Saturday, April 9, 2016

Bible Quotes Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” - Romans 15:13

Paul was persecuted in Rome, and yet he found peace and joy. The peace and joy was not to be found from persecution, but through Paul’s faith in the Lord. The Lord provides. He provides more than mere sustenance. He provides comfort and love. You can have that comfort and love everywhere, even in times of persecution. 

Paul is praying powerfully here. All that you need do to access the store of love is to turn to God. God sends the Holy Spirit. All that is needed has been done when Jesus rose from the dead, having died on the cross. You are not weak. You are not defeated. You have been oppressed. However, the Lord is with you, bringing gifts and love. 

Bible Quotes Psalm 23:1-3

“A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” -Psalm 23:1-3

You are on a path, and there is no off switch to your life. You have freedom of choice, but don’t choose to impede your journey with hubris and ego. Let Him show you the path. You will be able to lie down in green pastures He will provide. He will guide you to still waters. Your soul is thirsty for companionship. He will satisfy that thirst. Sheep are not smart animals, they often do things that aren’t good for them. The shepherd guides them. And God is the shepherd. 

We don’t know precisely when David wrote this Psalm. Maybe when his son Absalom had rebelled, and David got shelter in the neighbouring land of Gilead from a shepherd. It matters not why David sought shelter in his wanderings. It matters that the Lord provided them in his time of need. Just as He does for you in your time of need. 

Bible Quotes Colossians 3:12

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” - Colossians 3:12

God’s chosen people. You have chosen Him, and He has chosen you. Your hearts were hard, and He softened them. He is preparing you for your mission. It may be that you stay home and be with family, or it may be that you journey. But to each of you, he is preparing you. You have a mission as His representative. 

As His representative, be humble. Because you represent Him, you are not Him. Let Him who chose you and knows your heart work for you. Be compassionate. Be kind. Let others see Him in you. gentleness and patience will settle high spirits, and allow Him to be seen in your actions. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Bible Quotes Acts 4:10,12

“then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”” - Acts 4:10,12

God has authority. He can give, and He can take away. And He keeps his promises. Doctors can operate on people, but God heals them. Excavators can move large amounts of ground, but the Lord commands the rocks and the weather and they do His bidding. No one but God can give salvation, although many may offer it. The disciples did not heal people, but in the name of Jesus, people were healed. Jesus, the risen Lord. Jesus, who was crucified. Jesus who submitted himself to death, so that He could save all. 

Jesus did not deserve to be crucified. He had not broken any law. It was unjust. Jesus bore the burden of sin on His shoulders. Not His own, but the sin of you and I. We deserve death for opposing God. But Jesus has saved us, and so we can serve God, and appear before God without the weight of sin. Jesus paid the price for us. 

Bible Quotes 2 Peter 1:5-8

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” - 2 Peter 1:5-8

As a young Christian I was intimidated by my fear, and unproductive. I believed, but I was paralysed by fear of what I’d been like before I had believed. I worried about what others thought of me and felt incapable of presenting my thoughts to others without first understanding what others thought. But frequently they obfuscated and rarely showed they ever thought at all. 

I needed to add goodness to my faith. I needed to show myself I was ready to share with others, my thoughts were legitimate. They might not be the thoughts others have, but they are worthy thoughts to share. I needed to acquire knowledge by reading the Word. I needed self control and all that Peter advises in his letter. One gets love by exercising it. One learns by walking with God. One is freed by accepting salvation. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bible Quotes Romans 13:9-10

“The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” -Romans 13:9-10

There is sometimes a feeling that the hosts in the US can be a little overbearing. You make an excuse to not go out, saying you feel sick, and they offer their doctor to you. A good host is gracious and will accept a reason on face value. Because if they don’t, it means they are suspicious. Loving others as yourself does not mean being over solicitous. Because life is not a sprint, but a marathon, and sometimes all one needs to persevere is to rest a little. 

If you love someone, you will not murder them. If you love someone, you will not commit adultery. If you love someone, you will not steal from them. You want domestic peace. You want friendship. You want to build your community. And remember, if you build God’s house, He will build yours. 

Bible Quotes 1 John 4:11-12

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” - 1 John 4:11-12

If we focus on ourselves, and ignore others needs, we do wrong. It doesn’t heal us to ignore others. It harms us. The way to show love is to love. And to love, one becomes part of the community one lives in. You shouldn’t harm yourself through selfless heroics, but you should give. You don’t need to be rich to give. You can listen, you can soothe with kind words. Remember, God loves you.  

God has given you a path you can follow. His gift to you also makes it easier on those you love. Because everyone is like you, and by you showing love for them, you show love for yourself as well as love for God. You don’t need an excuse to be kind. You need only be kind. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Bible Quotes Romans 8:28

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” - Romans 8:28

We know that God works for the good of those who love him in all things, but we forget it too, when we let the world crowd Him away from our hearts. He has written the law on our hearts, and we are aware of right and wrong when we walk with Him, but we must do that regularly. Or we aren’t walking with Him. 

Paul is writing from persecution which he faces. These words are a comfort for those persecuted. You overcome it and it is defeated. Or you succumb, and yet He holds you. You are mortal and will die. Yet He has given you eternal life in His kingdom. A day in His kingdom as servant is better than a thousand days in a corrupt court as a noble. 

Bible Quotes 2 Peter 1:4

“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” - 2 Peter 1:4

You have not yet escaped corruption. You have been given a beautiful gift that will allow you to do so, but while you have life, you must choose life. The promises He makes are rocks on which you can stand. Persevere, for you cannot fail. Persevere, because He backs you. Persevere, because no matter how dire, He gives salvation and redemption. 

You will make a mistake you wish you had not. Persevere. Because that mistake will not cost you salvation. You will achieve success in an endeavour, be joyful, and know you had been supported with His love. Even your mistakes may guide others to salvation. If you let Him into your life, all is good. And so, while you have not escaped corruption, still you can taste salvation.