365: Barbara Thurston

Know God better

8.27.15 Getting to know God better
We must start with faith. The first step in knowing God better is to know Jesus Christ, who was sent from God (John 6:38). Once we are born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can truly begin to learn about God, His character, and His will. “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). By contrast, “the person without the Spirit . . . cannot understand [the things of God] because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (verse 14). There is a difference between the “natural” man and the “spiritual” man.
Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.” It cannot be emphasized enough how the study of God’s Word, the Bible, is paramount to knowing God better. We must, “like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it [we] may grow up in [our] salvation, now that [we] have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2-3). God’s Word should be our “delight” (Psalm 119:16, 24).
Prayer is also an important part of knowing God better. As we pray, we praise God for His character and for what He has done. We spend time with Him, relying on His power and allowing the Spirit to intercede for us “through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26).
Also consider that one can get to know God better by fellowshipping with other believers. The Christian life was not meant to be lived alone. We learn more about God through the preaching of God’s Word and the godly counsel of those who walk with Him. Make the most of your church experience, get involved, do small-group Bible study, go witnessing with fellow believers. Just like a log ablaze on the hearth soon goes out when it is removed and placed aside, so we will lose our fervor for God if we do not fellowship with other believers. But put the log back into the fire with the other logs, and it will burn brightly again.
“For my determined purpose is that I may ... progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly.” (Philippians 3:10).

You were made to live in relationship with God, and if you think you can be joyful without getting to know him better, you’re just fooling yourself. Happiness is found in getting to know God a little bit better every day.

Does your time with the Lord revitalize you, or does it feel more like a ritualistic experience? Discover six ways you can deepen your relationship with the Father and remain devoted to Him.
By Charles F. Stanley

^Come to God honestly confessing your sins before Him and asking Him to forgive you.
^Understand you rely on God, your only hope is to rely on God to get you through you trials. 
^Become interested in things that interest God. Have you ever had a friend who may like fishing but you don't really like fishing but you want to get to know them better, well go fishing with them to show you are really interested. 
^Know His word, study the Bible and meditate on His Word. If your going through something, open the Bible and you can find encouragement. 
^Observe His characteristics and ways, read the promises God has given you in His Word and meditate on what God has done for you. 
^Accept His invitation and follow His commands, God wants you to walk with Him, He wants you to submit yourself to Him fully.

Psalm 46:10 says, “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” As your knowledge of Him deepens, your ability to trust and obey Him will increase. You will find your life’s fulfillment when you come to know and exalt the Lord of all creation.

Belietnet.com says:

Exodus 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before me." There is a reason we use a small "g" when we talk about other gods. There is God and there is everyone and everything else. The first thing God wanted his people to know was that nothing should be more important than knowing him. Is knowing God a high enough priority in your life? How good is your relationship with your husband going to be if you want to know his buddy better than you want to know him? How will your kids feel if you want to spend time with their friends more than with them? God's first priority is that you know him. A close relationship with God begins there.

Exodus 20:4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol..." Study the phrase "make for yourself." That is a good way to define what an idol really is. God dug the Grand Canyon using no machinery or explosives. What can you dig with your own hands? A close relationship with God means realizing how much better it is to have what he provides than what we can dig up on our own. We keep trying to climb the ladder of success and God keeps trying to tell us that there is nothing up there worth having. A close relationship with God means understanding that he wants to give you the best things, but he can't if you keep trying to run after the lesser things. How much dirt is under your fingernails? Which hole do you need to stop digging and crawl out of today?

Exodus 20:7 "Do not misuse the name of the Lord..." The "name of the Lord" means his character, the essence of who He is. And God is perfect. Misusing his name isn't just what you might say in a fit of anger. It is misrepresenting who He is to the rest of the world. We misuse the Lord's name every time we act like He isn't enough; Every time we doubt He isn't real; Every time we let our weakness overshadow his greatness; Every time we claim the glory that belongs to him. If you want to improve your relationship with God, stop misrepresenting him to other people.

So I don't know about you but I sure what to get to know God more and more everyday. God gave His Son to die for us so why can't we live for Him. That's all He wants, He wants us to get to know Him more.

 

God I come to you asking you to empty me of all the negative and fill me with your mercy and grace. God please forgive me where I fail you because I am human and I do make mistakes but with those mistakes I become stronger with your help. God I pray for the lady that got upset @ the food place in the Courthouse today as all she could do we cuss the people working there out because nothing seemed to be good enough for her. Lord I come to you thinking you for sending a job to Ernest today and God let Him go into this job with his head held hi and show them that he can do what it is you've sent him there to do. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know that I love you. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

Imagine the world without God

 
Barbara Thurston 8.26.15 Imagine a world without God
As Christians we often take for granted the advantages of having a God. And I’m not referring to our relationships with Him. We take Him for granted in our everyday lives when we deal with those around us, from family to friends and even strangers on the street. We often forget that God’s law extends much further than the lives of Christians. And even atheists, who reject God, would feel the impact of a Godless world.
A world without God is a scary one to comprehend. In fact, it’s just an impossible scenario. The world is in a bad enough shape but let's take a look @ what it would be like without God.

^There would be no moral law- God’s commandments determine right from wrong. That’s where right and wrong come from. Without a God, who would set the standards? Who would determine what is morally right from what is morally wrong? Look at the world we live in now. Some people choose to reject God’s law, and we see how it negatively affects society. We see this in unrest around the world. We see this in personal afflictions, sexual immorality, abusive relationships, lying, cheating, killing and so many other sinful deeds, big and small. And all while God’s law presides in our justice system. Now imagine how much worse it would be if it didn’t exist. God’s commandments are the foundation of society’s laws, so without them, there would be no universal standards to follow. People would establish their own standards, and since we are all so very different from each other, our standards would likely be very different, thus causing friction and eventually chaos. Who’s to judge right and wrong? Would right and wrong even exist in a world without God?
I think there's people in the world that live by their own morals already.
^No one would be held accountable-Without God’s moral law, no one would be held accountable to consistent laws. It would be a survival-of-the-fittest scenario that would take advantage of the weakest. While the weakest would be oppressed, the strongest would behave any way they wanted to, because without a God, who’s going to hold them accountable?
^There would be no meaning to our lives-What would the point of our lives be if there was no God? We could go on doing what we do, but for what? Working to what end? Loving, giving, sharing and helping—for whom, when in the end, we just die? God calls for us to follow His commandments, and in doing so, we will share joy in heaven with Him. But without the commandments, without having Jesus to emulate, without the Word, what is the meaning of our lives? If we’re not living to glorify Him in our words, actions and deeds, then what are we left to do? What are our successes for? Why would we care if we always failed? Nothing matters, we’re all going to die. Additionally, if there was no meaning and no commandments to follow, wouldn’t we just resort to self-fulfillment? People would live for themselves and would do anything and everything to get what they wanted, without regard for others. Imagine a world like that!
Think about that for a minute, do you know anyone like this right now?
^There would be no hope-Without God, there would be no faith. There would be no prayer. There would be no miracles. And in moments of sadness, loss and darkness, we would be helpless. We would have no option to reach out to God, who heals the sick, strengthens the weak and provides a light in our darkest hours. There would be no one to call out to who could fix what is impossible for us to fix. Without prayer, faith and miracles, there is no hope for a bright future.
^There would be nothing to look forward to-What is the purpose of our existence if we just died at the end of our physical life? Our existence would be nothing more than that of an ant. If there was no God, then there would be no joy in heaven to look forward to, no eternal life. Would we again focus on self-gratification?

“Without God all things are permitted.” —Fyodor Dostoyevsky, philosopher

Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (Ephesians 2:12) I couldn't imagine this kind of world if I tried and I wouldn't want to. I love knowing I can talk to God whenever and where-ever I want and He is always there to listen. When you can't depend on no one else God is right there. God may not be able to drive you to the Dr. or the store but God can provide a way for you to get there. God I come to you thinking you for existing because without you life would be meaningless. I want to think you for always being there when I need you and even though I don't deserve your love and mercy. I know I am a sinner saved by your Grace. I think you for sending your Son to die on that cross to pay the ultimate sacrifice so that we may live. God I pray for the ones who say there is no God because i have living proof that there is a God. Lord please be with my facebook friends and family and know I love you. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

Spiritual Warfare

8.25.15 Spiritual Warfare
There are some believers who falsely believe that if they have a lot of faith they will not undergo any suffering, severe tests or satanic attacks. Nothing could be further from the truth! Actually, the opposite is true.

For example, in the book of Job chapters 1 and 2, God actually asks Satan if he considered His servant Job. Hence, God brought Job to Satan's attention, not because Job was in sin, but because Job was the greatest servant of God on the earth at that time (read Job 1:6-12; 2:3-6).

it seems as though a person following the will of God will sometimes have the most difficult tests, trials and resistance, as opposed to some saints who are casual seekers of God. Satan is no dummy, why should he attack a Christian who is a bad example to others and who is already deceived and in his grip? He will focus the most on those who are the biggest threats to his desire, to do a power grab from God over the earth realm! Remember: God gave Adam a commission to have His rule over the whole earth (Gen. 1:28), and immediately after that the devil came and convinced both Adam and Eve to disobey God and abandon their posts as God's vice regents over the earth (Gen. 3:1-8).

it seems as though a person following the will of God will sometimes have the most difficult tests, trials and resistance, as opposed to some saints who are casual seekers of God. Satan is no dummy, why should he attack a Christian who is a bad example to others and who is already deceived and in his grip? He will focus the most on those who are the biggest threats to his desire, to do a power grab from God over the earth realm! Remember: God gave Adam a commission to have His rule over the whole earth (Gen. 1:28), and immediately after that the devil came and convinced both Adam and Eve to disobey God and abandon their posts as God's vice regents over the earth (Gen. 3:1-8).

The apostle Peter also tells us to resist the devil, standing firm in the faith (1 Pet. 5:9). Peter knows firsthand that faith in God is the key to standing firm in the midst of the day of evil because, when he denied Christ three times, Jesus prayed for him that his "faith" would not fail (Luke 22:31-32).

Some blame every sin, every conflict, and every problem on demons that need to be cast out. Others completely ignore the spiritual realm and the fact that the Bible tells us our battle is against spiritual powers. The key to successful spiritual warfare is finding the biblical balance. Jesus sometimes cast demons out of people and sometimes healed people with no mention of the demonic. The apostle Paul instructs Christians to wage war against the sin in themselves (Romans 6) and to wage war against the evil one (Ephesians 6:10-18).

What are the keys to success in spiritual warfare? First, we rely on God’s power, not our own. Second, we rebuke in Jesus’ Name, not our own. Third, we protect ourselves with the full armor of God. Fourth, we wage warfare with the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God. Finally, we remember that while we wage spiritual warfare against Satan and his demons, not every sin or problem is a demon that needs to be rebuked.

Anyone who seeks to have a vital relationship with God through prayer — ever growing toward greater intimacy with the Father through the finished work of the Son, Jesus — is a prime target for satanic salvos.

The Bible says that there is an enemy who is bent on destruction and will do whatever it takes to leave us discouraged, doubting and defeated Christians. In our "scientific" society where nothing you can't see, feel, touch, taste or smell seems real, some scoff at the mention of a spiritual battle. The Bible, however, makes it clear: We have an "enemy the devil [who] prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).

But Jesus promises that His followers can both survive and thrive through the battle: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10).

Satan Has a Terrible Plan
These are some of the things in Satan's plan for us:

• Tempting (Matthew 4:1)
• Lying (John 8:44)
• Accusing (Zechariah 3:1)
• Corrupting (2 Peter 2:10-12)
• Deceiving (1 Timothy 4:1)

We must realize, however, that God limits the activities of Satan and his demons. Jesus' death on the cross sealed the judgment of demonic forces: "When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him" (Colossians 2:15; also see John 16:11;19:30; Hebrews 2:14).

It's been said that the Devil and his demons are like collared dogs, with leashes that extend only as far as God determines (see Job 1:9-12; Luke 22:31). In His perfect wisdom, God allows their activities, but He's always working above and beyond them (see Genesis 50:20-21; Romans 8:28-29; Jesus' crucifixion — and its results — is the ultimate example).

Yet the Enemy and his followers are in denial, for they still think victory is within their grasps. They continue to do whatever they can to affect people — made in the image of God and with the potential of glorifying and being glorified by Him.

Though the ultimate war has been won, we are engaged in a daily battle against the prince of this world. We are clearly warned in God's Word of the damage that can be inflicted by the kingdom of darkness. The Enemy schemes against us, throws flaming missiles at us, seeks to devour us, and wages direct warfare upon us (2 Corinthians 2:10-11; Ephesians 6:11-12,16; 1 Peter 5:8) As a result, we are to arm ourselves, stand against, refute, resist and overcome (Ephesians 6:12-18; Isaiah 54:7; James 4:7; Revelation 12:11). Everything we need to successfully do battle was appropriated on the Cross. We simply need to appropriate it.

So are you in a Spiritual Battle? I believe if you are a true believer who walks the walk and talks the talk then you are in Spiritual warfare. It's something like the cartoon you see where on 1 shoulder is the good guy who says you shouldn't do something that you know is wrong, but then you have the bad guy on the other shoulder saying go ahead what's it going to hurt.

 

God I come to you thinking you for being with us through our Spiritual Warfare. I know we are human so therefore we are weak, and we can only get strong by turning to you. We need to just say Satan get behind us and push forward and do what you put us here to do. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know that I love you. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

Teamwork pt 2

8.24.15 Teamwork in the Church pt 2
The success of your ministry depends largely on developing a strong team with a deep sense of team spirit. A team spirit is never accidental; it is always intentional. Teamwork is built on three factors:
A compelling purpose,
crystal clear communication,
and a code of commonly held values
Have you ever noticed there's no I in TEAMWORK?
Trust among your team is the emotional glue that binds them together; it’s essential to producing true confidence in each other. 
Even a thoroughbred horse can’t run at a full gait all the time. The quickest way to burn-out a team is to never let them relax. The book of Proverbs teaches: “A relaxed attitude lengthens a man’s life.” (Proverbs 14:30, LB) If you want the people on your team to last, they must have some down time.
Everybody is hungry for affirmation. When they don’t get it, they get cranky. It’s amazing how a smile and a simple word of encouragement can change a team member’s entire day. Four practical ways you can affirm your team would be:
valuing their ideas
appreciating their uniqueness
commending their efforts
praising their loyalty
The Bible teaches: “Even though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again.” (Proverbs 24:16, NIV) Even righteous people make mistakes and stumble occasionally. Mistakes are not failures, because you’re never a failure until you give up. Mistakes teach us what doesn’t work. If you’re not making any mistakes, it means you’re playing it safe and not trying anything new. Mistakes are how we learn and get better.
Open communication is the cornerstone of great teamwork. Proverbs 13:17 (LB) says “Reliable communication permits progress.” 
The more credit you give to others, the more you develop team spirit. It’s that simple. The Bible says, “Give honor and respect to all those to whom it is due.” (Romans 13:7, LB) All leaders are learners. The moment you stop learning, you stop being a leader.
How many people would like to see this church packed every Sunday? People Saved & Equipped to achieve greatness on a regular basis? To see this Church have incredible influence both locally & globally for the glory of God? How many of you dream of living in a peaceful yet purpose community that works together in harmony? How many people would like to enjoy the benefits of a successful & happy family? Enjoy job satisfaction in a work place that is productive frequently getting results?
Great TEAMWORK makes things happen more than anything else in organisations – more than skill, qualifications or money! Whether it’s your Family, Church, Ministry, Business, Personal life

A well known football manager once commented in an interview "It’s easy to get good players. It’s getting them to play together that’s the hard part!"

" Teamwork means that we share a common ideal, Embrace a common goal. Regardless of our differences, we strive shoulder to shoulder, Confident in one another’s faith, trust, and commitment. In the end, teamwork can be summed up in five short words....
We believe in each other."

" Teamwork is the FUEL that allows Common People To Produce Uncommon Results!"

Throughout the Bible we read stories about people working together as teams to achieve a mission.

“The Church (TEAM) does not exist for the member, rather the member exists for the church (TEAM)."

So let's make sure we are all on the same team and that's God's team. We all need to be on the same page and working toward the same thing.

 

God I'm so glad I joined your team so many years ago. I want to think you for saving my soul. You loved me enough you gave your Son that He might die for my sins. Wow I don't know anyone else that loves me so much that they would do that. As much as I love some people I can say I pretty much know I couldn't give one of my kids lives for them. I wish I could tell you I could God but I'm not that strong. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know that I love you. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

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