AMAZING GRACE!

I can hear the singer Chris Tomlin now sing the words:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. 

I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.

Wow.

Ephesians 2:4, 7-8 says,

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us….That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding RICHES OF HIS GRACE in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God….”

OUT OF ALL the things people have given me and the awards people have presented to me. Or anything could EVER receive: the Grace of God surpasses them all!  We can see here that God is rich in three areas:  God is rich in Mercy.  God is rich in Love.  AND God is rich in Grace.

Money, Fame, THAT position on the job, cars, houses in Beverley Hills, and a yacht just won’t satisfy the longing in each person’s heart!

Don’t give me a Car!  Give me a Savior.

Don’t give me gold and expensive jewelry! Give me a Protector!

Don’t give me fame and all the publicity this world has to offer!  GIVE ME A REDEEMER!

— Do not give me things that take up a lot of space in my house, but doesn’t give an inch of satisfaction in my soul! —

The point is I was a Wretch. Sinner. Undone. Quite proud and Very selfish.  Thinking I was righteous on MY OWN acts and account.  But far from redeemed until I heard the good news: Jesus died, that I might live! Jesus took on my sin with his death, and because he arose from the dead, I too will live forever with him and all I must do is BELIEVE on him.

May be you were born Saved! Holy and literally an angel delivered from heaven.  BUT I WAS NOT!

I needed a Savior, I needed GRACE.  Amazing grace from God, to redeem my soul from Hell!

And to think that while I was still in sin, Jesus died for me! What a gift of GRACE!

—-Blessings.

 

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To purpose in your Heart!

There is passage in the Bible where, after the all the Israelites were taken by Babylon and their King, the king had set up a plan to train more servants for himself.  So they selected the best and brightest of the young Hebrew men, known for their intelligence and gifted in learning, to be taught literature, multiple languages, you name it.  Their clothes would be taken care of, they would have food directly from the King’s table, and they would live in the palace.  These young men would not have to worry about anything!

The King instructions were that these young men eat the food from his table, including probably some roasted pork and dressing, beef brisket with carrots, grilled steak and potatoes (you can’t get any better!!), and so on…. But the people of Babylon ate different foods from the children of Israel-Hebrews.  There were certain foods that God had commanded the Hebrews to refrain.  They foods considered unclean (like pork and many other unclean animals- See Leviticus 7.) 

Daniel knowing what he was NOW permitted to eat, had “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies.” So Daniel and friends -Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego- told the guards that they would not eat the King’s meat, but to give them 10 days on just a leafy plant called pulse.  Turns out, that by the end of those days the boys looked better and stronger than all the other men that actually ate meat! Amen.

But there are times when we are faced with Challenges. You can decide to do one thing and be accepted by many OR you can do the right thing toward God and be isolated from the crowd. 

The choice is yours.  You may be alone on an issue that you’re standing up for, or you may have to show the truth someone. You may simply have to pronounce “NO,” the next time you are asked to do something you know displeases Christ.  Whatever your test is, stand boldly and declare what is true and right, to the Glory of God!

 

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–          Jovette Archer

How Envy gives false perspective

There is nothing worse than envy to break up close ties.

There is a story found in Luke 15 where a younger brother went and asked his father to give him his inheritance.  So the dad did, and gave him a good sum of inheritance money just as he requested.  Let’s say this son/younger brother name is Steve.  Before you could say, Savings Plan, Steve had spent all of it on parties, entertainment, gambling and harlots – contemporarily speaking.  Steve’s money had vanished and of course his many friends did also.

When he searched for a place to work, the only place he found was a farm area feeding pigs. Scripture says, “no one gave him anything.” (V.16)  Although he was in desperate need and wanting, no one gave him a plate of food, helped him find a job or lend a helping hand.  Things became so bad for him, that the husks he was feeding the pig with, he found himself longing to eat! Until he remembered that even his father’s servants had food in abundance and place of comfort to live.  Steve thought, “I should just join the servants’ staff at my father’s house, I blew being a son, a servant will do.  At least I know I will be fed!!!!”

When this prodigal, wayward, squandering son returned to his father, his dad DID NOT condemn him for his choices, but hugged and kissed him and threw a big celebration in his honor.  The bible says that they had “fattened calf” [sounds like fresh grilled streak to me].  (V.22)  Just that morning, Dad didn’t know if his son was still alive.  He didn’t know if his son was well; so now that he held him in his arms.  A big party seem nothing less than suitable red for this young man that had returned.  When the older brother heard of this big celebration for his prodigal brother.  Rather he refused to attend  the celebration.   The young man older brother simply could not catch the fathers perspective of having found a lost son.

The brother’s perspective should have been, yesterday and for five years, I had no idea where my brother was.  If he was alive or dead.  I had no connection and friendship with him for all these years.  We couldn’t speak to each other, do things together or go out for fun; but now I know my brother is alive and well and I can do things with my brother. We can now have a relationship.  Instead, the older brother griped, I have been in this house many years and no one celebrated and held a party in my honor!  These were brothers from the same family: they had the same parents, grew and live in the same house- One family, one organization, one church. Yet someone found a way to be envious and hold contempt for each other.

The family was designed by the creator for individuals to encourage, uphold each other, to share struggles and hardships together– to LOVE each other. Love your neighbor as yourself [the 2nd greatest commandment].   When one member of the family turns away from the others for whatever reason, it affects the entire family. Unity would no longer be present.  But they were of the SAME family and there was no room for envy and things of the sort!!

Is there something holding you from freely, and willingly loving others in your life.  Past hurts and disappointments, past griefs or personal shame.  Remember to leave the past, the past and like the Apostle Paul, press towards the mark that  is before!

And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. – Mark 3:25

Father,

Teach me to live as unto you, loving all those that you placed in my life.  Forgive and cleanse me of any envy

and jealousy and may your love and grace exude from me to a lost and hurting world around me.

In Jesus’ name.

Joy in Sorrow, Patience for tommorrow

Words of Encouragement:

Sometimes our lives feel chaotic, out-of-control. It is messy with repeated heartaches and disappointments.  Sickness and distractions.  And our dreams are put to the back-burner, while our patience is running thinner and thinner. All of these instances are testing our faith and patience! (James1:3).

Unfortunately, life’s trials won’t go away, (John16:33) but although we aren’t promised  an easy road, we are promised that God will be with us every step of the way!  And we are never alone. (Hebrews 13:5) Praise God!

The Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 61 exclaimed that God has saved us and cleansed us from sins we’ve committed.  He is there “to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for heaviness.”

Your embarrassments and failures, He will turn for your good.

The remnants and “ashes” of a lost job, possessions, lost peace and comfort, and whatever we have allowed to contaminate our lives.  God will beautify it.

Then when tears become apart of your life and depression continues throughout the night: a heart of thanksgiving, praise and gratitude alleviate burdens, cares and worries.

In essence, we are free!  Everyone that claims the God of the Bible as their King and Christ as their redeemer will experience Joy, comfort and safety.  Joy Unspeakable!

Let it Rain!

Enough sprinkles, enough drips, drops.  I WANT RAIN!!!

Bring the deluge of God’s Presence!!!

Jesus was teaching in the temple, exhorting his followers and saying, “I will be with you “a little while longer, and I go to Him who sent Me,” in John 7:33-39.

The crowd grew concerned and began to question, where is He going that we won’t be able to find him!  

Then the next thing Jesus says took place during one of the Jewish Feast. He stood in the middle of crowd and exclaimed,

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”

If anyone is thirsty, let him go to Jesus and drink!

Mountain-Stream

If anyone is deading, wilting, suffering from the empty wells of this world.  The lack of satisfaction and fulfillment the world, money, greed, lust and pride of life.

“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life…” – 1 John 2:6

If anyone ANYONE feels robbed of peace, happiness and joy, meaning and significance.  If ANYONE feels burdened with guilt and shame of a life of bad choices, wrong company, and a sins that weigh you down, sins that hold you hostage, like an shackles about ones arms and feet!!

You’ve lost love, you’ve lost joy, you haven’t experienced true peace in ages and your future looks hopeless:

Jesus is saying, “Come to ME and DRINK.”

God told the people of Judah,

“Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” -Isaiah 1:18

No matter what you’ve done, or how dark, dirty and stained you are, Jesus will make you clean, refreshed and BRAND NEW!!

“So if the Son -Jesus- sets you free, you are truly free!” –John 8:36NLT

All we have to do “confess our sins –to Him, and He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Confess your sins, your wrongdoings to God, believe Jesus died and rose from the dead for our atonement, and YOU ARE SAVED!  THAT’S ALL!! -Romans10:9

Watch Jesus and his Spirit-the Holy Spirit- give you indescribable peace.  As you feed on His scriptures, you will find God’s love, God’s power filling up every area of your life until all of YOUR THIRST is QUENCHED.    To God Be the Glory!

______________________________

But there is icing as well.

Jesus went on to say,

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  (John 7:33-39)

Living water that is fresh and clean, but also satisfying to the soul.  Because this water is LIVING it satisfies forever! It is an endless spring of life that carry on into eternity.  “…that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” -John 3:16.  And Jesus went on in to say in John 7, that this river of living water is referring to the baptism of the Holy Ghost (John 7:39  If you haven’t received the infilling and baptism of the Holy Spirit, get it! For it will empower you to live the “abundant life” by Christ Jesus. (John10:10)

When Jesus said out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. Yes it is a continual stream.

His Holy Spirit will comfort our hearts daily.   -John 14:26

His presence will strengthen our joy.   -Ps. 16:11

His joy will be our strength.   -Neh. 8:18

His love will encourage our souls.   -John 3:16-17

When Jesus said, he who believes in me out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. Know that God love can not be contained.  It is uncontainable, immeasurable, and extends above the heavens (Ps. 108:4).  Only Jesus can satisfy a thirsty soul and only His Spirit can yield the continual flow of this limitless, unending and satisfying WATER!

Why not try Jesus.

Dear God,

I receive Jesus as Lord of my life.  I confess my sins. I believe that

he died and rose again, and now I am born again,

brand new! (John 3:3)  May the well of your Spirit continue

to flow out of my life into the lives of others.  In Jesus’ name.

Restoration is coming to ME

And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.         -Joel 2:25

When God restores, it is BIG, GREAT and MARVELOUS!

There is a man in the bible named Job, who in ONE day went from being very wealthy to poor.  He went from being healthy to sick.  His friends didn’t help his situation; he became depressed and sad; IT DIDN’T LOOK LIKE HIS SITUATION WOULD EVER CHANGE,

but it did…!

Job was a man of integrity and good character.  He gave to the poor and needy, he lived a clean life and he worshipped God how he lived.  Job 1:1 noted that he was “perfect and upright.”  Job was also very wealthy: prospering in ALL he did.  Scripture quotes that Job “was the greatest of all the men of the east.”  He must have been pretty well-to-do afterall.  But one day he lost ALL he had.  Job had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, to name a few.  Job had ten (10) health children. Scripture states that they were feasting and celebrating together at their eldest brother’s house when disaster struck. 

So one day, one (1) messenger came and told Job, while I was keeping the oxen foreigners attacked us and stole all of your oxen.[paraphrase]

A minute later, another messenger told Job, Fire came from the sky and destroyed all your sheep and their shepherds.

Then a third messenger came immediately saying, an enemy of ours snuck on us and stole all of your camels, ALL your camels.

But then a forth messenger came bearing what I believe was the worst news of all:  all of your children were killed at their eldest brother’s house by a (tornado-forced) wind that hit while they were feasting.

When all was gone, Job had nothing!

No family, no income, no possessions and NO PEACE. The next 36 chapters, Job and his friends wallowed in despair and sadness.

These days many people are without a steady income, have forfeited their careers and dreams. Many students cannot afford going to college, parents struggling to meeting bills much less tuition, employers struggle to pay employees.  Many people have gone without.

But there is Hope!

Job’s situation dramatically turned around. 

In Job 38, the scripture says God gave Job TWICE as many sheep, camels and possessions as he had before.  He regain ten more children. And Job joy was restored.

God will give us everything that has been taken as we serve, turn to and trust him! And like Job, more!

In the end Job could say like Joseph:

 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good. – Genesis 50:20

Jesus paid the price and bore our judgment that we can live “life abundantly.”

– John 10:10, Isaiah 53:3-4, 1Peter 2:24

 

“Follow” me for more inspiration, encouragement and strength in Christ Jesus and Be blessed on My Life with Christ!     – Jovette Archer

Women of Virtue & Excellence

 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  -1 Corinthians 10:31

Joyce Meyer, a renown woman of faith and speaker, as a young girl was rape and sexually abuse by her father in their St. Louis home, which left a scare on her mind and overall health for a long time. A failed marriage and other struggles occurred shortly thereafter and she found herself at local bars frequently. Until she discovered God, and through thinking on His Word it brought the freedom she so desperately needed.  She now has a TV show & ministry that according to her team at joycemeyer.org reaches more than FOUR BILLION potential viewers.  It’s called Enjoying Everyday Life.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. – Proverbs 31:30

Solomon was a King of Israel.  And known as “the wealthiest and wisest man that ever lived.“ The Jerusalem temple he built became one of the ancient wonders of the world1. Imagine a long and wide temple with pillars, high ceilings and intricate art like that of the Sistine Chapel in Italy except the entire interior, from floor to ceiling, is pure gold.  He designed this great temple along with a grand palace, gardens, roads and government buildings. Because of the amount of riches he had and how he made peace alliances with other nations- accounting for Israel’s 40 years of peace4– Solomon is also known as the only man that had 1000 women! [Really. See 1 Kings 11]

Yet King Solomon made this statement:

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.  Solomon would know about this, being married to so many women!  But a woman that shows virtue, is a woman possessing moral and ethical standards. An exemplary life.  Honest and righteous character.

King Solomon was emphasizing in this passage, the a woman of honest and righteous character was very rare. 

She according to Proverbs 31:10-31, a Woman of virtue is noted for 3 characteristics:

  1. She takes care of her home – despite how busy she may be and even if she has dreams or goals of her own, she set aside time for the home. She even gets up early to supply for her household.
  2. She has a good attitude – “Willingly” working around her home, “willingly” defending the cause of the destitute, defenseless and poor.  “Willingly” gives of her time, talents and self. Willingly.
  3. She treats her husband with love and respect – She doesn’t plot, scheme, speak negatively of her man! Whether she is married or single, she knows to give honor to whom it is due.

And this woman is a woman of excellence.  She children have on expensive scarlet (verse 21).  She doesn’t settle for Anything.  Any job, any house, any last-minute-slap-it-together thing.  And she certainly doesn’t settle with being treated anyhow.  She recognizes she value and worth in the sight of God is far greater than her mind can comprehend.  All she does is to the glory of her God.  Yet she likes nice things. [Most of us can agree here J]

Remember Virtue is possessing moral and exemplary character.  It is a character that you don’t mind other girls or girls of your own to possess.  Not proud, or self-righteous but simple honesty and purity. This is a woman of virtue.

“I am a woman of virtue & excellence.”  Even if you don’t see yourself that way.  Still say it!  Even if your husband doesn’t think you are.  Change and start a fresh. From this moment, resolve to be a Woman of Virtue.

  1. http://christianity.about.com/od/oldtestamentpeople/a/Jz-King-Solomon.htm
  2. http://www.joycemeyer.org/Events/BioJoyce.aspx
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joyce_Meyer
  4. http://www.aish.com/jl/h/cc/48937102.html

If you like this post, “follow” me for more inspiration, encouragement and strength in Christ Jesus.  Remember that Christ took YOUR PLACE that you can have everlasting life. [John 3:16, Romans 5:28] My Life with Christ – Jovette Archer