Saturday, February 28, 2009

Want to be wise?

Proverbs 1:1 - 7 (New Living Translation)

The Purpose of Proverbs

1. These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.
2. Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise.
3. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair
4. These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young.
5. Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance
6. by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles.
7. Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.


Everything in life that exists started with a plan. Every inventor tapped into someone else’s idea. King Solomon, King David’s son was at a crossroad, he had become king but he lacked the ability to lead, so he tapped into the one with the MASTER plan… God… lets see what Solomon requested from God…

1 Kings 3:7 - 28 (New Living Translation)

7 “Now, O LORD my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. 8 And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! 9 Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. 11 So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies—12 I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! 13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! 14 And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”

15 Then Solomon woke up and realized it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem and stood before the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant, where he sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. Then he invited all his officials to a great banquet.

Solomon Judges Wisely

16 Some time later two prostitutes came to the king to have an argument settled. 17 “Please, my lord,” one of them began, “this woman and I live in the same house. I gave birth to a baby while she was with me in the house. 18 Three days later this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there were only two of us in the house.

19 “But her baby died during the night when she rolled over on it. 20 Then she got up in the night and took my son from beside me while I was asleep. She laid her dead child in my arms and took mine to sleep beside her. 21 And in the morning when I tried to nurse my son, he was dead! But when I looked more closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t my son at all.”

22 Then the other woman interrupted, “It certainly was your son, and the living child is mine.”

“No,” the first woman said, “the living child is mine, and the dead one is yours.” And so they argued back and forth before the king.

23 Then the king said, “Let’s get the facts straight. Both of you claim the living child is yours, and each says that the dead one belongs to the other. 24 All right, bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought to the king.

25 Then he said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!”

26 Then the woman who was the real mother of the living child, and who loved him very much, cried out, “Oh no, my lord! Give her the child—please do not kill him!”

But the other woman said, “All right, he will be neither yours nor mine; divide him between us!”

27 Then the king said, “Do not kill the child, but give him to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his mother!”

28 When all Israel heard the king’s decision, the people were in awe of the king, for they saw the wisdom God had given him for rendering justice.

Whatever you want, God got it!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

I want to do right!

Romans 7:21 - 25 (New Living Translation)

21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.

22 I love God’s law with all my heart.

23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.

24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?

25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey.


This isn’t where the road comes to an end, but it’s where a large number of us find ourselves. We are mostly flesh, and as we all know, the flesh is weak! We need to stay focused on God’s plan, He sees our hearts, and knows our every struggles. Press your way, but never give up!!!

Blessings to all!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Our sins---and they are many---have been forgiven

Luke 7:36 - 50 (New Living Translation)

36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. 37 When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. 38 Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”

40 Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.”

“Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied.

41 Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. 42 But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”

43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”

“That’s right,” Jesus said. 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.

47 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” 48 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man that he goes around forgiving sins?”

50 And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”


If you forget everything, remember this... it doesn't matter what you have done our God is willing to forgive you.

"What a mighty God we serve!"

Blessing to all!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Learn to be a “Cheerful Giver”

Luke 6:38 (New Living Translation)

38. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.


When we give from a cheerful heart wanting nothing in return, our God rewards us in His own way.

The Word of God says “your gift will return to you in full.” The key here is to Give, not lend. When someone in need cross your path, and you can help? This could be an opportunity to be a blessing. Just remember… don’t expect anything in return; let our God be a blessing to you.

Blessings to all!

Pray before you act

Luke 6 (New Living Translation)

Jesus Chooses the Twelve Apostles

12 One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night.

13 At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles. Here are their names:

14 Simon (whom he named Peter),
Andrew (Peter’s brother),
15 Matthew,
James (son of Alphaeus),
Simon (who was called the zealot),
16 Judas (son of James),
Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).

This is a lesson for each of us to follow; before we make any decision, we should always pray to our God for directions. If Jesus prayed to the Father for directions, and He was God in the flesh, we should follow His lead.

I believe God desire to be in every part of our lives, even the small ones. Nothing is to hard for our God… remember this… He is the creator of everything.

Blessings to all!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Our God is Awesome

Psalm 91 (New Living Translation)

1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.

3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.

4 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.

6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.

7 Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.

8 Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.

9 If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,

10 no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.

11 For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.

12 They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.

13 You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.

15 When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.

16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”

Blessings to all!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Tree and Its Fruit

Luke 6:43 - 45 (New Living Translation)

43 “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.

44 A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes.

45 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.

Blessings to all!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


You have been wandering around in this hill country long enough; turn to the north. Deuteronomy 2:3 NLT

Though you may feel like you're wandering in the desert, you are not alone. God knows your footsteps in the sand. He is your Good Shepherd. Trust Him to lead you and transform your thinking about relationships. Place your pre-conceived notions of marriage at the foot of the Cross and, like a good sheep, say, "Lord, show me your rules, your ways." His pastures are always green.

Blessings to all!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thoughts from the Word

(New King James Version)

Proverbs 16:7
When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Proverbs 16:16
How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

Proverbs 16:18
Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.

Proverbs 16:25
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

Proverbs 16:32
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Blessings to all!


Song of Solomon 1 (New King James Version)

1 The song of songs, which is Solomon’s.

THE Shulamite

2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is better than wine. 3 Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, your name is ointment poured forth; therefore the virgins love you. 4 Draw me away! We will run after you. The king has brought me into his chambers. The Daughters of Jerusalem we will be glad and rejoice in you. We will remember your love more than wine. Rightly do they love you. 5 I am dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. 6 Do not look upon me, because I am dark, because the sun has tanned me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept.

(To Her Beloved)

7 Tell me, O you whom I love, where you feed your flock, where you make it rest at noon. For why should I be as one who veils herself by the flocks of your companions?

THE Beloved

8 If you do not know, O fairest among women, follow in the footsteps of the flock, and feed your little goats beside the shepherds’ tents. 9 I have compared you, my love, to my filly among Pharaoh’s chariots. 10 Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with chains of gold.

THE Daughters of Jerusalem

11 We will make you ornaments of gold with studs of silver.

THE Shulamite

12 While the king is at his table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance. 13 A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me that lies all night between my breasts. 14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blooms in the vineyards of En Gedi.

THE Beloved

15 Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold, you are fair! You have dove’s eyes.

THE Shulamite

16 Behold, you are handsome, my beloved! Yes, pleasant! Also our bed is green. 17 The beams of our houses are cedar,

Song of Solomon 2 (New King James Version)

THE Beloved

2 Like a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

THE Shulamite

3 Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down in his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

THE Shulamite to the Daughters of Jerusalem

4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. 5 Sustain me with cakes of raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am lovesick. 6 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me. 7 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases.

THE Shulamite

8 The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. 9 My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he stands behind our wall; he is looking through the windows, gazing through the lattice. 10 My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. 11 For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. 12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away! 14 “ O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.”

HER Brothers

15 Catch us the foxes; the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.

THE Shulamite

16 My beloved is mine, and I am his. He feeds his flock among the lilies.

(To Her Beloved)

17 Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag upon the mountains of Bether.

Song of Solomon 3 (New King James Version)

THE Shulamite

By night on my bed I sought the one I love; I sought him, but I did not find him. 2 “I will rise now,” I said, “And go about the city; in the streets and in the squares I will seek the one I love.” I sought him, but I did not find him. 3 The watchmen who go about the city found me; I said, “Have you seen the one I love?” 4 Scarcely had I passed by them, when I found the one I love. I held him and would not let him go, until I had brought him to the house of my mother, and into the chamber of her who conceived me. 5 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases.

THE Shulamite

6 Who is this coming out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the merchant’s fragrant powders? 7 Behold, it is Solomon’s couch, with sixty valiant men around it, of the valiant of Israel. 8 They all hold swords, being expert in war. Every man has his sword on his thigh because of fear in the night. 9 Of the wood of Lebanon Solomon the King made himself a palanquin: 10 He made its pillars of silver, its support of gold, its seat of purple, its interior paved with love by the daughters of Jerusalem. 11 Go forth, O daughters of Zion, and see King Solomon with the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, the day of the gladness of his heart.

Song of Solomon 4 (New King James Version)

THE Beloved

1 Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold, you are fair! You have dove’s eyes behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats, going down from Mount Gilead. 2 Your teeth are like a flock of shorn sheep which have come up from the washing, every one of which bears twins, and none is barren among them. 3 Your lips are like a strand of scarlet, and your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil are like a piece of pomegranate. 4 Your neck is like the tower of David, built for an armory, on which hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men. 5 Your two breasts are like two fawns, Twins of a gazelle, which feed among the lilies. 6 Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense. 7 You are all fair, my love, and there is no spot in you. 8 Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, With me from Lebanon. look from the top of Amana, from the top of Senir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards. 9 You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; you have ravished my heart with one look of your eyes, with one link of your necklace. 10 How fair is your love, my sister, my spouse! How much better than wine is your love, and the scent of your perfumes than all spices! 11 Your lips, O my spouse, drip as the honeycomb; honey and milk are under your tongue; and the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon. 12 A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. 13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with pleasant fruits, fragrant henna with spikenard, 14 Spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices— 15 A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.

THE Shulamite

16 Awake, O north wind, and come, O south! Blow upon my garden that its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden and eat its pleasant fruits.

Song of Solomon 5 (New King James Version)

THE Beloved

1 I have come to my garden, my sister, my spouse; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk.

THE Shulamite

2 I sleep, but my heart is awake; it is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, “Open for me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one; for my head is covered with dew, my locks with the drops of the night.” 3 I have taken off my robe; how can I put it on again? I have washed my feet; how can I defile them? 4 My beloved put his hand by the latch of the door, and my heart yearned for him. 5 I arose to open for my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the lock. 6 I opened for my beloved, but my beloved had turned away and was gone. My heart leaped up when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. 7 The watchmen who went about the city found me. They struck me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took my veil away from me. 8 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that you tell him I am lovesick!

THE Daughters of Jerusalem

9 What is your beloved more than another beloved, o fairest among women? What is your beloved more than another beloved, that you so charge us?

THE Shulamite

10 My beloved is white and ruddy, chief among ten thousand. 11 His head is like the finest gold; His locks are wavy, and black as a raven. 12 His eyes are like doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. 13 His cheeks are like a bed of spices, banks of scented herbs. His lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh. 14 His hands are rods of gold set with beryl. His body is carved ivory Inlaid with sapphires. 15 His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of fine gold. His countenance is like Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. 16 His mouth is most sweet, yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, o daughters of Jerusalem!

Song of Solomon 6 (New King James Version)

THE Daughters of Jerusalem

1 Where has your beloved gone, o fairest among women? Where has your beloved turned aside, that we may seek him with you?

THE Shulamite

2 My beloved has gone to his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed his flock in the gardens, and to gather lilies. 3 I am my beloveds, and my beloved is mine. He feeds his flock among the lilies.

THE Beloved

4 O my love, you are as beautiful as Tirzah, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners! 5 Turn your eyes away from me, for they have overcome me. Your hair is like a flock of goats going down from Gilead. 6 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep which have come up from the washing; every one bears twins, and none is barren among them. 7 Like a piece of pomegranate are your temples behind your veil. 8 There are sixty queens and eighty concubines, and virgins without number. 9 My dove, my perfect one, is the only one, the only one of her mother, the favorite of the one who bore her. The daughters saw her and called her blessed, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. 10 Who is she who looks forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, awesome as an army with banners?

THE Shulamite

11 I went down to the garden of nuts to see the verdure of the valley, to see whether the vine had budded and the pomegranates had bloomed. 12 Before I was even aware, my soul had made me as the chariots of my noble people.
THE Beloved and His Friends
13 Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon you!

Song of Solomon 7 (New King James Version)

THE Beloved

1 How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter! The curves of your thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a skillful workman. 2 Your navel is a rounded goblet; it lacks no blended beverage. Your waist is a heap of wheat set about with lilies. 3 Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. 4 Your neck is like an ivory tower, your eyes like the pools in Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon which looks toward Damascus. 5 Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel, and the hair of your head is like purple; a king is held captive by your tresses. 6 How fair and how pleasant you are, O love, with your delights! 7 This stature of yours is like a palm tree, and your breasts like its clusters. 8 I said, “I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of its branches.” Let now your breasts be like clusters of the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples, 9 and the roof of your mouth like the best wine.

THE Shulamite

The wine goes down smoothly for my beloved, moving gently the lips of sleepers. 10 I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me. 11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth to the field; let us lodge in the villages. 12 Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine has budded, whether the grape blossoms are open, and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love. 13 The mandrakes give off a fragrance, and at our gates are pleasant fruits ,all manner, new and old, which I have laid up for you, my beloved.

Song of Solomon 8 (New King James Version)

1 Oh that you were like my brother, who nursed at my mother’s breasts! If I should find you outside, I would kiss you; I would not be despised. 2 I would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother, she who used to instruct me. I would cause you to drink of spiced wine, of the juice of my pomegranate.

(To the Daughters of Jerusalem)

3 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me. 4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases.

A Relative

5 Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I awakened you under the apple tree. There your mother brought you forth; There she who bore you brought you forth.

THE Shulamite to Her Beloved

6 Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave; its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame. 7 Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised.

THE Shulamite’s Brothers

8 We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister in the day when she is spoken for? 9 If she is a wall, we will build upon her a battlement of silver; and if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

THE Shulamite

10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers; then I became in his eyes as one who found peace. 11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal Hamon; He leased the vineyard to keepers; everyone was to bring for its fruit a thousand silver coins.

(To Solomon)

12 My own vineyard is before me. You, O Solomon, may have a thousand, and those who tend its fruit two hundred.

SHE Beloved

13 You who dwell in the gardens, the companions listen for your voice— Let me hear it!

THE Shulamite

14 Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.

Blessings to all!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love that never fails

John 15 (New Living Translation)

Jesus, the True Vine

1. “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.

2. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.

3. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.

4. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

5. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.

6. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.

7. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!

8. When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

9. “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.

10. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

11. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

12. This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.

13. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

14. You are my friends if you do what I command.

15. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.

16. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.

17. This is my command: Love each other.

Blessings to all!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Serving God with our “Whole Hearts”

2 Corinthians 4 (New Living Translation)

Treasure in Fragile Clay Jars

1. Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up.

2. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

3. If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing.

4. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

5. You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake.

6. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

7. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

8. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.

9. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.

10. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

11. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies.

12. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.

13. But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”

14. We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you.

15. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

16. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.

17. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

18. So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Blessings to all!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

During these most turbulent times look to GOD

2 Chronicles 20 (New Living Translation)

War with Surrounding Nations

1. After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites declared war on Jehoshaphat.

2. Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea. They are already at Hazazon-tamar.” (This was another name for En-gedi.)

3. Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the LORD for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting.

4. So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the LORD’s help.

5. Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the LORD.

6. He prayed, “O LORD, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!

7. O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham?

8. Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name.

9. They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.’

10. “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing. You would not let our ancestors invade those nations when Israel left Egypt, so they went around them and did not destroy them.

11. Now see how they reward us! For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance.

12. O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”

13. As all the men of Judah stood before the LORD with their little ones, wives, and children,

14. the Spirit of the LORD came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.

15. He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

Blessings to all!