Bright Hopes for the New Year

Thought for the Day

Do You Have Bright Hopes For the Year Ahead?

Psalm 23:6; “6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me     All the days of my life;     And I will  dwell in the house of the Lord     Forever.”

Do you have bright hopes and ambitious plans for the year ahead? I think we should purpose to make this year a great one for God’s glory. But how can we do that? We lay our plans and make our resolutions, and yet, sometimes what we deemed the year of great prospects turns out to be a year of disaster. One recent study found that seventy percent of people couldn’t keep their new year resolutions even through the month of January, much less the whole year.

So how can you and I make this new year great? Let me offer a prescription of five elements that can contribute to an excellent year . . . even to a successful life. You can find these elements in Proverbs 3:1-10, wherein God promises that if we obey His commands, we will experience “long life and peace.” As you read through the passage, you’ll find these themes:

  1. Keep God’s commands for a long and happy life.
  2. Live by mercy and truth for popularity and a good reputation.
  3. Trust in and acknowledge the Lord for direction and guidance.
  4. Fear the Lord, and forsake evil for good health.
  5. Honor and give to the Lord your possessions for financial well-being.

Proverbs 3:1-10; “1    My son, do not forget my law,     But let your heart keep my commands;

2    For length of days and long life     And peace they will add to you.

3    Let not mercy and truth forsake you;     Bind them around your neck,     Write them on the tablet of your heart,

4    And so find favor and high esteem     In the sight of God and man.

5    Trust in the Lord with all your heart,     And lean not on your own understanding;

6    In all your ways acknowledge Him,     And He shall £direct your paths.

7    Do not be wise in your own eyes;     Fear the Lord and depart from evil.

8    It will be health to your £flesh,     And strength£ to your bones.

9    Honor the Lord with your possessions,     And with the firstfruits of all your increase;

10    So your barns will be filled with plenty,     And your vats will overflow with new wine.”

Generally speaking, if you follow each command, you’ll receive each corresponding reward. But keep in mind that these are general principles, not guarantees. Many people who live good and godly lives do not experience all five consequences.

Neither are these “five easy steps” to Paradise. We don’t achieve admittance to Heaven by following any set of rules or living a good life. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that we receive salvation by God’s grace only; never by human works. But if we love Jesus, we want to show Him that love by obeying His Word.

This year ask God to show you what goals He has for you. Then ask Him how you can achieve those goals. Submit yourself to Him and purpose to love Him in all you do, and you’ll most definitely have a happy and spiritually prosperous year.

Matthew 7:7;7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (04 January 2020)

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Thought for the Day – 29 January 2019

We must become aware that, too often, we focus on the very real problems that beset our nation and overlook the good, decent things that are done. There are a vast number of hard working people in this country with traditional values. They are very much involved in their children’s lives and are doing what they can to teach them right from wrong, the value of education, hard work and thrift. With all of the obvious problems, there are some good things going on.

As we survey the world scene, and what goes on around the globe, there is much to be thankful for in the good old United States. As a people, we have a strong work ethic, and our productivity is the highest in the world.

When disaster strikes at home or in some far away foreign land, the resources of the United States are quickly made available to provide aid and alleviate suffering. With all our problems, people from around the globe still long to come to our shores to pursue their dreams.

But, are the things I’ve described enough to prevent great trials from coming upon this nation? Sadly, no. We have great blessings in our nation, and many people who try to live a good life with the knowledge they have. Yet, much of the nation is adrift, morally and spiritually.

It brings to mind the time of the book of Judges when “every man did what was right in his own eyes”.

Judges 21:25; “25In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” 

This resulted in a period of horrendous problems ending in national disgrace. As a nation, we are heading in the same direction, if as a people we do not change our course and seek to do the will of our Creator.

You can read about it in Deuteronomy 28.

Anciently, Solomon wrote:

Proverbs 14:12; “12There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” 

That was true then, and it’s true today.

As our people go about their lives, doing what they think is right and good, they practice a mixture of good and evil, which is not acceptable to God. In John, Jesus Christ said:

John 4:24; “24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” 

While there is much that is right with America; our national sins do abound, and as Solomon wrote long ago:

Proverbs 14:34; “34Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”

So, while we can enjoy the good and decent things in our beloved country, we must realize that our own righteousness will not save us. As a nation, we must repent and seek the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 6:33; “33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”   

….or the curses outlined in Deuteronomy 28 will come to pass. This is why we must press forward with the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God and the Ezekiel warning:

Ezekiel 5:13; “13Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them.” 

….so that as many people as God will call will have the opportunity to wake up and be spared the problems that lie ahead for America and the rest of the world.

Keep the Faith!

2 Corinthians 5:7; “7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”

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Thought for the Day – 28 January 2019

Thought for the Day

Instead of negativity; let’s be positive: taking our problems to God – for God cares so deeply for us.

Jeremiah 29:11-14; “11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.”

God will listen to us, and bring us out of captivity, even captivity from negative thinking. Why? Because He has hope and plans for us to bring good into our life; far exceeding anything that we could be going through at the present.

Our hearts can be very strong, but our minds cannot fully understand God, so let God send His Spirit to guide us in our thoughts and actions.

Put away the attitude of always saying or thinking “the problem is.” Replace this mindset with a positive mind of knowing that you are a child of God and He can help you through anything!

Let’s keep our minds focused on God all day long with gratitude, while helping others. Look for positive solutions. Replace negative thinking with positive thinking! Take control of our minds by clearing it from negative thinking, and refilling our minds with godly thoughts and promises!

The apostle Paul told us how we should think:

Philippians 4:8; “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

When we look at our problems, we should always be looking for the solutions – while staying close to God. By the way, I have never seen or been able to find the phrase ”the problem is” in the Bible. 

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Thought for the Day – 27 January 2019

Thought for the Day

In the early days of the Bible, before a warrior went into battle he would put on his helmet, and his breastplate and take up his sword. But he would also do something known as “girding up the loins”. For example, the Lord commanded Job to “gird up your loins like a man”.

Job 38:3; 3Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.”

In modern English we use this phrase to mean “be strong” but what did it originally refer to?

Literally, “girding up the loins” refers to the practice of gathering the excess fabric from one’s long robe and tucking it into one’s belt so that one’s knees were left exposed. This was done so that the soldier could run efficiently without tripping over his robe. In Hebrew the verb “to gird” is azar  which does not just mean to fasten, but to encircle and make safe. It comes from the root asar that means to lock up, as in a city that is encircled by a wall. The biblical soldier, therefore, girds himself not just to be able to run faster but to lock up his very being. So:

Have you ever dreamed of putting on the whole armor of God? Then “Gird” yourself with the armor of knowledge! 

Ephesians 6:11; 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” 

In troubled times, people often turn to the Holy Scriptures for comfort. There is no better way of preparing yourself for spiritual battle than by reading, studying  and meditating  the Bible.  You will be amazed at how safe you feel once you are no longer dependent only on other’s words. Here is what you re guarding against:

1 Peter 5:8; 8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

Ephesians 6:12-18;12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”

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Thought for the Day – 26 January 2019

Thought for the Day 

Who or What is in Control? 

It is a system that started at the beginning of Babylon and has enveloped the Earth; and is controlled by a small group of individuals aiming at World Control. 

They have worldwide political power! 

Revelation 17:15;15And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”  

Revelation 17:2,15;2With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”   

Revelation 18:3;3For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.”  

They have an alliance with the Beast! 

Revelation 17:3;3So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”  

Revelation 17:7-8;7And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.  8The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”  

They have great economic power! 

Revelation 18:23;23…. for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” 

They glorify themselves and live luxuriously!

Revelation 18:7;7How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously,…” 

They are full of abominations  and filthiness!

Revelation 17:4 – 5;4And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:…”  

They are the persecutors of true believers!

Revelation 17:6;6And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus:…” 

They profit from the merchandise of all types of goods – and the souls of men!

Revelation 18:12 – 13;12The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls,…and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.” 

2 Peter 2:3; 3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:…”  

They will, eventually, be hated enough to be destroyed; for  God is aware of their iniquities!

Revelation 18:5;5For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” 

Revelation 18:8;8Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”

Revelation 22:12; 12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”

    

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Thought for the Day – 25 January 2019

Thought for the Day

We can find true freedom only in trying to please our Father in Heaven. For we can have only “One Master” When we allow others to take control, our energy is scattered to the winds.

Ephesians 5:8 – 10;8For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:  9(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)  10Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” 

Matthew 6:24;24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” 

Our concentration must always be on the Father – staying close to Him at all times. It is impossible to stray when focusing on His Presence.

Matthew 6:1;1Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.”

Matthew 23:12; 12And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”

 

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Thought for the Day – 24 January 2019

Thought for the Day  Live the life of love, respect, responsibility and truth. Do not be deterred by those who do not. Ephesians 5:15 – 17; “15See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,  16Redeeming the … Continue reading

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Thought for the Day – 23 January 2019

Thought for the Day 

How can I be assured that I am, and will remain, a Child of God? 

First Humility!

Matthew 18:1 – 4;2And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,  3And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  

Repentance comes next!

Matthew 3:2;2And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 

Mark 1:15;15And sayingThe time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” 

Acts 20:21; 21Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

By being a good example in all we do! 

2 Timothy 2:10;10Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” 

By faith in Jesus Christ!

Galatians 3:26;26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” 

By believing His Truth!

2 Thessalonians 2:13;13But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:” 

By the Grace of God!

Romans 11:5;5Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

By living soberly, righteously, and Godly! 

Titus 2:11 – 12;11For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”

By God’s justification! 

Romans 8:33;33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” 

By the Spirit, His Word, and the sacrifice of Jesus!

1 Peter 1:2;2Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”  

 

 

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Thought for the Day – 22 January 2019

Thought for the Day

Not knowing where we originated, and being subject to our human senses; it is hard for many to believe that we are God’s children – created in His image. 

Genesis 1:27;27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” 

And that  is why we require Faith to over come those senses and enable us to hear the voice of the Spirit – and remember:

2 Corinthians 5:7;7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”  

Romans 8:16; 16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”

Psalms 48:14; 14    For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.” 

What better guidance could we receive than the following?

Matthew 7:13 – 14;;13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

And then came more reason for us to believe! 

Revelation 12:9;9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”  

We were warned a long time ago. 

1 Peter 5:8;8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

John 10:10; 10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

1 John 4:9 – 10; 9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  

If we aren’t aware of, or do not believe this, it is time we got into the Bible and on our way to Church.  It is the only way; and if we stay close to God, some of His Life rubs off on us – awakening our hearts and minds so that we can live life more fully. After all, “He is our Guide!”

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