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7 Light is sweet,
and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
8 However many years anyone may live,
let them enjoy them all.
But let them remember the days of darkness,
for there will be many.
Everything to come is meaningless.
9 You who are young, be happy while you are young,
and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
God will bring you into judgment.
10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart
and cast off the troubles of your body,
for youth and vigor are meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 11:7-10 (NIV)

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9 Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors
and an object of dread to my closest friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear many whispering,
“Terror on every side!”
They conspire against me
and plot to take my life.

– Psalm 31:9-13 (NIV)

“Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress…” When we are at our lowest and feel that we have been forsaken, left behind, who is there for us? God! When we are in trouble we call out for God. When all seems to be lost God is there–or rather…He is here. Help me, God, for I need You! May we all need God. 

May your day be so blessed!

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In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah:  “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.

Isaiah 38:1-6 (NIV)

 

Many years ago I believed that Hezekiah changed God’s heart so that he would have more time on this earth. Later, I saw that God was using this to strengthen Hezekiah for God’s Will. God didn’t need to be enlightened by Hezekiah’s beliefs or to know what was really on Hezekiah’s heart. God knew. God wasn’t changed but Hezekiah’s faith was strengthened. This same ribbon of God’s love is seen throughout the Bible. Just as Abraham was called to offer his son as a sacrifice, God didn’t need to know Abraham’s heart—Abraham did.

 

Trials are not there for God’s benefit but for our own. He knows what is on our hearts. He knows our minds. Was Hezekiah in his last days? I believe so if he had accepted Isaiah’s message but he knew he had more to do. He didn’t accept the news…he pushed on 🙂 . Isn’t this what God really calls us to do? To be prepared to leave this earth at any time but we are called to do His will until we go.

 

May your day be wonderful and bright and may you always have God at your back! 😀

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Two Kinds of Wisdom

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.  —  James 3:13-18 (NIV)

And, they will know we are Christians by our love…to love whole-heartedly without reservation, full of peace and absence of malice, hate and jealously. May we set our goals high and always keep reaching! May your day be blessed and may you bless someone else’s day! 😀

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Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

James 4:7-10 (NIV)

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15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil …….  Genesis 2 (NIV)

 

This verse is written a little differently according to what translation you use, but here God is giving the command about THE TREE. I am not going into details of all of this. I am not even going to finish the rest of the command.  This is something I whole-heartedly believe is what the fall of man was all about.

 

God first put Adam and then Eve in the Garden. Too simple sounding? Maybe, but that is not the point. God gave life. He created it. Then He gave this ONE command. He said they were free to eat of everything in the Garden except ONE tree, THE TREE. He said, “You MUST NOT EAT…” That was not a choice. There was no freedom to choose. God did not say, “Hey, don’t let me catch you.” He said, “NO!”

 

Take all of the thoughts of what THE TREE really was out of your mind for a moment and just think of the command. That is where we let God down. We disobeyed THE command. There was no freedom of choice in the Garden. Do you see it? We stole that from God. So when you hear someone say that God gave us the freedom to choose, technically He did not. We took that away from Him. The evil one was there to tempt the couple (and not just Eve) – that is what God wanted them to stay away from—the evil one—temptation. That is what He wants us to avoid even today.

 

Today, it appears we have freedom to choose God or not to choose Him. In reality, there is no choice. There is no freedom. The command was, “Do NOT eat…” We can dumb down the command and make it sound less important but it really still applies today—nothing has changed since Genesis 2. Wow! That goes back a ways. Every morning I wake up, even though I have given my life to the Lord or rather because I have given my life to HIM, I choose God. I make that conscious choice each day but in reality, it is not up to me because God chose me first. 😀

 

Did you tell God you chose Him today? If not, please do. This is my reaffirmation of faith I make every day. I encourage you to do the same. May your day be so very blessed! 😀

 

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Do you thirst for God?

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”   –  John 4:7-26 (NIV)

 

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