Successful People Help The Poor

“If you want to live a successful life, the Bible offers some countercultural instruction. Serve the poor! How could serving the poor help us be successful? The Bible gives us numerous reasons why this is so, but here are just a few of them: 1) It’ll make you happy. “If you want to be happy, be kind to the poor; it is a sin to despise anyone” (Proverbs 14:21 GNT). 2) You’ll honor God. “Whoever mistreats the poor insults their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Proverbs 14:31 NCV). 3) It’ll make you a better leader. “Leadership gains authority and respect when the voiceless poor are treated fairly” (Proverbs 29:14 The Message). I’ve seen this in my own life. Some of you know my story. When I wrote The Purpose Driven Life, the book became a huge global success. It’s been translated into 137 languages. And when you write a book with the first line of “It’s not about you,” it’s pretty easy to realize that any money or influence that came from it wasn’t meant for me. So, among other decisions Kay and I made at the time, we started Acts of Mercy, a foundation to help the poor and the vulnerable suffering with AIDS. The book’s success was not about me; it was all about God. Proverbs 31:8-9 particularly spoke to me during this time: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (NIV). That’s what successful people do. They stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.” —-An excerpt from Pastor Rick Warren’s “Daily Hope”

Note On Happiness

The following story illustrates two things. First, time can increase the value of a possession, and sometimes we own a treasure and don’t realize it. In 1922 while Albert Einstein was staying at Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel, a courier came to the door to make a delivery. The courier either refused a tip or Einstein had no small change, but Einstein wanted to give the messenger something nonetheless. So on a piece of hotel stationery, Einstein wrote in German his theory of happiness: “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.” On a second sheet, he wrote another message: “Where there’s a will there’s a way.” He told the bellhop to save the notes — they just might be valuable in the future. And indeed they were. In an auction this week the note on happiness sold to an anonymous bidder for $1.56 million. The second note brought in $240,000. —-From The Two-Way

“Blessed In Darkness”

Joel Osteen’s new book, “Blessed in the Darkness”, was just released. He discusses what we should do when we ‘re going through difficult situations. He said when his Dad died in 1999, it was the darkest time in his life. God gave him such a peace , and what he thought was his darkest hour launched him into his brightest hour. This is some of the advice he gives in his book. You just have to run your own race. Don’t fight everything that doesn’t work out for you! Control what you can control and then go on. You don’t have to prove yourself and defend yourself. Don’t concentrate on what your critics are saying. Let all that go. Don’t put anything negative in your spirit. Just stay in faith and live from a place of peace. Be positive even in negative situations. By example love one another. He then gives this reassuring promise. “There are seeds of greatest in us – dreams, goals, talents, potential – that will only come to life in a dark place.”

The Worth Of Self-Value

“The bottom line of positive and stable self-esteem is when you can say: I accept.the value that God has put on me. When you do that, you will then cooperate with God to develop the best possible you in this world. Self-value will rid you of all jealousy because you will never again want to be anyone else. Self-value will wipe out inferiority because you are in God’s class of being and He, in you, Is greater than any person or any power outside of you. Self-value will eliminate fear of failure or defeat because nothing can stop you and God working together. Self-value will give you courage because you discover that with God at work in you, you become indomitable. Self-value will cause you to stand up, to square your shoulders, to look out into the future with new confidence, to walk with a study stride, and to rise to the level of the importance for which God created you.” —-An excerpt from “You Are God’s Best” by T.L. Osborn

Proof Of Love

“Often one person in an ordinary relationship will take advantage of another’s love to his or her own benefit: ‘If you love me you will give me what I want’.This is the ploy many people use to make the other person satisfy their selfish demands. This is not what Jesus said when He made love the focal point of His disciples’ relationship with Him. He said that love, and not obedience to laws and rules, should be their motivation to obey Him gladly and joyfully. Julian of Norwich wrote: ‘The great honor we can give to Almighty God, greater than our sacrifices and modifications, is to live gladly, joyfully, because of the knowledge of His love.’ Wouldn’t it be glorious if we could do that? Jesus would like us to. Walk close to Jesus in your daily tasks and duties, even if you are under severe pressure, set aside at least a few minutes for fellowship with Him. Find ways to show your love for him, both in what you say and in what you do. Reflect on His Love and let your love for him thrive and grow in obedience that follows readily and joyfully. Thank you, Holy Jesus, that I obey you because I love you.” —-An excerpt from “366 Devotionals – Trusting in God”, Christian Art Publishers

I Am

“When God commanded Moses to lead Israel out of slavery in Egypt into the promised land Canaan, God had declared, I am the God who was worshiped by your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 3:1-6) when Moses asked what God’s name was, God replied, ‘tell them that the Lord Who’s name is ‘I Am,’ has sent you (Ex3:13-15). The Hebrew name Yahweh is most likely related to the Hebrew verb ‘to be’ and so may mean ‘I am the one who is’ or ‘I am the one who causes to be.” These possible meanings of the sacred name show that Yahweh is the God who is, will be, and causes to be, Yahweh, God, is the source of all that is and will fulfill His purpose for the people of God and for the whole creation. In John, Jesus uses the term ‘I am’ to connect himself to these aspects of God’s nature into the circle God has given him to do for people. Jesus identifies himself as the. One Who supplies all needs. (‘I am the bread that gives life,’ (John 6:35) and Who brings the knowledge about God to people. (‘I am the Light of the world, (John 8:12). Jesus also uses this ‘I am’ language to identify Himself as the way for people to find God and become God’s people. ‘I am the gate for the sheep,’ (John 10:7-16); and I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, (John 14:6) using imagery from Isaiah, Jesus says, ‘I am the True Vine,’ and that His people are ‘the branches,’ sharing in the common life of the new people of God (John 15:1, 5); see also Isa.5:1-7). By making these comparisons to the Jewish Scriptures, Jesus shows that He has been in God’s plan from the beginning: ‘even before Abraham was I was, and I am” (John 8:58). —-From The Learning Bible

Divine Love

“Within you is a divine fortress, and that divine fortress defends, protects, and fights for you. Enter into that innermost realm, for it is there you may overcome outward surroundings. The secret and internal love which the believer has towards His Lord and which the Lord has toward him has four aspects to it. The first is illumination, which is an experiential knowledge of the greatness of God and an experiential knowledge of the believer’s nothingness. The second is an inflamed love, a desire to be consumed with divine fire. The third is a peaceful and joyful rest. The believer seems to totally rest, as one abiding in divine and loving arms. The fourth is an inward filling of the Lord’s power. The believer is replenished and filled with God. The believer no longer seeks,desires or wills anything except the greatness and the infinite good, which is His God.” —–An excerpt from the book, “100 Days in the Secret Place” by Gene Edwards who quoted Miguel De Molinos (A Spanish priest in the 1600’s)

The Prisoner’s Flower

“In his loneliness and despair, the Frenchman Charnay, imprisoned for provoking the wrath of Napoleon, took a rock and scratched on the stone cell wall ‘Nobody cares’. One day, through the stones of the dungeon floor, a green shoot appeared and began reaching up to the light through the tiny window of his prison cell. Charnay was so touched by this, he kept part of his daily ration of water for the plant. It grew until it became a flower a beautiful blue flower. The day the flower fully blossomed, Charney crossed out the words ‘Nobody cares’ and replaced them with ‘God cares’. On hearing of this, Empress Josephine was so impressed with his devotion to the flower that she persuaded Napoleon to set him free. If a prisoner in a dark dungeon could find the love of God, how much more can you in the circumstances of your life? When situations look hopeless, look for the tender shoot coming through the cracks. Nourish and water the tender shoot of God’s love, hope, and joy, and you’ll see something beautiful blossom. You will likewise be able to declare, ‘God cares’. TODAY’S MISSION – Take a scripture and ‘carve it’ into your heart and to every situation of your day. Refocus your thoughts today and meditate on the love of the Lord in your life.” —-An excerpt from Jonathan Cahn’s Sapphires

A Praying Football Team

“In the latest public showing of Biblical allegiance, a photo posted to Twitter shows wide receiver Marcus Johnson being baptized in a hotel pool while surrounded by his teammates. ‘First time being Baptized! Corporate Worship is a beautiful thing!!’ Johnson wrote in a tweet that accompanies the photo. ‘Cleansed & Reborn in JESUS name!’
CBS News reported that quarterback Carson Wentz, backup quarterback Nick Foles, tight end Zach Ertz, tight end Trey Burton, offensive guard Stefen Wisniewski and linebacker Jordan Hicks appeared to be standing around the pool praying. The intense devotion to the Christian faith among some Eagles players is hardly a secret. ESPN published an article last December revealing how players ‘find common ground through spiritual devotion,’ saying they routinely engage in Bible studies, baptisms, and other faith-affirming activities. It’s a fascinating situation in which a large number of team members vocally place their Christian faith above anything else. Perhaps most remarkable detail to emerge is the fact that Burton — whom ESPN called the ‘ team pastor’ — baptized five of his fellow players in the team’s recovery pool back last October, all while 15 members of the team stood and prayed around them. As Faithwire previously reported, Wentz opened up recently about how his understanding of faith has evolved over the years and why his relationship with Jesus is his number one priority. ‘Christianity is all about love and showing that love and that kindness and that grace.'” ——-An excerpt from Breaking Christian News

We Give God Glory, Awesome Trinity

Here is a beautiful song called “We Give Glory, Awesome Trinity” written by Matt Osgood.
“We give glory and praise to the Father;
uncreated, immortal, invisible God.
His hands hold the whole of creation,
and His Heart overflows with love.
We give glory and praise to Our Saviour;
Son of God, Son of Man, perfect payment for sin.
He rose from the grave, He ascended,
and one day He will come again.
You are so holy, holy, holy,
the awesome Trinity,
forever Father, Spirit, Son.
You are, You were and always will be
God from eternity,
forever three, forever one.
We give glory and praise to the Spirit
who inspires and equips us to follow the Son.
Our Helper, Our Counsel, Our Comfort,
guarantee of all that’s to come.
You are Our God, you are Our God.
You are Our God, you are Our God.
The only God, the Living God,
Almighty God, You are Our God.”