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    Posted: 14 hours 58 minutes ago at 2:02pm

When Your Fire Grows Dim

By Charles Stanley

READ | 2 Timothy 1:1-11

Do you feel yourself growing cold toward the Lord? Though we, who are children of God, can never lose our salvation, it is possible for our spiritual passion to cool.

Today's passage reveals that even Timothy experienced a decrease in his excitement for God. That's why Paul wrote, encouraging the young pastor at Ephesus to fan the flame of his faith.

Spiritual "cooling" can happen to any Christian. Oftentimes, it starts when tragedy or disappointment diverts one's attention. Instead of crying out to the Lord and finding shelter in Him, the believer slowly ceases reading the Bible. The Word of God is like wood in a fireplace: the flames can be kept alive only when there are logs to burn. As less time is spent in Scripture, other aspects of the relationship with God are affected: church attendance diminishes, giving becomes sporadic, and prayer -which seems increasingly stale- is used only for emergencies.

No longer willing to stand up for what he once deemed important, the Christian soon starts to compromise. He may feel plagued by guilt and become defensive about the way he is living. Finally, the joy, contentment, and peace from God are replaced by worry, doubt, and fear.

A believer who allows himself to drift will miss out on the joy and fulfillment of a rich relationship with the Lord. Think back. Is your excitement about the things of God stronger than ever before? Or has it diminished over time? If your fire needs stoking, ask the Holy Spirit to show you how.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 hours 7 minutes ago at 1:53pm
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Hut
    Posted: 15 Dec 2008 at 8:58pm
The Hut

 The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island.
 He prayed feverishly for GOD to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon   for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build   a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store   his few possessions.  One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to   find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had   happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and   anger."GOD, how could you do this to me?" he cried. Early the next day he was   awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island.  It had come to   rescue him.  "How did you know I was here?" Asked the weary man of his rescuers.
"We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose   heart, because GOD is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain, and   suffering. Remember that, the next time your little hut seems to be burning to   the ground.  It just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of GOD.

 You   May Want To Consider Passing This On, because You Never Know Who Feels Like   Their Hut Is On Fire Today.



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 2009 at 2:50pm
Great post~I have gotten this before in my email. What it said for me is when it seems like we're at the end of our rope, God is turning things around. I also love the scripture that says "There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord." Proverbs 21:30


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They are always watching and listening

"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them" (Acts 16:25-26).

It didn't take long for non-believers to realize I was different in the secular workplaces where I've worked. I didn't participate in the jokes, the dirty language, or criticism of management. I didn't judge them for their behavior because they were merely acting the way they should act as one who does not have Christ in their life. I viewed them as prisoners awaiting their salvation and that I might be the instrument to lead them to my Savior.

I would often be known as the "religious guy." It wasn't because I was particularly vocal or I tried to separate myself; it happened naturally. The Christ in me naturally made me stand out. Jesus called us to be the "salt and light" of any life situation. The secular workplace economy is contrary to the Kingdom of God economy so we should naturally stand out in any situation.

When Paul and Silas were in prison their lifestyle of worship and prayer in the midst of the horrible conditions of a dirty prison stood out in stark contrast to their circumstances. They didn't pray and sing to impress their cellmates, they simply did what was natural to them. Still, "the other prisoners were watching and listening."

No matter where you are, others are watching you to determine if your faith is real or if you're an imposter. The world is looking to discredit your faith. You are a witness always whether you choose to be or not.

"The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?'" (Acts 16:29-30). When you begin to reflect the love and power of Christ in your life you won't have to have an evangelism program to win others into the Kingdom. It will be a fruit of your life. The "fish" will actually jump into the boat!

Beware how you conduct your life today. Because the prisoners are watching and listening.
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Her First Car


Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him" (1 Samuel 3:7).

Charis, my sixteen-year-old daughter at the time, was now driving age. She had saved her hard-earned money to match her father's contribution to buy her first car. It was time to begin the hunt. I told her that we needed to pray for God to lead us to that perfect car. She was excited about the possibilities.

I began combing the newspaper and internet to find the right car. We prayed we would find the right car, even in the gray or silver color and model that she wanted. Finally, after several weeks, she got discouraged and began to tear up, "We will never find a car for this price." I told her the car was out there, but it was not God's time yet. We had to be patient to allow God to provide in His time, not ours. This didn't go over well with a teenager.

Finally, one day I came upon a car that seemed like it fit our criteria. I called the owner. The parents of the boy who owned it answered the call and gave me more information. I liked the parents right away. They had a nice "spirit" about them. We drove over to the house and there in the front yard was a silver sports car - the model she had been looking for, complete with a fantastic stereo and speaker system. We noticed a small fish symbol on the back bumper, which indicated the owner may have been a Christian. "These people appear to be believers!" I exclaimed to my daughter.

We met them and talked about price. It was a little higher than our budget. We asked if they could meet our price. They did. My daughter had her new car with a personal imprint from God to show my daughter that He was the source of the new car.

One of the most important roles you and I have as parents is to transfer our faith to our children. There comes a time when our children need to take ownership of their own faith in the Lord, rather than living off mom or dad's faith. Today, consider how to pass your faith to your children.

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Topic: Saved from such men

"O Lord, by Your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life...."
- Psalm 17:14

Whenever I travel over the ocean, I am always reminded of the seemingly insignificant time we have on this earth. I often imagine dropping a glass of water out the window of the jet into the huge body of water below. The Lord then reminds me that this is how my life is compared to eternity - a mere drop in the ocean.

Yet, every day millions of people will go to work seeking to gain that elusive thing called success. The rewards of this life continue to provide the incentive for 60-hour weeks or the extra weekend away from the family. Sometimes we get entrenched in the message of the world. This message is an appealing, seductive call to sell out eternity for the temporal.

As a Christian businessman, I fell for this for many years until the Lord allowed me to wake up. It took some severe wake-up calls, but they did their job. I'm so grateful the Lord cares enough to give us these wake-up calls. He knows what real life is about. We think we know what it is, only to learn once again that real life is only in what is built on eternity. How does this verse line up with where you are today? Are you building around a world whose reward is in this lifetime, or an eternal one? Do those with whom you associate live in such a way that they demonstrate their reward is not concerning this life? Jesus said to seek first His Kingdom and all these things will be added. Amen.



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Living in Bondage

By Charles Stanley

READ | John 8:31-36

Freedom is one of humanity's most prized possessions. That's why Patrick Henry's famous declaration, "Give me liberty or give me death," resonated with the colonists. His sentiment ignited a revolution and helped bring about the birth of our free nation.

Yet many inhabitants of this land are in captivity. You see, people aren't simply physical beings; they're also spiritual. And they can be enslaved spiritually as well as physically.

Jesus said that anyone who commits sin is in bondage to it (John 8:34). He was referring to continuous wrongs that become a lifestyle, even for the believer. Almost anything -including the pursuit of power, money, or relationships- can develop into a pattern of sinful living.

Usually, ungodly habits begin in a way that seems innocent and fulfills a desire or need. For example, a person might justify working too much in order to take care of his family. Over time, he may become desensitized to any guilt he originally felt. As he gradually senses less conviction by the Holy Spirit, the habit becomes a comfort and eventually controls him. Though he may hate it, he is powerless to stop. Ironically, people in this state often say and believe that they could stop the behavior if they so chose. But they are deceived.

Neither human determination nor effort can overcome the bondage. Yet what man is unable to do, God can achieve (Luke 18:27).

Take an honest look at your life's motivations. Is there some habit, emotion, or dream that "owns" you? Jesus - and Jesus alone -can set you free.

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Liberated to Live

By Charles Stanley

READ | Psalm 22:5

History is replete with stories of slaveholders who dominated the helpless, and wicked rulers who tyrannized entire people groups. These are obvious cases of bondage. Less evident -but damaging nonetheless- are the widespread instances of enslavement to emotional wounds and sinful acts, habits, and attitudes. People oppressed in this way cannot break free.

Thankfully, Christ came to earth to release us from captivity to sin. He said of Himself: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me . . . He has sent me to . . . to set free those who are oppressed" (Luke 4:18, 21).

How can you take advantage of this terrific offer of freedom? The first step is to recognize that you are controlled by a spiritual problem known as sin. Second, trace its roots, if possible, and ask, Why do I indulge to the point that I am mastered by this temptation? Some possible answers are insecurity, fear of failure, pride, and past abuse.

Third, choose freedom. Trust the Lord to help, and believe that His Holy Spirit will enable you to do whatever is necessary. God does not want His children enslaved; He wants them free to live (John 10:10). Fourth, cry out to Him for help.

God will answer by acting in your best interest. Perhaps that means freeing you immediately. Or He may decide that the best process for you will take time, in which case a struggle might lie ahead. Either way, you can be certain that the Father knows what is optimal for each of His children. His chosen course of action will enable you to experience freedom and abundance.

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Our Choices in the Midst of Tragedy

By Charles Stanley

READ | Job 1:6-2:8

Imagine for a moment what it must have felt like to be in Job's sandals. Warriors, fire, and wind wiped out his vast fortune and killed his children. To add injury to insult, his boil-infested body was so irritated that he scratched at the enflamed skin with a shard of pottery. Had Job believed in luck rather than the Lord's sovereignty, He likely would have taken his wife's advice to "curse God and die" (2:9).

Job was brought low and he didn't know why. Read the book carefully, and you'll notice that he never learned the reason behind his testing. The reader is privy to the conversation between God and Satan, but the Lord did not share those details with his humbled servant. Left in the dark, Job had to decide if his faith in God's goodness would stand.

Viewing the new chapter in his life as part of the Lord's larger plan (42:2), Job made a courageous choice to trust God in the midst of tragedy.
The impoverished man could have railed against God, as his wife suggested. Or he might have followed his friends' unwise advice and racked his brain for an unconfessed sin that earned divine punishment. But neither of those actions would have been fruitful. Instead, Job acknowledged God's right to do to him whatever He desired for the glory of His name (Job 1:21).

Accepting the good things that God sends our way is easy. Our challenge is to receive tragedy with a willing attitude and a teachable spirit. Chance is not part of the equation- "nothing comes into our life except through the Lord's permission.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 20 2014 at 12:34am

Chill Out! 

by Dr. Larry Ollison

 

And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. (Luke 12:29)

In Luke chapter twelve, Jesus gives us a command that, if followed, will change the way we live our lives and will take away stress. In modern vernacular His command is this. Chill out! He tells us in His Word that we shouldn't get stressed or anxious concerning what we eat or drink. And He says that we should not have an anxious mind.

Our mind is a part of our soul. As humans we are three part beings. We are spirit, soul, and body. When we are born again, it is our spirit man that passes from death unto life. Old things are washed away and all things become new in our spirit man. The scripture tells us that our spirit is renewed daily by God automatically and we are sealed until the day of redemption.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)

However, our mind, a part of our soul, must be renewed daily through a conscious effort. The Word of God brought into our thought realm and nurtured by the Holy Spirit brings our mind and our thought life to a higher level of revelation and glory. We have a choice when it comes to our mind. We can either have an anxious mind or a mind that is at peace. The choice is ours.

We can develop a peaceful mind by washing our mind daily with the Word of God and by bathing and soaking in the Word and allowing the Word to saturate us. Or, we can develop an anxious mind by simply doing nothing.

Don't be lazy. Take a bath in the Word.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 02 2014 at 1:58pm

It Is Your Season to Bloom

     By Bishop Eddie Long
 
     Today's Scripture Reading: Numbers 13:1-20
     Key Verse: Numbers 13:18, 20

[Moses said,] "See what the land is like: . . . whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land." Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.

When Moses wrote that it was the "season of the first ripe grapes," he was referring to the time of the harvest. The church also is entering a season of harvest today. It is time for the fulfillment of God's promise in your life. Now is the season.

There is something about seasons that you must remember: they change. That means if you do not move when and where God directs you to go, then the season will change and your opportunity will be lost.

This is no time to stall, ponder, consult, and delay. Now is the time to move forward in the vision of God-it is a new season!

Today's Prayer:

 Lord, I hear You telling me to go forward whether the future looks rich or poor. I sense Your courage rising up in me, and I am ready to cross the river from the known to the unknown realm of faith. This is my season, and by Your Spirit, I will bear much fruit today and in the days to come. In Jesus' name, amen.

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