Thought for Today…

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Why God Closes Doors By Sarah Martin

DOOR CLOSED

I sat with my computer on my lap and Google at my fingertips. Surly this search would come up fruitful and all of my heart troubles would be alleviated by one confirmation from the ever knowledgeable, all knowing search engine. I typed in this phrase into the little box with the eyeglass…

When God shuts a door, He opens a window.

After years of seeing this phrase on those cutesy little posters with kittens perched on windows, I was for sure this tidbit of wisdom was straight up truth from the Bible. Right? Weren’t there songs in the 90’s on our mixed tapes that assured us that when we sat in front of a closed door, God would absolutely open a window of bigger and better opportunities?

My friend Google kindly dropped the news to me… “When God closes a door, He opens a window” is not, in fact, in the Bible. I’m not sure what concerned me more: that this well-known Christian cliché was not in the Word or the fact that I had no good reason for my season of camping out in front of that proverbial closed door.

Three months prior, I sat dreaming and planning and creating my agenda. As I made moves to set these dreams and plans into motion, I abruptly received “no’s” or “not right now” or “no way!” The echo of those doors slamming in my face rings in my ears to this day. After a couple of months and a hurt heart, I couldn’t help but recognize the Lord was doing something here. I wasn’t sure what He was up to but I knew this was pivotal moment in my life and in my understanding of who He is. You see, I’m am really good at kicking doors open and making things happen. At the beginning of my closed door season I stood ready with my super cute cowboy boots ready to kick the doors open and make my dreams and plans come true. But when my “feet” grew tired of kicking to no avail, I surrendered.

Lord, I get it. You have me in front of a “no.” I will sit here and wait. I will not pop my head up to peek around for that open window in which I was for sure you would open right now. Have your way. I surrender.

That one prayer changed it all. God showed me that what He would do IN me during this season of waiting is of more value than what He would or would not do WITH me. I found freedom in that moment to lay my dreams and plans and agenda in front of the closed door and began to seek after God. I mean, really seek after Him through His word and through intentional prayer and worship.

Have you found yourself with the echo of closed doors –– “no’s” and “not yet’s” and “no way!”? Can I take a moment to encourage you straight from experience? Embrace it! Take some time to prayerfully ask God…

What do I need to learn about YOU during this season of waiting?

What do I need to learn about myself in front of these closed doors?

What do You need to root out in my heart and in my spirit to prepare me if and when You say “Go!”?

I timidly asked these questions, too. When we are licking our wounds from closed doors it certainly isn’t fun to go deep with the Lord and seek out the greater purpose. Our Father knows our hopes and dreams. He also has a greater Kingdom purpose and plan and in His sovereign ways, the Lord melds the two together all the while holding our tender heart. Our job is to sit, wait, and obediently trust His ways. This is the Scripture that convinced me this inward work is just as exciting and valuable as my hopes and dreams––what God would hopefully do WITH me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”(John 15: 5-11)

As I abided, sat ever close to Jesus, He did His work in me.

Sometimes the pain was unbearable. Oh but His gentle hand. All in love…

He rooted out pride.

He rooted out my obsession with control.

He rooted out pride some more.

Simply abide. Take some time to soak in His truth. Sit with Jesus in prayer and allow God to use your season of waiting to take you to a new level of faith, trust, love, mercy, joy…whatever it is that He is doing IN you. It will be so worth it. Trust me. I’ve been through it and made it to the other side. I’m better for it and so will you be, my friend!

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Rededicating Your Life to Christ | By S. Michael Houdman

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“Rededicating your life to Christ” is a popular concept in modern Christian culture. It’s a decision made by a Christian who has fallen away from the practices of Christianity to turn back to Christ and strive to follow Him more completely. The act of suddenly returning to Christ is spoken of indirectly in Galatians 6:1, where the church is exhorted to restore sinful believers by gently confronting them. Rededication is popular among older children and young adults who grew up in the church. Christians who were saved at a young age may come to realize that their understanding of what it means to follow Jesus was incomplete. In a desire to consciously choose to adhere to a newfound, deeper understanding of the gospel, believers may “rededicate” themselves to Christ.

However, falling away and returning to God is not how the Christian walk is supposed to look. Romans 12:1–2explains that spiritual maturity is a gradual, ongoing process. Jesus said that to follow Him we should take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23). And 1 Corinthians 9:24 and Hebrews 12:1 speak of the Christian life as a race, meant to be run every day. Many people rededicate after every sin. It’s easy to get caught in a cycle of rededicating, striving to follow Jesus closely, failing, and rededicating again. But habitual sin is not a problem solved by rededicating. It’s a deeper issue that can only be solved with a greater understanding of the grace and love of God.

Still, rededication is a useful tool. It’s a way to deliberately reject sin and renew a love for Christ. The disciples went through a rededication of sorts when they saw the risen Jesus. Their half-hearted devotion turned into a desire to pour out their lives for His service. In the same way, whether because of a conviction about a sinful lifestyle or a greater understanding of the gift of Christ, we can choose to abandon our shallow devotion to Christ and devote ourselves to Him more fully.

Image by My Morning Boost

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Finding Your Joy and Happiness by Abiola A.

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I am not here to give you ways to be happy , to be honest, there is only on true source of Joy and happiness and that’s in JEsus and no one else, not even your parents or significant other. We all make the mistake of thinking that someone or something would bring us joy and make us happy , yes it probably will but not for long i can assure you.

You would never really understand what true happiness is till you experience a relationship with an amazing patient and forgiving Father. I have been thinking about this for a while now and this morning i have come to accept all over again that no one or nothing would ever make me as happy , knowing that there’s a God who shaped the universe and He is in love with you, that right there is an ego booster and all the more reason to be joyful.

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Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us. Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. – Psalm 4:6-8
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Truth is , there would always be problems, always, looking for quick fixes to make yourself feel better is not going to do anything but worsen things, so why not just be happy and joyful and tackle that problem with a clear mind.

You are a special child of God and deserve to be just as happy as everyone else, looking for happiness in the wrong places is dangerous and would only bring more pain and hurt, trying to get into a relationship with someone because you are trying to find someone to complete you is just going to end in disaster because you are already complete , stop thinking God made you in half so another half can make you complete , it does not work that way, you are one, and when it is time for you to be with another “one” , you two become “one”, it is not half and half to make one. You are not some incomplete work , you have been made perfect through JEsus

When you are feeling all sad and depressed , just remember God , not a god or some god , Our Lord Jesus Christ died for you, he was beaten for you, he could have escaped all of that but he felt you were worth it and he went through the pain, yes it hurt him, he came in human form so yes, he felt every single pain but he held on just because he knew how important it was to die for you so you can live. Jesus did not die so you can go around looking for joy and fufilment in the wrong places, just think about that for a minute!

In conclusion,just be happy , you would be amazed to see how easy it is to be in even the worst circumstances..making others happy and spreading God’s love and loving others increases that joy and happiness you find in Christ.. God loves you no matter how hard you fall and far you fall away , for some reasons beyond us he loves us so much HE is always waiting for us to come back and repent , he never stops Loving us..God bless you and have a wonderful week!!

Image by Positively Driven

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I KNOW GOD HATES ME!

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I KNOW GOD HATES ME! YOU CAN’T TELL ME ANYTHING DIFFERENT BECAUSE MY LIFE REFLECTS HIS HATRED TOWARDS ME…

SOUND FAMILIAR?

Well, believe it or not, you’re not the only one who feels this. In fact, one of the people in this world who was supposed to be closest to God, His actual Son, asked a similar question when He was hanging from a tree, dying. He cried out into the Jerusalem air, “My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46 KJV). Even Jesus, God’s very Son, wondered where in the world God was!

If that isn’t enough, several of the writers of the Bible suffered from depression and anxiety, wondering why they couldn’t feel what other people were feeling. Take Paul for example. Paul, who was once known as Saul, actually killed Christians back in his day. He must have really thought God hated him. But even after he began having a real relationship with God, proving that God didn’t hate him, there were times when God felt a million miles away from him, too. Paul describes this feeling in his letter to his friends in Corinth: “It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us.” (1 Corinthians 1:8-10 MSG). So even world-famous Paul felt like God had turned His back.

Jesus asked it. . . Paul asked it. . . and now you, too, are asking where in the world God is and why He seems to hate you! So you’re not alone! I’ll even be so bold as to say that if more Christians were honest with you, even some of your friends, they would say that they’ve had times of doubt in their lives. David, the guy who wrote Psalms, goes on and on in many places with things like “Why, O LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1). And David even had people all around him, telling him that God hated him and wouldn’t help him out. In Psalms 3:2, the people in his life said, “God will not deliver him.” So not only did David feel like God had deserted him, but even his friends were in agreement.

You’re probably thinking right now, “Then there is no hope! God really does hate me.” But wait! There’s more! Remember Paul, who talked about how terrible life had become for him? Well, in the very next sentence, he said, “As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally — not a bad idea since He’s the God who raises the dead! And He did it, rescued us from certain doom. And He’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing” (2 Corinthians 1:9-10 MSG). And David; he couldn’t stop going on in the later chapters of Psalms about how much God had provided for him. “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer” (Psalm 18:2).

And who can forget perhaps the most well-known story of the Bible? Even Jesus, who on Friday was asking where God was, was resurrected from the grave on Sunday, just three short days later! We all go through times in our lives where we think God hates us, or at the very least, must have had enough of us. But I’m here to tell you that what you’re feeling, it’s just that: a feeling! It will go away, like a stomach ache or the flu. God made a promise to us thousands of years ago, and to solidify it, He wrote it in a book that hasn’t changed since day one.

The promise He made is simple: “Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing — nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable — absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us” (Romans 8:35, 37-39MSG). There’s no way that God hates you, because He told everyone on earth then and everyone who would ever be born that nothing. . .absolutely NOTHING could take God’s love away, not even the worst thing imaginable!

So you ask “why does God hate me?” And I have an answer for you: He doesn’t. If you want to really know what it means to be loved by God, and I mean really know it, it couldn’t be easier. No friend, boyfriend, wife, or mother will ever make you feel the way God can with just His love for you. And the way to obtain His Love is simple! All you have to do is ask!

Article by All About
Image by Mirror UK

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Live Your Life’s Dream…Inspired by God | Tricia Goyer

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No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

As a speaker, one of my favorite things to do is encourage the audience to “dream big.” Too many times we put God in a box.

We’re afraid to step out of our comfort zones. We forget that God created the universe, so surely He can help us with our small dreams. There are many dreams God has helped me fulfill: starting a crisis pregnancy center, leading a mission team to Europe, and writing books for a living, to name a few.

So I like to encourage others to dream big since I’ve seen dreams come true in my life. Yet lately I’ve been adding a P.S. to my message. Why? Because in my good intentions, I may have led people to become discouraged instead.

One of the problems with the message “dream big” is that we let our human minds measure what “big” is. We think it has to be fame or success or a huge blog. We think it has to involve starting a ministry or sharing Christ in an atheistic country.

This doesn’t always have to be the case. What is “big” to God? The “big” thing to God is obeying what He asks you to do. You could become famous, make it big, and become well-known—and it would amount to nothing. Or you can ask God what big is to Him. You might be surprised.

Last year, my husband and I felt God telling us to walk away from some of our ministry opportunities in order to adopt two children from the foster care system. I will not become famous wiping noses, playing mommy, or pushing a swing, but to God this is a big thing.

WHERE FAITH BECOMES REAL

What is big to God in your life? It’s a question you need to ask. It’s wonderful to dream big.. just as long as you are sure you know that the direction of your dream was inspired by your loving heavenly Father.

Faith step: Take a minute and think about the dreams God has been speaking to your heart. Write them down, even though they may not seem big to the world’s eyes. Now, what is one step you can take toward them? Write that down too.

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A Heavenly Reminder of God’s Presence in Our Lives | Erin Keeley Marshall

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The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8 (NLT)

Our group of campers gazed up at the night sky lit with stars too many to count. It was a mesmerizing sight, but what had our focus most was a paper lantern moving higher above our heads.

The night was still, hardly any wind to blow the globe, so it floated lazily toward the heavens. Along with my husband, our friends, and our collective kids, I oohed and aahed as the glowing object moved over the treetops and eventually beyond our vision.

Despite some rain that weekend, we all had a wonderful time making memories, canoe floating downriver, roasting s’mores, romping through the campground, and falling asleep to the sounds of the great outdoors. But that moment in particular as I watched so many people I care about gazing upward, I breathed a prayer of thanksgiving that God’s eye is ever on us.

We lost sight of that lantern as it floated beyond our reach, vulnerable to the slightest pressure against it. How peaceful it also felt to trust that the God who created the mighty winds and expansive sky carries us tenderly, guides us faithfully, and shelters us constantly.

His own are never truly at the whim of any other force. It may seem so at times, but the Lord is still sovereign and in control. What a beautiful sight our hearts can enjoy when we envision ourselves and those we love being led along by the mighty hand of a loving God.

Faith Step: Buy a paper lantern and offer a prayer as you send it upward. Thank the Lord that He carries you.

Photo Credit: Ascension Lutheran Pittsburgh

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