Blessed are the poor in spirit

Just this for today…

Blessed are the poor in spirit

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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;

John 11:25

Never forget

Christian teaching gives us many tools to live a more fulfilling and happy life. Still, sometimes we might lose sight of what really matters. We might get caught up in politics, success or activism. Or we might feel crushed by our own failure.

In all of this, the enemy tempts us to put something else at the center of our attention. Then we forget what our faith is all about in the first place.

It’s never too late or never too often to go back to the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Remember what the resurrection means to you. Upon these basic elements, every good fruit of the Spirit comes forth.

So if you’re caught up in thoughts or activity that distract or stress you — just stop. Stop and return to the bedrock. Let the Spirit of God restore you again and again.

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I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 

1 Corinthians 15:13-14

He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 

1 John 4:8-11

NEVER FORGET

Never, ever forget how much you are loved by your Creator, your God.

You may struggle sometimes and even fall, but he lifts you up again.

The Lord is freedom and grace to you. His Spirit reveals a deeper meaning.

Never, ever forget that Jesus died on the cross… and rose again on the third day.

This means everything to your soul. The resurrection is life and truth.

It may seem out of style, or they may try to sell you another gospel, but only one Gospel stays true.

God is love. Jesus is his Son. His blood washes you clean of sin.

Christ is life everlasting.

Believe in God. Love God. Know who you are and where you are going.

This will get you through the darkest times, as you are heaven bound.

Testimony

Here’s a new kind of post. It’s a preview of what I’ve been working on during many mornings lately.

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Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. 

1 Peter 5:8

And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

1 John 5:11

Love more

When facing a tough situation, you have four basic options:

  • Struggle alone
  • Get help
  • Run away
  • Wait for a miracle to happen
  • Grow

Sometimes, you can’t get much help, but it pays to ask around. Miracles don’t happen everyday, and God may choose not to make one. In all situations, we have to be steadfast in prayer, but some spiritual resources are already there for us if we know where to look.

Even though our abilities are limited and imperfect, we are God’s children. This means something in us contains a part of God. That’s where you can tap into when your energy and drive are exhausted.

God’s grace has no limit. Deepen your belief in this truth. When you let him do the heavy lifting, it’s a lot easier to love and serve. So go to God. Be filled with his loving grace.

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But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God

John 1:12

But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

Romans 8:9

Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

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LOVE MORE

In a struggle, a fight, under pressure. Never seeming to get a break. Even everyday chores weigh you down.

So what will you do?

Reaching out and up, you cry out to the Lord. Extend your mighty hand, you say. Deliver me. Save me. Set me free!

And you wait. You pray. And pray some more.

And God answers. He says,

… love more…

Dig down deep. It’s there. A vast storehouse of grace to help you as the Spirit lives in you.

Go, dear child of God, be like the Son.

Be a miracle. Love more.

And then you will be free.

Button pusher prayer

Is there someone in your life that bothers you? Someone that makes you see red? We all have people in our lives that push our buttons and get us to overreact.

Still, even if their actions are inappropriate or very wrong, it’s important to check your heart.

Remember, as a child of God, things are different. You don’t have to let rage consume you. You don’t have to let another person influence and control your heart. Instead, your rest and peace depend on the only one that is perfect: Jesus.

Don’t let the enemy manipulate your emotions and reactions. Instead, focus on how God wants you to understand things – especially yourself. Remain in a healthy, centered place. Stay focused on God’s word. See his hand at work everywhere – even if it’s not how you like it.

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This prayer help you understand how to handle people that bother you. It all depends on the right perspective.

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Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:3-5

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Luke 6:35-36

BUTTON PUSHER PRAYER

Oh blessed Lord,

Where do these people come from? Why do they cross my path? The ones that drive me crazy. They bring out the worst in me.

They way they act, think and talk makes my blood boil. Who do they think they are? Where’s the meaning here, oh Lord?

When I get mad, I might say, “I could just kill so-and-so.” What’s going on in my heart?

Could it be I see my shadow there? Or a light you send to tell me, “Here’s where you need healing and help.”

Give me understanding. Yes, they may be wrong, but who am I to condemn? Who do I think I am?

Put my heart in your hands, oh Lord. Show me again that heaven is a gift, not a right.

Help me not to become an even bigger monster than the ones that make me mad.

Yes, I can be firm. Yes, I can be confident. I might even get angry sometimes.

But not at the cost of anyone’s soul. Not theirs. Not mine.

Keep me. Bless me. And bless them too.

In Jesus name, Amen.

Grace pours in

The way you understand your mistakes can evolve over time. At first, you might feel like a failure. Over time, if you seek God’s presence, you can gain a deeper understanding.

You see, God isn’t a school teacher – he’s our loving Creator. He doesn’t just want us to learn how to behave well. Instead, his Spirit guides us along a more profound journey.

Jesus proved God’s love to you. Return to him when you do something wrong. Let him show you how to open your heart to receive the full mercy of God.

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A short reflection about God's patience and grace to encourage you to keep going even when you fall down.

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…but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:19

Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Matthew 9:13

GRACE POURS IN

Dear loving Lord,

I’ve been down this road before, but this time  it’s different.

I fall down into temptation. I make a mess.

Before I would get sad, since I wasn’t perfect.

Now – after smacking my head so many times – I know.

It’s the hurt. That’s the problem. The wounds I cause to others, to me… to you. Yes, I let myself down, but this matters less  to me now. I think more about nails and hands and feet.

I want to change. I want to be free.

Isn’t that what you want for me?

And the enemy blocks my way saying, “See? You can’t do it. You should give up already. You’re too weak.”

And I say, “Yes. You’re right. I’m weak. But my mighty God doesn’t care. Instead, he gives me a second chance.

That’s what a good Father does for his child.”

And the enemy flees,

As grace pours in.

All for me

Do you focus only on the benefits of your faith? Or do you look deeper into its meaning? To get the true benefit, it’s important to contemplate the full meaning of the Christian faith.

The Gospel message is clear. God came as man to earth to live among us. Jesus was brutally crucified for our sins. He rose from the dead to defeat sin and death. He sits at God’s right hand. The Holy Spirit lives in us, and Jesus will come again in glory.

And yes, our belief gives us many practical advantages such as clarity, courage and direction. God soothes our hurt and comforts us, and he gives us great joy.

Still, if we don’t recognize our sins, the message won’t sprout deep roots. Then Jesus just becomes another self-help tactic instead of being our life-changing, soul-saving Redeemer.

So go back to the crucifixion and think about what it all means to you. Let your soul be touched again by the mercy and love of God.

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Image of text of All for me which helps you to contemplate the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ

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So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21

for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Matthew 26:28

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

ALL FOR ME

Do I forget? How much do I truly understand? What you went through, what you felt.

For me.

I want the feel good Jesus. The one that forgives, frees, heals and loves me. But I forget the suffering Christ.

All my shame. The worst of me. I know how far I squandered your blessings.

But he stood up for me and said, “I did it. Treat me Father as if I did those things wrong.”

The hammer strikes. Nails drive deep into innocent flesh. There is blood, pain and death.

For me.

Still, the true cross is the hurt you felt as your Father surrendered you to be my sin.

You got what I deserved.

How can I possibly accept such a gift? How can I begin to comprehend such love?

Let it burn me, oh Lord. Let it break my heart.

Then I may truly begin to know what it means to be forgiven, free, healthy and loved.

Beyond doubt

Have you ever doubted  your faith? It happens to almost everyone at some time. This doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. It’s better to be sincere about it instead of faking it.

While more prayer is essential to get past moments of doubt, it also helps to use your head. Remember, the Bible is more than just a religious text. It has many historically accurate narratives backed up by other non-Christian sources of evidence. Also, there are centuries of saints, martyrs and modern-day Christians who can inspire us with their testimonies of faith.

Our belief in Jesus Christ gives us eternal answers about our origin, meaning, morality and destiny.  In the end, it all rests upon the Gospel message. If God exists, and he sent his Son to give his life for you… what does this mean to you? What impact does this have on your life? On your soul?

Go back to God and his Word. Let him reveal the answers to your heart.

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Image of text of reflection about when you doubt your faith.

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“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

John 14:1-3

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life;

John 6:68

Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

BEYOND DOUBT

Oh blessed Lord,

Despite my sin and shame, you set me free.
I never knew true mercy until I knew you.
At first, it was all fresh, new. Perfect.

Now, as the years pass I see hurt and pain. I see
confusion, even betrayal in your church.
My mind wanders. My heart begins to doubt.

Is it worth it, this thing called faith?

The world mocks and ridicules and gives me a million reasons to not believe.

Is Christ still real to me?

So I toss and turn and struggle. I wrestle with God.

And then I remember…
That deep dark pit. When I was all alone. Only you came. Nobody else could. I was unreachable.

And I remember…
All the transformations, the miracles you showed me. I pull them from the warehouse of my soul. Countless testimonies. Lives restored.
Souls saved.

And I remember….
Where I came from. Where I’m going.
And who I am.

I go to the house of my Father… to my King…

No greater love.
Fresh. New. Perfect.

Seek His Face

In any difficult situation, you might be tempted to give up hope. It takes an effort to dig deep into your faith and find the strength to go on. Sometimes it even seems illogical to look for God’s presence.

Don’t give up. Run to him. Never, ever substitute your time with God for worldly solutions. Yes, you have to live your life responsibly, but never exclude the Lord. Instead, rest firmly on him and his promises. God acts upon your faith. You can count on it.

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Reflection about seeking the face of God

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress;
he led them by a straight way,
    till they reached a city to dwell in.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wonderful works to the sons of men!
For he satisfies him who is thirsty,
    and the hungry he fills with good things.

Psalm 107:6-9

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.

John 6:35

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

Luke 4:18

But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.

Romans 8:9a

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