GOD THE JUST BY JONATHAN FEHR

Background

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” Isaiah 30:18

A good friend of mine — only 24 — was recently diagnosed with an aggressive and rare form of lung cancer. He has never smoked.

Where is the justice in this?

Sometimes, bad things just happen; I’m sure many of us have experienced situations we’ve deemed to be unfair. Yet the Bible tells us — promises us — that God is still just.

So how do we reconcile the words of the Bible with situations we deem to be unjust, like the situation with my friend? One thing that stands out to me in the verse above is the word “wait.” Note that the verse says “The Lord longs to be gracious to you…” It is clearly His desire to bring justice and to bring it quickly. Yet He’s waiting, and He has told us to wait, too.

All through Scripture, we get a sense of waiting: the earth cries out for restoration; the martyred saints cry for justice; the psalmist asks how long, oh Lord. God is not only just, but He is also good. And in His goodness, we must trust that His timing is better than ours. Even though our situations may be unbearably hard, God has called us to be patient and to wait on Him to bring justice in its proper time.

Although it is not easy, we can trust that no matter how hard our situation, our waiting will not be in vain; “God is a God of justice. Blessed are those who wait for Him!”

Dear Jesus, help me to remember Your goodness, even when times get hard. Please bring about justice in Your timing, and help me to be patient and to endure in a way that honors You. Amen.

TAKE ACTION

Search Scripture for examples of others who had to wait for God to bring about justice. Do you think it was better that they needed to wait? Reflect on how you would have felt in those situations, and ask God to give you patience while you wait for justice.

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You’ve Got Mail…from Jesus! | Sharon Hinck

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But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14-15

My mom’s birthday was approaching and I wanted to do something special for her. Mom insisted she didn’t want a party and didn’t want any fuss at all. I reminded her that we all wanted to celebrate her, and asked again if there was anything she would enjoy.

She admitted she loved getting cards in the mail, and had heard of a friend who had a “card shower.” My husband, daughter, and I dove in to the project with gusto. My husband put up a notice at work. My daughter posted online to her friends. We passed out slips of paper at church with her address, and I sent info to an e-mail loop of writers.

A few days before her birthday, cards, postcards, and even gifts of books from people she’d never met began to arrive. She was thrilled. Each day was an adventure when she’d bring in the large stack of mail, and pour through return addresses from all over the country.

Her joy at receiving, opening, reading, and savoring her mail made me think of the full mailbox that Jesus has provided for us through His Word. Every day, I can open the pages of my Bible and find His greeting of love expressed in various ways: letters, songs, poetry, historical accounts, parables, and more.

Had Mom let all those colorful cards and well wishes sit unopened, she would have missed out on a fun blessing. Yet some days, I ignore the wealth of encouragement and love that Jesus has sent to me.

Faith step: Open your mail from Jesus–your Bible–and rejoice at His personal greeting to you today. Then mail a card to a friend to lift their spirits.

Photo Credit: Liberty Friends

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Keep Your Focus on Jesus!

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KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON JESUS!
 
In Psalms 37:1-5 states:
 
Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass
 
Within these few scriptures, God is employing us to focus on Him. It may seem as though the unbelieving are prospering in their ways, but they are all living on borrowed time from the Lord. We as Believers of the one True God should dedicate our time to the Lord. Waiting patiently for His great return to be rewarded for our good works through Christ Jesus!
 
May the grace of God keep you and the love of Christ Jesus forever rest upon you from this day forth!
 
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Jesus Loves Me, but Will He Know Me When He Returns?

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Without a doubt, we know Jesus loves us because of His ultimate sacrifice He gave to redeem us back to His Father.  No person on this earth could ever sacrifice so much for us and for this we will be eternally grateful

But, will Jesus know us when He return?

Most will say yes without blinking an eye, but I want you to really understand this question because if you’re like me, you really want to know where you stand when it comes to where you will spend eternity

I don’t want to second guess myself, but I want to genuinely know without a doubt that when the time comes and God sends His Son to gather up His children, I want to be among those who are changed in the twinkling of an eye

So again, I ask; will Jesus know us when He returns for His church?

I’ve compiled a few things which are from God’s word on the attitudes, traits and behaviors of those who will be known by Jesus…

  1. Do I possess every fruit of the Spirit? (Galatians 5:22-24)
  2. Does my attitude reflect that of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12)
  3. Can I honestly say I love my enemies as Jesus commanded me to do (Matthew 5:44)
  4. Do I possess the same love Jesus had for His brethren (John 13:34)
  5. Have I or am I witnessing to others about what Jesus has done for me or am I spreading the good news to everyone (not just those inside my home or church) (Matthew 28:19, 20)

Outside of the 5 outlined questions above, I ask myself, do I live a life that glorifies Jesus?  Does my actions reflect that of a chosen vessel.  Am I defiling this temple with profanity, being harsh to others, being impatient, ungrateful, complaining, telling jokes, trying to fit in, lying on documents, unfaithful to God’s house, barely read my bible, only pray when someone prompts me to pray, turn the other way when someone is in need of my help, etc.

Today, as I am also doing, truly examine your life and if you find that you are not where you should be in Jesus, now is the time to get there.  The saddest and most scariest moment that could happen in our life because we didn’t examine ourselves is to hear our Lord Jesus say; “Depart from Me, I know you not”

God bless you,

 Missionary Laraine Turner, Owner/President of Blessed Magazine.  Vice-President of Precious Life Services.  Counselor and Mentor.  Spiritual Life Coach.  Her testimony: God has chosen me to be a vehicle for His divine purpose. My goal is to demonstrate to the world that through the love and power of Jesus Christ, all can live and have a blessed life. We all have a choice. When Jesus died for our sins, He gave us a choice, but if we refuse to live for Him, He has no choice but to give us our choice in regards to where we want to spend eternity. Please, make the right choice and follow Jesus! Stay blessed my sisters and brothers ♥

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God’s Word: Where Do I Start?

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Many of us have a yearning desire to read God’s word, but may find it difficult

Believe, I used to be one of those who found it difficult, but soon developed a good reading pattern in spite of it all

First, let’s understand one thing….the enemy doesn’t want you involved in God’s word because he knows where it will lead you and how it will affect your life, so don’t be surprised when you begin your journey into God’s word you find distractions are more intense

When I say intense, I mean you will experience becoming sleepy, a sense of boredom and outside things such as the telephone ringing or your family may demand more of your time.  These are all tactics of the enemy, so it’s best you understand them and be aware of them as you embark upon your journey of studying God’s word

When I first began to read God’s word, I downloaded a bible app (Word of Promise) which brought the bible to life

I started my reading journey in the book of Daniel because I was always fascinated with his story, the lion’s den and the fiery furnace and so on.  So…

#1:  Begin with a story you are familiar with in God’s word

Next, I began putting together trivia questions and quizzing my family which got them involved.  The more I learned about God’s word, the more I wanted to share my knowledge…this was exciting.  So…

#2:  Involve your family and turn it into family time with games such as bible trivia

And finally, choose a time when you know you won’t be disturb to fully dedicate your time to God’s word.  I found late in the evenings to be the best time because most of my family is sleep and my friends know that after 10pm, I place my phone on silence because that’s my time to unwind and eventually go to sleep. So….

#3:  Choose a time which will allow you to concentrate on God’s word without interruptions

As time goes on, you will develop your own strategies for studying God’s Word and I would love to hear what those are, so please share with us what you come up with

Be blessed,

  Missionary Laraine Turner, Owner/President of Blessed Magazine.  Vice-President of Precious Life Services.  Counselor and Mentor.  Spiritual Life Coach.  Her testimony: God has chosen me to be a vehicle for His divine purpose. My goal is to demonstrate to the world that through the love and power of Jesus Christ, all can live and have a blessed life. We all have a choice. When Jesus died for our sins, He gave us a choice, but if we refuse to live for Him, He has no choice but to give us our choice in regards to where we want to spend eternity. Please, make the right choice and follow Jesus! Stay blessed my sisters and brothers ♥

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“Christians: What Happened to Love Your Neighbor?”

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So, I’m a little confused, but mostly heartbroken of hearing all the hate posts against those who live a different lifestyle than us Christians. So I ask the question; “What happened to love your neighbor?”

Love is not a condition of as long as you like what I like you’re on my A List, but if you don’t like what I like, you’re on my D List

When Jesus walked among us (sinners) He embraced and loved us even in our sin. Don’t you realize it is the love we express to those who are lost which wins them over to Christ?

Jesus said in Matthew 18:11 (KJV): For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

Jesus didn’t rage and condemn those who were sinning, but He embraced them and loved them for who they were; not for what they were doing, but that’s not the case for some of us

We are carrying torches and running down individuals who don’t act like us. Who do we think we are? We are sinners saved by grace and if we are truly honest with ourselves, our past sins are no greater than those of the very ones we are condemning now

The bible states in 1 John 5:17: All unrighteousness is sin

To God; sin is sin and my sins are no less or greater than your sins

Yes, we are to hate sin, but not the sinner. But what I have witnessed on social media sites and in the media, we are hating both the sin and the sinner and some of us don’t even realize what we are doing because we are following the crowd and not following Jesus

Stop the hate! Stop judging! Stop condemning! Start loving and showing the world what it means to be Christ-like!

And in my conclusion and here is where I’m going to burst some bubbles:

If you are not loving as Jesus instructed everyone, even those who live a different lifestyle than you, then you’re none of His and no better than the ones you are condemning

The BEST way to WIN SOULS is to LOVE the LOST. EMBRACE the LOST and WELCOME the LOST in JESUS NAME

Article by Sister Laraine
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7 Good Places To Find Quiet Time With God

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Spending time with God each day is important for continual Christian maturity. When you can have a special place dedicated to your quiet time, it makes it much easier to get into the habit of daily devotions. Not everyone can have a place in their house that they use exclusively for Bible reading and prayer, but with some creativity you can make a shared space work well for you.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”  Matthew 6:33

In this article I focus on places for regular quiet time with God. There are times when you can get away for special retreats and spend time with God in a location that may not be convenient for everyday use. But, for the most part, these suggestions are for your daily devotional times.

Living Room

Personally I spend time in daily Bible reading and study right in my living room in my big plush recliner. I want to set a good example for my family and this is currently the best way to do this. I am easily distracted when reading, but have found that I can read my Bible in the living room each morning. I have asked the family to respect the morning time before breakfast so that I can read and study.

The downside of this is that I don’t really spend any time in prayer during my living room devotions. My prayer time is when I am in my office at work and can have a little more uninterrupted time. I don’t think this is ideal, but it is what works for me at this stage in my life.

Park

Right next to my office is a church that has an outdoor pavilion where I could go and read my Bible. It is open to the public and I have enjoyed spending time there on nice spring days. You may be able to find a park or other public location where you can take your Bible on your lunch break to spend time with the Lord.

While this may be nice on days with beautiful weather, you need to also have a fall-back location that you can use when the weather is not so nice. Don’t allow the weather to keep you from working on your daily Christian maturity.

Closet

Some of you have a nice big walk-in closet where you can easily set up a folding chair and have your devotions in private. This can be an ideal place to get alone with God. Even if you don’t have a large closet you may still want to try and see if it offers you the seclusion and focus you need for your time with God.

Interestingly we often call private prayer “closet prayer” because of Christ’s comments in Matthew 6:6 when He said, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” This was in contrast to the very public prayers of the hypocrites.

“Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.” Psalm 119:4

Bathroom

The first time I heard about using a bathroom as a place for quiet time was when my family was in Columbus, GA staying with an elderly saint in the church we were working in for 2 weeks. She was a widow lady and all her kids were grown. She could have had her Bible-reading and prayer time anywhere in the house she wanted. But, when she was younger and had a house full of kids she learned that she could retreat to the bathroom and have her devotions undisturbed.

Even though her house has been empty for years she still enjoyed her private time with God in the bathroom.

Office

You may have an office at your house where you can retreat to for some personal time with the Lord. I tried this at my house and found it did not work well for me. My office is an unfinished corner of my basement with broken electronics and half-completed projects perpetually littering my desk. The thought of going down into the unheated dungeon causes me to put off my devotions until “later today when it warms up.” Which, of course, never happens.

However, your home office may be a welcome fortress of solitude. In that case, enjoy your precious quiet time there.

You may even be afforded the opportunity to read your Bible and pray at your regular office like I can. Take advantage of that if it is the best place for you. But, I will also caution you that it is very easy to get pulled into some little task that you want to finish before getting into your personal time. Many times that means that you don’t get around to your Bible reading for the day.

Car

Your vehicle may be an ideal place for you to spend time alone with God. It has everything you need: quiet, seclusion, and a place to put your cup of coffee. The only challenge may be sneaking out while no one is looking.

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11

Special Retreat

I do want to include one place away from your normal routine. This one I will just call a special retreat. A time away from the normal cares of your daily life where you can go and be alone with God for an extended period. That may mean a weekend trip or just a couple of hours one afternoon at a local state park. These longer times of prayer and Bible reading can be rejuvenating and refreshing. This is especially true if you begin to feel like your regular devotion time is being done more out of habit than it is out of desire to spend time with God.

Can you name some places you could spend quiet time with Jesus?

Article Written by David Peach

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