“Faith in the Face of Difficulties.”

“Faith in the Face of Difficulties.”    

Friday, August 18.

The Tribune News Service of Miami carried a news story about four months old Calvin Taylor.  Calvin was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome.  This disease is a genetic or birth  defect that affects the normal flow of blood in the heart.  This little baby was refused by four major hospital because the condition was severe and too high a risk for surgery.  But Calvin mother never give up on him.  She research all means and finally was able to find Dr. Burke who agreed to do the surgery.  The surgery was successfully done and Calvin is alive.  The baby is smiling today and the functionality of his heart has been restored.  You know my brothers and sisters in Christ, God has mysterious ways of dealing with everyone.  At one point in time, there was no hope for this child. But today, there is hope for his future.  It only took the faith of his mother.  Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please God, for those who come to God must believe that God is, and He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him.”  In difficult times, we just need to trust God.  Trusting requires us to put doubt and fear away.  We must trust completely.  No matter how tough or difficult a situation is, God is able to help us.  May God grant you the ability to trust Him in every one of life’s problems.

Memory verse: Hebrews 11:1

“Trusting is having complete Confidence.” Amos McCarthy 

 

“Safety in the Name of God”

“Safety in the Name of God”

Thursday, August 17.

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and I safe. The name of Yahweh is a strong tower, the righteous runs in it and they are protected.” Proverb 8:10.

It is often said that safety has no address.  You can live in a gated community, a hut, condo, or anywhere on the earth.  A person is not immune from trouble.  There is one place where everyone can find safety.  That one place is the name of God.  There is healing in the name of God.  That is why God is called Jehovah Nissi.  He is Jehovah Natsarim in Hebrew which means, God the Watchman.  If we want peace, He is Jehovah Shalom.  He gives peace.  If we lack anything, He is Jehovah Jireh, our great provider.  There are many more names of God, which signifies many things that provides safety net for His children.  Anything we want or need, God is able to provide.  All we need to is to ask Him.  Go to God in prayer, and He will answer.  If we are fearful, God will provide safety for us.  He will protect us from evil.  The Psalmist says, “Ye though I walk in the valley of shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.  David was fearful, but he acknowledgde God in the deepest moments of trials.  Today, we can do the same.  Trust your safety to Him by asking Him to protect you, and HE WILL!!

Memory verse: Psalm 1:1

God is Love. 1 John 4:8

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself!

“Love Your Neighbor As Yourself.”                                    

Wednesday, August 16.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with al your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39.

Jesus Christ, the one who our Christian faith is hinged upon, told people who sat under His voice to love God and love each other.  This is the theme that resonates in the Holy Scriptures.  The essence of our Christianity is to love.  The reason here is the world was born out of God’s love for each one of us.  Even after God created humankind and gave humankind everything, humankind prove ungrateful and disobey God.  Out of love, God sent Jesus Christ to died again for our transgression.  Love, love, love is the foundation of our belief.  Love forms the fabric of our faith in God.  The opposite of love is hate.  Hate breeds deceit, lies, hypocrisy, injustice, misrepresentation, grudge, envy, strife, and many other negative word a person can think.  The scripture calls a person who practice hatred a liar.  It informs us that there is no way we can say we love God, whom we have never seen, and hate a person we see everyday.  Please do not let the devil steal your joy and happiness by blinding you into rejecting the greatest commandment God give: Love your neighbor as yourself.  Love is very patient and kind. Be tolerant and be nice to others.  Love is never boastful or proud.  Please don’t take yourself as being better than others.  It is a false sense of pride because God created the other person in His image and likeness.    Love never rejoices about injustice.  Please do unto others as you would like others do unto you. If you have not spoken to a person because of hate, please make it right now, because God is not happy with that.  It my prayers that God will touch hearts and plant love in our hearts so that we worship him in Spirit and in truth.

Memory verse: Matthew 22:39

“Love is not what you say, but what you do.” @notsalmon.com 

          

“Trusting God with all your Heart”

“Trusting God with all your Hearts”                                                        

Tuesday, August 15.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways submit to him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

In blogspot.com, the story is told of a young man who attended a Dwight L. Moody meeting in Massachusetts.  Not sure about whether God could save him from his sins, he decided to trust God, and do what God wanted him to do. The song leader at the crusade, Daniel Towner, wrote down the young man’s testimony.  In a letter to a friend, John Sammis, Towner wrote about the boy’s testimony including these words, “I am not quite sure, but I am going to trust and I am going to obey.” John Sammis wrote a hymn chorus from those words: “Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey”.  John had five stanza that went with the chorus and sent it to Towner, who composed the tune that is sang today.  Proverbs 3:5-6 remind us about the words of this hymn.  God makes a promise to direct our path: our path for education, career, a spouse, a family, a path for financial direction, a path to leave a drug habit or substance abuse.  This is the deal, we must first trust God with our hearts. For an example,  God can not direct Pastor Amos’ path for a wife and then a family, if he is sleeping with two other women secretly. If he is living a life of fornication, that is not trusting God. We cannot trust God to direct our financial path, when we cannot even pay our tithes or give cheerfully to God’s work or cannot heed His word to help the needy, but prefer to gamble our money . The hymn says, “But we never can prove, the delights of His love until all on the altar we lay: for the favor He shows and the joy He bestows are for those who will TRUST and OBEY.” If we want God’s favor on our lives, or if we want to be happy, WE MUST TRUST AND OBEY.   The righteous is never forsaken by God.  Today, I want you to lay everything on the altar. Let us not be wise in our own eyes.  Lean on God for wisdom.  The steps of a good man, a good woman are ordered by the Lord!!

Memory verse: Psalms 37:25

Sometimes God’s blessings is not in what He gives, but what He takes away. Trust Him.” Spiritual Inspiration, Facebook.com: Naeem Callaway

“Blessed be the Name of the Lord”

“Blessed be the Name of thee Lord.”                                                                                                     Monday, August 14.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there.  The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:9-12

Job was a wealthy man, a good family man, and the greatest man of all the people, in the place where he lived.  Job blessed the name of God, when he lost everything he owned in one day.  How many people living today will give praise to God after losing your car, your house, your bank account, a child, a husband or a wife?  The first question we will be asking if we lost everything would be about God being fair or just.  I know some would ask, where was God when it hurt most?  Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?  One thing I want us to understand this morning, is that our suffering does not mean God is angry.  It also does not mean the suffering is because of our sins. James talks about Job as a person who endure  suffering with patience. (James 5:11)  God has urge us in His Word, to give thanks in everything that comes our way.  In this life, there would be good times and bad times.  Good things, as well as bad things, will happen to good people.  As we go through this week, let us bless the name of God for whatever comes our way.  Let us remember to exercise patience in all matters. God is a just God.  God wants the best for us.  It is never His desire to cause suffering for us.  Neither is it the desire of God to let us go through suffering.  In Jeremiah 29:11, God tells us that He has good thoughts towards us.  He cares about our future on earth, and our future with Him in eternity.

Memory verse: 1 John 4:8

“I believe if you keep your faith, keep your trust, you keep your right attitude, if you are grateful, you will see God open up new doors.”  

                                                                                            Joel Osteen    

“We Were Created For Something Much Better.”

“We were created for something much better.”                                                                                                

Saturday, August 12.

 I am here on earth for just a little while.” Psalms 119:9

When my dad passed in 1979, I was young. I didn’t come to terms with the reality, that I had lost a love one, who was very important to my survival in this world.  The news came, my late brother and I had to trek a mile down the road, to inform our maternal uncle.  Life went on as usual for me, for the next two weeks.  The reality of dad’s death set in, when the body was brought home for wake keeping.  I remembered, I stood by the house and realized that dad was not going to wake up again.  It was the first time I cried, since the news broke.  As I grew up, I knew that life on earth was temporal.  We will be here today, and gone tomorrow.  Death is humankind common destiny.  We will all die some day.  The Psalmist says, “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away. Psalm 39:4.  While some dread the idea of death, it is important for us to remember that life on earth is temporal.  Compare to the fact that we will enjoy everlasting life with God, life on earth is brief.  Many forget that earth is not our permanent home.  Some encourage others to live recklessly.  Let us remember, that the life we have is from God.  We are only stewards of it.  Some day, God will call us home and we will be required to give an account of how we live it.  How we live life on this earth will determine our reward.  There is a better reward waiting for us: We will live with God in eternity.  Rick Warren in “the Purpose Driven Life,”  recounts a story of a retiring missionary coming to the U.S. on the same boat as the President of the United States.  There was cheering and merry making as the president was welcomed.  No one noticed the missionary.  The missionary complained to God.  God spoke to him quietly saying, “But my child, you are not home yet.”  His home was heaven.  Even in death, we will not be leaving home, we will be heading home to heaven, when Christ comes.  Friends, whenever you are down and trouble.  When death knocks on your door, and life on earth and serving God makes no sense.  Please know that your labor in God’s vineyard is not in vain, your reward is in heaven.

Memory verse:  Genesis 2:7

“Our faith gives us knowledge of something better.” E. F. Schumacher

 

“A Catalyst for others to Glorify God.”

“A Catalyst for others to Glorify God.”                                                                                                                                Friday, August 11

“You are the light of the world. A town build on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand.  And it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16

No one likes the dark.  No one likes to be in a dark place.  Being in the dark gives some people the creep.  A troubling time in a person’s life can be called the dark period.  The other way around brings us to light as something good.  Light signifies hope. Light makes way for others to come out of darkness. So when Jesus Christ says, “you are the light of the world,” Christ simply means that, through us, others will come and receive all God has promised.  Therefore light is the means by which we all can be propel towards God.  Light is that thing that clears the way for others to see.  Light serve as a catalyst for others to see that you are living a life worthy of being a child of God.  When people see that light in you, they will start to come to God.  If we live in a community where our life style is different from the Christian we ought to be, people who know our true self will not want to come to God.  In Matthew 5:14-16, God wants us to live a life that is pleasing to Him.  He does not want us to be hypocrites by hiding ourselves in sin and professing to be Christian at the same time.  God wants us to be the light that will shine to those who have not come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  God wants us to be the light that will enable others to come and glorify His name.

Memory verse:  Ecclesiastes 2:13

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of light.”

                                                                                                                   Plato

 

“Coping with Life’s Probelms.”

“Coping with Life’s Problems.”                                                                                                   Thursday, August 10.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.  The statute of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precept of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.  The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.  The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.  The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous…..” Psalms 19:7-11 

In a telephone conversation, a friend informed another of the difficulties of life.  He informed the friend about money troubles-bills, inflation, the insecurity of jobs, and the lack of descent housing.  He also complained about marital issues.  Many of us will agree with him.  There are also problems of sex, alcohol, and drugs among many young people the world over.  Some other problems in life come as a result of death of one’s spouse, divorce, marital separation, personal injury, or illness, retirement, change in health of family member, and the list goes on.  All of these problems give rise to stress and depressions.  Some stress is a normal part of life.  Even getting up in the morning can be stressful.  It is the severed, prolong stress that is damaging.  How can we navigate through these problems?  What reasons are there for hope for a happy future?  How can one get God involved?  The Psalmist in Psalm 19:7-11 makes it clear, that advice from God’s word is the key to the many problems in Life. You maybe in a family, or on a job, where there is tension.  As you deal with people in a loving way, there is a high possibility that peace will begin to come.  An atmosphere of cordiality and joy will develop.  You can begin to take the Bible’s counsel on love found in Luke 6:33 (“Do unto others as you would like others to do unto you.”) While it remains a fact that some people will just be mean, some people will like you.  You can never change the fact, that some people will put you down for no sensible reason, but there would be less friction, when you follow God’s word.  God loves you and wants the best for you.  As you read His Word, you will discover truths that will help you overcome some of the most difficult problems you will ever encountered.

Memory verse:  Romans 15:4

“Humility and Patience are the surest proofs of the increase of Love.”

                                                                                                                       John Wesley

 

Finding God’s Path in Troubled Times.

Finding God’s Path in Troubled Times.                                                        Wednesday, August 9.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Whether you like it or not, trials and tribulations are part of the lives of individuals everyday:  A mother’s health and needed examination; The deploying of a wife or husband to a war zone; A suicidal daughter; a dying dad; a traffic ticket; or a teenage son in crisis.  Many more of these difficult situations are bound to be part of everyday’s life.  But every Christian should be joyful in the midst of difficult circumstances.  James 1:2 urges us, “Count it all joy…when you fall into various trials.”  Life isn’t easy, and being a Christian isn’t easy either.  But Christ assures us that we will have peace in him.  The good news still is that Christ has overcome the world.  You may be going through some situations that weigh heavily on your mind.  Remember you are only human.  As a human, you will feel the pressure to waiver in your faith.  Please know that God is with you.  God will not let you carry a burden you cannot bear.  He is near and will take you through.  Just allow Him.

Memory Verse: Psalms 27:13

“God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.” John Wesley

 

 

The Many Faces of Love

The Many Faces of Love                                                                        Tuesday, August 8.

“For God so love the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

In the New International Version of the Bible, the word love is used a little over 550 times.  The word love as used in the Bible can be interpreted in different ways.  The three ways it is used comes from three Greek word Eros (romantic or sexual feelings), Philo (brotherly love), and Agape (unconditional love). In John 21:15-17, Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?”  Jesus asked Peter on three different occasions the same question. Peter answered in the affirmative each time Christ asked him.  Christ was asking Peter if he love him unconditionally.  Too often in life, the love shown by many comes with conditions.  Even from parents, children get love that is based on conditions.  I love you if you do the home work, obey the rules, do the household chores. In too many instances those rules are broken, and one or the other have to take actions that will not be satisfactory to the other.  But God loves (agape) us without condition.  If we do not return the affection, God still loves us.  In John 3:16, God loves us and sent Jesus Christ to die for us.  We do not have to deal with any other face of love.  We do not have to satisfy any condition to get his love.  Today, let us concentrate on God’s love for us.  We can nurture the love we have for our brothers, sisters, our neighbors into unconditional love.

Memory Verse: Matthew 22:37

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus of Nazareth