Friday, November 17, 2017

COLOSSIANS 3:15 - LET PEACE RULE AND BE THANKFUL


LET PEACE RULE AND BE THANKFUL



Paul wrote to the Colossians because they were being led astray by various heresies. The church, which was composed of both Jews and Gentiles, was being fractured by those who were Judaizers, who thought it necessary for Gentiles to be circumcised and follow the Law of Moses before becoming Christians and then, on the other hand, those who were denying the deity of Jesus and claiming to have a higher knowledge and mystical experiences. Paul reminded the believers at Colossae what the pure truth of the Gospel was, that no works were effective or necessary and that salvation comes through faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus on the cross alone. Peace—wholeness, nothing missing, nothing broken—comes only by the power of the presence of Jesus in one’s life through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Ritual, whether legalism, asceticism, or mysticism, in and of itself will never bring peace with God. That peace can only be found in the gift of God, His Son Jesus Christ.   We can rest in God’s peace because Jesus is trustworthy. If we are anxious, we are not allowing peace to rule (Philippians 4:6-7). We cannot be at peace with others except and until you are at peace with God within yourself. Once God has healed your fractured life (saved you), He can mend the brokenness in your relationships.

If today, you are anxious or feeling broken, read the following scriptures and allow God’s peace to rule.

  • ·        Proverbs 3:5-6
  • ·        Isaiah 26:3
  • ·        John 14:27
  • ·        Philippians 4:6-7


Spend time in prayer thanking the Lord for restoring your peace.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

GENESIS 29:20 - JACOB LOVED RACHEL by Susan R. Slade


JACOB LOVED RACHEL



The reader is probably familiar with the love story of Jacob and Rachel. Jacob was sent by his father to find a wife from the family of his mother Rebekah’s brother Laban. There he discovered Laban’s daughter Rachel and fell head over heels in love with her. He agreed to work for his Uncle Laban for seven years as the bride price for Rachel, but after consummating the marriage, he lifted the veil; and lo and behold, he had been tricked into marrying her sister Leah! Laban was an even greater schemer than Jacob. Laban required Jacob to work another seven years in order to marry Rachel; and because of his love for her, he agreed to his uncle’s terms. Therefore, all together he worked fourteen years in order to marry the love of his life, but due to his love, the years flew by as if only a few days. Jacob’s love was proven by the sweat equity he willingly expended.

  •       ·  Listen intently to the person share their sorrows or             their joys
    ·        Do a kind deed for that person without being asked
    ·        Schedule time to read to a child or elderly loved one
    ·        Enclose a card or note in a lunch sack
    ·        Call a loved one on the phone even when it is NOT           their birthday
  • · 
Love is not just words alone or action alone. True love is articulated verbally but manifested in affectionate and practical deeds as well. Jacob went to great lengths because of his love for Rachel. By working to earn her hand, he was actualizing his love for her. Think of ways you can demonstrate your love for someone special in your life whether that be your spouse, child, parent, friend, or sibling. Here are some ideas to get you started:


    Create your own list and put your ideas into action. 
Use love as a verb this week!

Friday, November 10, 2017

RE-RUN OF "EASIER SAID THAN DONE" by Susie Hale

I originally wrote this nine years ago, but sometimes we need to look back and remember God's kindness and faithfulness to us to remember how thankful we should be every day of our lives. Susie



Sunday, November 9, 2008


Easier Said than Done

"Every morning tell him, 'Thank you for your kindness,' and every evening rejoice in all his faithfulness" Psalm 92:2 TLB

Reading this scripture is far easier than following it. Take this morning for example. Last night I did not sleep - not a wink, but I really needed to get up and go to Sunday School this morning because we are having a fellowship at my house Friday night and we needed to discuss details. Just as I was putting Mom back to bed because she hadn't slept either, the phone rang. My sister was calling to say that she was not feeling well and hadn't slept all night and, therefore, would not be coming to stay with Mom so I could go to church.

Okay, plan B. I called my friend to see if she could come by to get the invitations and directions to my house to pass out in Sunday school. I woke her up, but she said she'd call me back for directions in a few minutes. She called back and said, "Let me stay with your Mom so you can go to Sunday school. I hate for you to miss since Sunday morning is the only time you get to go to church." I agreed to that plan. After I hung up I thought, "Oh my! The house is a train wreck!"

The phone rang again. It was my sister saying she was coming over after all because her 4-yr-old great grandson was throwing a fit saying, "Granny! I had to miss Sunday school last week. I CAN'T miss two weeks in a row!"

I should have thanked God for his kindness even when it looked like I was going to miss church. But when I realized the little guy was that excited about going to church, I finally remembered to thank God for his kindness and his faithfulness. God is SO GOOD!!!!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

DEUTERONOMY 10:12-13 - ACTION REQUIRED


ACTION REQUIRED

DEUTERONOMY 10:12-13
And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee,
but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways,
and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God
with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes,
which I command thee this day for thy good?

God had specific requirements for His chosen people of Israel to adhere to, and He demands the same things from His children today. The four commands in this statement—fear, walk, love, and serve—are all verbs. Verbs imply actions. We are to fear the Lord, to reverence and respect Him with complete awe, submitting to His will. How do we walk in His ways? This walk is not with our feet, but decision by decision in agreement with God’s way of approaching everything. To love God is to offer back to Him the best of ourselves, to reciprocate His love which was demonstrated by sacrificing His very best, His only Son, on the cross. We serve the Lord by using the gifts the Holy Spirit has given us to be His hands and feet on the ground, His ambassadors to a lost and dying world.

How are we to do these things? With all your heart and soul . . . to me this means with every fiber of my being, with my entire essence. I am to reserve nothing for myself, to surrender all of me the One who created all. As Chris McClarney of Jesus Culture expressed it in song, “Everything and nothing less I give You.” Obedience, the requirements of God, are for our own good. Others may say that to us, but we can trust that God uses our compliance for our good because He is good and knows what is best for His children.

Gauge your own activity. Are you fearing, walking, loving and serving according to God’s will? What changes or adjustments do you need to make today?



Monday, November 6, 2017

Genesis 24:67 - BRIDEGROOM’S LOVE FOR BRIDE by Susan R. Slade


BRIDEGROOM’S LOVE FOR BRIDE
Genesis 24:67 (VOICE)

Then Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent.
He took her as his wife and slept with her, and grew to love her deeply.
In this way, Isaac found comfort in the wake of his mother’s death.

The first use of the word “love” in the Bible is the intense love of a father (Abraham) for his son (Isaac) which Abraham set aside because of his reverence and obedient, sacrificial love for his God. This foreshadowed God setting aside His love for His son in order for Jesus to become the sacrifice for our sins. The second use of love is the love of a bridegroom (Isaac) for his bride (Rebekah). This, too, is a foreshadowing.

The New Testament teaches that Jesus is the Bridegroom and we (the church and eventually the citizens of the New Jerusalem) are His bride. Jesus is the pattern for a husband’s love for his wife as we see in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” When asked why His disciples did not fast, Jesus referred to Himself as a bridegroom (Mark 2:18-20). The Apostle Paul expressed this idea of the Messianic Community, the body of believers, being the bride of Christ as well, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

The Bible describes many types of love—the love of a parent for children, the love between spouses, the love of dear friends—but Jesus embodies them all to overflowing. Love is given first place, the position of priority, in the list of the Fruit of the Spirit, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Pursue demonstrating love today. Love is a noun, but it is also a verb. Use it as a verb today. Love your spouse, love your child, love your family, love your neighbor, and don’t forget to love your enemy (Matthew 5:43-48).

Friday, November 3, 2017

2 CORINTHIANS 2:14-15 - ABUNDANT GRACE, ABOUNDING THANKS


ABUNDANT GRACE
ABOUNDING THANKS


We celebrate Thanksgiving Day later this month. To whom are we giving thanks, and why? Of course, we as believers are directing our gratitude to the Lord God Almighty. We may be thankful for many specific things this year—God’s provision in our finances, the Lord’s healing of a loved one, the safety of our military and first responders, a new life brought into our family, or God’s mercy in the homegoing of one of His saints. However, the primary point of Thanksgiving, our main focus, should be to express our gratitude for our Lord Jesus Christ, and His vicarious satisfaction of the Father’s holiness by dying in our place on the cross. We need to thank God that because of Jesus’s sacrifice of Himself, we experience atonement—the privilege of being one with the Lord as He prayed for us as our High Priest which is recorded in John chapter 17. Because we have been given the faith to believe and trust in this truth, we have the assurance that Jesus will come back for us so that “where He is, there we may be also” John 14:3 (personalized). This shout of thanksgiving should rise up from all believers in a resounding chorus bringing glory to our loving Father, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. We should use our voices as instruments or even megaphones of thanksgiving. As a once popular chorus said, “We’ve got so much, so much, so much to be thankful for!” This should be our theme on Thanksgiving Day and every other day of the year. If you belong to the family of God, join us in lifting your voice in praise and gratitude for all He has done for you. If you do not know yet know Jesus, please contact us via our website www.preciousjewelsministries.org and allow us the privilege of sharing more about Jesus with you! 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

GENESIS 22:2 - THE FIRST USE OF "LOVE" by Susan R. Slade

The First Use of "Love"


The first mention of love in the Bible occurs in the passage concerning Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac. This is a foreshadowing or “type” of the heavenly Father’s sacrifice of His only begotten Son Jesus.

We are not told that Adam loved his wife or that Noah loved his children, although it could be argued that this unstated love was demonstrated. We are not even told that Sarah loved Abraham. It is fitting that the first mention of love in the Bible is a father’s love for his son. We begin to understand some basic concepts about love: 1) Abraham loved his son as a father should, 2) Obedience to God supersedes human love, 3) God loved Abraham and provided the ram to replace Isaac, 4) God loves humans enough to sacrifice His beloved Son, Jesus, 5) As God’s children we are to emulate His sacrificial love.

The first fruit of the Spirit is love. Loving as the Father has loved us. Self-sacrificing love for God and for people. This kind of love can only be cultivated in you if the Holy Spirit is flowing through you. Because Father God willingly offered His Son on the cross, those who believe are the beneficiaries of this tremendously selfless gift of love. Once we come to accept and embrace the love of God our Father, we are filled with His Holy Spirit who enables us to increasingly love others as Jesus first loved us.

Have you experienced the Father’s love? If you have, are you searching out ways to share this love God so graciously bestowed upon you with those within the sphere of your influence? Jesus freely gave His love. Freely give love to others.

Monday, October 30, 2017

ROMANS 2:28-29 - A CIRCUMCISED HEART by Susie Hale

A Circumcised Heart

I cannot follow my moral compass.
I cannot rely on religion or creeds,
Being born of a certain nation or race,
Or submitting to ritualistic deeds.
It is impossible to obey God’s law completely,
Never committing sin nor omitting good.
In my flesh, by my will, I cannot attain
To all of the rules I know that I should.
Only a circumcised heart can change me,
Only a spirit made new by the Lord.
Giving my life completely to Jesus
Is what will enable me to obey His word.
His blood has covered my many failures.
He gave His life to pay for my sins.
Accepting His precious gift of forgiveness
Frees me to live a life pleasing to Him.


“A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly,
nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.
No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly;
and circumcision is circumcision of the heart,
by the Spirit, not by the written code.
Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.”
Romans 2:28-29

circumcision – pĕritōmē – the rite, the condition, or the people. From pĕritĕmnō – to cut around, i.e. to circumcise. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible)

            In order to live a life pleasing to God I had to undergo heart surgery. God had to cut around my heart to remove the hardness, to extract my heart of stone in order to give me a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:25). He did this by drawing me to himself and giving me the faith in Christ needed to save me.  When I surrendered my life to the control of the Lord, his Holy Spirit moved into the renewed heart he had created. As I daily allow the Spirit control of my life, I am able to accomplish the tasks God lays on my heart. True service is not willing myself to obey certain rules and regulations. It is, rather, a complete surrender of my will to God. It is a moment by moment choice to seek God’s best in every decision, every action, every breath of my life. As I choose to know more of the Lord through his Word, worship, and prayer, I am more aware of the ways he desires to work in and through me. As I learn to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17), bringing everything to him, and as I seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33), then the good works for which he created me will follow.
            Father, keep my heart soft and pliable for your use. Cut away any hardness that would keep me from you.


Friday, October 27, 2017

HEBREWS 11:11-12 - VIRTUALLY DEAD MAN FATHERS CHILD

Hebrews 11:11-12 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

By trusting, he received potency to father a child, even when he was past the age for it, as was Sarah herself; because he regarded the One who had made the promise as trustworthy. Therefore, this one man, who was virtually dead, fathered descendants
as numerous as the stars in the sky,
and as countless as the grains of the sand on the seashore.

Abraham made it into the Hall of Faith found in Hebrews chapter eleven. I love the bluntness of the Hebrews account, calling Abraham “virtually dead.” God began telling Abraham he would father a great nation when He called him to leave his home at seventy-five years old. The Lord clarified that it would be a child fathered by Abraham rather than adopted, so Abraham fathered Ishmael by Sarah’s handmaid at eighty-six. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when the Lord made it clear that he would father a child through Sarah, and she was well past menopause at eighty-nine! During that conversation with the Lord, Abraham literally rolled on the floor laughing! He believed God but kept trying to give the Lord a little assistance. However, what the New Testament records is that “by trusting” or in other translations, “by faith,” Abraham was given the ability to father a son, and Sarah was given the strength to carry one in her previously barren womb. Abraham was one hundred and Sarah was ninety when Isaac (laughter) was born. Do the math. Abraham faithfully continued to follow God twenty-five more years after the initial promise that He would make him into a great nation! Have you been waiting on the Lord to move in a specific area of your life? Does it seem like He is dragging His feet in answering your prayer or giving you the desires of your heart? Keep trusting. Keep waiting. Keep obeying. He will cause you to rejoice (laugh) in His time.