Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Zeal ( #atozchallenge )

       When I googled the definition for "zeal", the first one said: Great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective. Shouldn't that describe the way we should feel when we realize God's great love for us and the way we should respond in trying to please Him?

       Instead it can be so easy to feel lackluster about our lives. We've been given the greatest gift and we quietly accept it with barely a thanks. We might pray obligatory prayers and maybe even go to church on Sundays.  But how excited are we about God and the salvation He has provided through Jesus Christ.

       Let the power of God energize you, lift you up, and fill you with a sharing spirit.  There is a world of people out there waiting for Christ.  A lot of them don't realize it because they are lost.  We need to take the cover off the lamp and light the way for those who wander in the dark.

        Be zealous for Jesus.  Let zeal for the message provide you with the power to be motivated for God. Pray with vigor when aggressive prayer is what is needed.  Pray with a quiet meditative demeanor when you want to commune with the spirit.  Pray unceasingly for all things and all people.

        Blessings will flow in abundance for those with a zealous love of God.

 If you would like to know more about a true life change in a positive direction, then please visit Take the Next Step

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Monday, April 29, 2013

You ( #atozchallenge )

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
 "I am the Good Shepherd" (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11).  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       This blog--A Few Words--and all the posts for the A to Z Challenge are for you the readers.   I hope that I sometimes inspire or enlighten you if you are already a follower of Christ.  But most of all, it's my hope that I will reach you--the one who does not know Jesus as your savior.

        You--each of you--are one of God's children and you are precious to him.  Some of you may be lost, hurting, or unsure about your lives.  If this is you, then I encourage you to start at the beginning of my A to Z series and read through the posts.  Contemplate where you are in your life and where you are going.  Study the Bible.   Click on the tab on this page labeled Take the Next Step.  Ask questions.  Pray for guidance.

        I hope to see all of you visiting back to A Few Words now and then.  Let me know when you do.  Your encouragement is a big help to me.  I thank each of YOU for it.

 If you would like to know more about a true life change in a positive direction, then please read Take the Next Step

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

We Have Every Reason to Rejoice!

Prayer (Photo credit: Chris Yarzab)

Worship the Lord with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.

Psalm 2:11

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

         Do the matters of this world seem to get in your way to worship sometimes?   

       It can seem like we are under a continual assault of woes and hurts, but we are also the recipients of many blessings.  I'm not sure why we so often focus on the negatives of life.  Perhaps we take the positives too much for granted and see the negatives as the forces that rule our lives.  And sadly they frequently do.

       I know it's easy for me to say to you to just let go of the hurt.  Then I look at myself dwelling on mine.  It can be a mess!   But if I stub my toe and curse my misfortune, I need to remember those who have lost limbs or loved ones.    For every problem I have, there is someone else with a bigger problem.  I need to rejoice in the blessings I have received.

      The troubles we are facing now are just temporary nuisances.  They are the little things that can be taken care of by a big God.  

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Hebrews 12:28-29

New International Version (NIV)

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

X As a Replacement for Christ--Really?

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

         We often see the word Christmas shortened to Xmas.  In fact according to my Random House Dictionary, the abbreviation for Christian in Xn.   Really?  Where'd this come from?

          There are several explanations that I have found for this replacement, but overall it makes me wonder.   Why do we need to x out the name of Jesus?    A reasonable explanation is that the term for Christ in Greek is Χριστός.    So the X is an abbreviation.   Or in many cases it is a cover up.

        In some countries an "X" rating denotes something vulgar, obscene, or offensive.  But come to think of it, Jesus Christ is becoming offensive to many--He always has been.  We can't have Jesus in the schools or in public places where others might be offended.   If we replace Christ with a X then maybe we don't have to think about him.

         No, thank you--no x for me.  Give me Jesus Christ, not x as in the unknown factor.  The equation has been solved.  The x is Jesus Christ.  Let His Name be praised!

 If you would like to know more about a true life change in a positive direction, then please read Take the Next Step

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Worship ( #atozchallenge )

worship (Photo credit: Celestial Photography)

        If you're feeling down, tired, depressed, or alone, perhaps you need a good dose of worship!

        Forget the energy drinks and power pills.  You need to energize with the power of God!

         Worship should be directed toward God, but it is not just for God.  Worship is for you too.  Worship can bring you closer to God and will bring God closer to you.   Whether you worship alone, at church, or in a crowd of thousands, God will be there.

          A good worship from the core of your being can lift you up to rise above all that might be burdening you.  It can clear your thinking and purify your spirit.  Like a dead battery getting a recharge, you can get back the energy that you need to strengthen your faith and help you stay in step on the path to God's Kingdom.

          Not a believer yet?   Try worshiping anyway.  Attend a worship service that suits you.  Sing, praise, and lift up your hands.  If you don't find God, perhaps He'll find you to let you know He's listening.

          Worship can do a body good.   And it's especially good for the mind and spirit.

 If you would like to know more about a true life change in a positive direction, then please read Take the Next Step

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vision ( #atozchallenge )

English: The Sodomites are smitten with blindn...
English: The Sodomites are smitten with blindness, as in Genesis 19:11; illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible; illustrated by Gerard Hoet (1648-1733) and others, and published by P. de Hondt in The Hague; image courtesy Bizzell Bible Collection, University of Oklahoma Libraries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

         When we think of vision as it applies to the Bible we often think of the term in the context of dreams, prophecies or visions.   There are many references of this nature in the Bible.  To the unbeliever, this type of vision may not be credible enough evidence to bring them closer to a Living God.  So let us consider vision in the most literal sense--the ability to see.

        The healing of the blind is among the most known of the miracles performed by Jesus.  In Bible days blindness was a common affliction that left those afflicted by it quite helpless.  This is why blindness is such a common metaphor in the Bible when referring to those who are unable to see the truth about God and His plan.

         In order to understand the Bible we must open our spiritual eyes to let the words into our hearts and minds.  If our eyes are not open then we cannot see the truth.   If we don't look toward Jesus, we will not recognize him.
          Faith comes first by hearing the word and then by having the vision to see what is being said.  If we walk through life with our eyes closed, we will run into many obstacles and may end up going the wrong way.  Open your eyes.  Use the spiritual vision that is within you to find the path to the truth.

 If you would like to know more about a true life change in a positive direction, then please click on the tab above labeled Take the Next Step

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Understanding ( #atozchallenge )

English: Readin the Bible.
English: Readin the Bible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

         So often I'll hear people say they don't read the Bible because the don't understand it.  Perhaps they don't understand it because they don't read it!  Or maybe they are just not reading carefully and prayerfully.  The Bible can be a complex book with many things that are difficult to understand on first reading.  As the Bible is reread and studied, more things begin to fall into place and understanding becomes easier.

         There are many things in life that are hard to understand and when we don't want to understand them then we never do.  The Bible and the overriding story it tells is the message of God's love for us and how we can obtain salvation.  If we focus on this one theme and study the Bible with that theme in mind, the pieces begin to fall into place.  When this happens, prepare to be amazed.

           For those who complain that you don't understand God and why He would do the things he does, remember that he is God.  He is greater than you, and His ways will never fully be fathomed by you.  If you go to your doctor or car mechanic, you may not understand everything those specialists do.  You trust them that they will do the job you are paying them to do.  Let God do His work in you!  Trust in Him.

         Understanding comes from gaining knowledge about that which you are trying to understand.  Read books about the Bible, watch videos, listen to teaching programs about the Bible, join a Bible study group.  There are so many resources available to you.  Find those which are of help to you and let them guide you.

         Most of all, read the Bible with a sincere intent to understand.   Read, contemplate what you have read, pray about it, and read it again.   Understanding will come to the persistent mind that earnestly seeks understanding.

 If you would like to know more about a true life change in a positive direction, then please read Take the Next Step

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Trials and Tribulations ( #atozchallenge )

English: Old Step Leading to Church on the Hil...
English: Old Step Leading to Church on the Hill Steps in need of repair, leading to Holy Trinity Washington, Known locally as the Church on the Hill. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

        Don't be misled into believing that accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior means that all your troubles are over.  A life given over to God will not guarantee health and wealth.  Things may turn out just fine for you, but also be prepared for difficult times.

         Sickness, financial problems, and disasters can fall upon God's children just as they can fall upon the unsaved.  Hardships can come to us all, but our faith can help our outlook and sense of hope for the future.  God has not guaranteed heaven here on Earth.   Your investment in God's kingdom is rewarded after you've paid into your account with what you've done while on Earth.

         Jesus told us that we could expect trouble in our lives (John 16:33), but He would carry us through.  Some followers of Jesus have suffered horribly for their convictions, but they have a far greater reward ahead.  Better to live in eternity with God, then to have a brief time of riches and pleasure while on Earth then spend forever in darkness separated from God's glory.

         If you are rolling in riches today and lose it all tomorrow you will be sorrowful.   But if you have God in your life, whatever earthly things are taken from you will still leave you with God.  And if you have God, then you have everything.

 If you would like to know more about a true life change in a positive direction, then please read Take the Next Step

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Monday, April 22, 2013

S.O.S.: Sowing of Seeds

The photo depicts the Sowing the Seeds icon fr...
The photo depicts the Sowing the Seeds icon from the Greek Catholic Cathedral of Hajdúdorog, Hungary. It was painted on the end of the 18th century by unknown painter (most probably by Mihály Mankovics). The painting decorates the pulpit of the cathedral. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       Throughout the month of April this blog is on a mission.   The theme is Salvation.   I am not presenting a deep study of salvation, but sowing some seeds to call upon you to study more about the topic.

         There are many out in the world who are desperately lost.  They are sending out their distress calls in hopes that someone will hear and bring them the help they need.  Are you on heightened alert to recognize those calls of S.O.S--"Save our souls"?   The lost may not admit to being lost, but within they know something is lacking.   They need someone to help show them the way.  Are you the one who can help?

         If you are already saved then praise God for that.  Now you should be sowing seeds of salvation with others you encounter.  Strengthen your own faith with study of the scriptures and pray that you can be useful in doing God's work.  The little things can add up to big change in the lives of others.
         If you do not feel that you have obtained the salvation through accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to seek out more information on the topic.  You can start by clicking on the tab above labeleTake the Next Step . If you have a friend or family member who you think can help you, talk to them.   Find a solid Bible believing church and get to know other Christians.  And above all, pray.   Prayer can do amazing things when it is earnest and sincere.  

          What will be the harvest of the seeds you sow in your life?   I pray that your work will result in a bountiful harvest and exceed all that you have imagined.

 If you would like to know more about a true life change in a positive direction, then please read Take the Next Step

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