Bounds

“If anyone would tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness – he must tell you to make it a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you. For it is certain that whatever seeming calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it into a blessing. Could you therefore work miracles, you could not do more for yourself than by this thankful spirit, for it heals with a word speaking, and turns all that it touches into happiness. It be the noblest sacrifice that the greatest saint can offer unto God.” William Law

“Gratitude is not only a response to God in good times — it’s ultimately the very will of God in hard times. Gratitude isn’t only a celebration when good things happen. It’s a declaration that God is good no matter what happens.” Ann Voskamp

HEART SAVOR

• Christians, of all people, are to be most thankful.
• We are to be thankful for circumstances even not of our choosing – not particularly for the circumstance itself but for what God is doing in our lives and many others through it. God has a purpose for everything allowed in the lives of His children therefore it demonstrates our trust in Him – to ourselves and others – when we are thankful for all. 16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
• God is so worthy of our gratefulness.

Perfectly Placed 1.25.16

PERFECTLY PLACED

BREAD

4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Genesis 45:4-8 (NIV)

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept. 18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. 19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. Genesis 50:15-21 (NIV)

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:12-14 (NIV)

1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” John 17:1-5 (NIV)

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” Acts 17:24-27 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Realize that God means for you to be where you are.” Robert J. Morgan

“Did you ever stop and think about the fact that God has put you where you are for such a time as this? It is providence. If you have suffered in life, God can take your hurt and pain and use it to make you a godly man or woman for such a time as this….There is only one you. There is one person walking this earth with your exact heritage. The precise events and sufferings of your life have brought you to this hour. God is aware of it. He has been preparing, equipping, and allowing what has been happening in your life to get you ready. He has something for you to say. He has something for you to do.” Greg Laurie

“Somehow in the wonder-working providence of God, our worst problems become our best pulpits. God turns our tragedies into testimonies and our emergencies into evangelism. Our testimonies are forged and crafted in the trials of life, our pain has an evangelistic purpose, our problems become His pulpits, and the things that happen to us turn out for the furtherance of the gospel.” Robert J. Morgan

“Instead of looking for a way out of our circumstances, look for Him in it. Ask Him to provide the strength, power, peace and wisdom needed to do His bidding. We are all perfectly placed and equipped as Esther “for such a time as this” – be faithful.” BHY

“God’s will will never put us where His presence will not sustain us.” Robert J. Morgan

“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” Blaise Pascal

“To the child of God, there is no such thing as an accident. He travels an appointed way…..Accidents may indeed appear to befall him and misfortune stalk his way; but these evils will be so in appearance only and will seem evils only because we cannot read the secret script of God’s hidden providence.” A.W. Tozer

“A firm faith in the universal providence of God is the solution to all earthly problems.” B.B. Warfield

“Let me carefully mark the inward workings of thy grace, and the outward tokens of thy providence, so as daily to have a true sense of thy gracious presence in every thing, more or less important; and thereby to be ever strengthened in faith, and kept in a composed state of mind; considering that nothing happens by mere chance, but all is wisely ordered by thy providential care to our good; firmly believing, if anything goes contrary to expectation, that something better will follow in its stead, if we only can be quiet, and wait the time.” K.H. Von Bogatzky

HEART SAVOR

• God gives grace sufficient to meet every need He allows in my life – both for His glory and my good. The One that gives the power gets the glory.
• God is the Master of making beauty out of our perceived ashes.
• I am to keep my eyes on God. Where He leads me I am to follow. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

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