Ginger was six years old when she and her Sunday school class made get well cards for church members. Hers was a bright purple card that said, “I love you, but most of all God loves you!” She and her mom made the delivery. My dad was bedfast, the end was near. He could extend his hand, but it was bent to a claw from disease. Ginger asked him a question as only a six year old can, “Are you going to die?” He answered, “Yes, but when I don’t know.” She asked if he was afraid to go away. “Away is heaven,” he told her. “I’ll be with my Father. I’m ready to see Him eye to eye.”
A man near death, winking at the thought of it. Stripped of everything? It only appeared that way. In the end, Dad still had what no one could take…faith. And in the end, that’s all he needed!
From You’ll Get Through This
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
In life, there is good success and bad success. Bad success is the kind of success which robs you of time with your family, friends and church, and destroys your health and relationships. With good success, on the other hand, you see prosperity in every area of your life.
God wants you to enjoy good success and the key to this lies in what God told Joshua when he took over the reins following the death of his leader Moses—“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Spending time in God’s Word daily will give you godly wisdom, which will make your way prosperous and give you good success.
Look at how Joshua’s life turned out in the end. When Joshua died, “they buried him within the border of his inheritance at Timnath Serah, which is in the mountains of Ephraim, on the north side of Mount Gaash”. (Joshua 24:30) Joshua had a whole mountain for his inheritance! This means that he was prosperous and successful!
It was also said that Israel served the Lord, not idols or other gods, all the days of Joshua’s life. (Joshua 24:31) This means that while Joshua was around, people were impacted for God’s glory.
And at the end of his life, a fulfilled Joshua had this to say, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) Having your family loving God and serving Him with you is the most important success and greatest prosperity that you can ever have.
Beloved, when God’s Word takes priority in your daily life, not only will your finances be blessed, your ministry and family life will also be blessed!
2 Peter 1:2
2Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
If you would like to walk in a greater measure of God’s favor, 2 Peter 1:2 says that grace, which is the undeserved favor of God, and peace, can be multiplied to you. Peace is the word “shalom” in Hebrew. Its definition includes wholeness, health and prosperity. So when you walk in divine favor and peace, you will walk in blessings in every area of your life!
But how do the undeserved favor and shalom of God increase in your life?
It is not by your laboring or toiling to earn it. The Bible says that it comes as your knowledge of Jesus and His finished work increases. It comes as you learn more about and believe that through Jesus’ one sacrifice at the cross, God removed all your sins, gave you His righteousness as a gift and put you in Christ to enjoy everything Jesus has. God’s favor is multiplied in your life when you simply believe that the favor of God that is on Christ is also on you because of what Jesus’ work at the cross has accomplished.
Today, you don’t have to struggle for favor. Just release it by speaking forth God’s Word in faith. On your way to work, say, “God’s favor surrounds me as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:12) As you continue to speak God’s favor over your life out of a revelation of Jesus’ finished work, you will see more of it being released.
When I first entered the workforce, I began to declare the favor of God in my job. Every time I was given a new assignment, I proclaimed that the divine favor of God was on me. The company began to prosper and I was blessed financially. By the time I left the company to serve God full-time, my income had increased so that I was in the top 15 per cent of earners in my age group in Singapore.
Today, in your workplace or at home, begin to declare the favor of God by faith. Expect to receive preferential treatment wherever you are. Say, “I am surrounded with the favor of God because of Jesus’ finished work. I have favor before God and man!” And see God’s favor work for you!
The Bible teaches that God is the source of our finances. He is the one who provides for our needs.
What does this mean? It means that, instead of looking to my employer for financial security, I look to God. It means that, instead of looking at my savings account employer for financial security, I look to God. It means that I don’t look to anyone or anything other than God to provide for my needs.
Let me illustrate it this way: When I turn on the water, I know the water doesn’t actually come from the faucet. The water comes through the faucet. The water is actually from a reservoir, and the way I happen to receive it is through the faucet.
In the same way, the income that God wants to give you may come through a job or through something or someone else.
But the source is always God.
We don’t need to worry about which faucet God uses to supply our needs. In a sense he says, “If I turn off one faucet, I can just as easily turn on another. If you lose one job, I can give you another. I am your source, not your job. I am your source, not your bank account.”
Worry reveals the places where you are not trusting God. Ask God to help you understand what causes you to not trust him, and ask him to teach you to start trusting him. Look for how he does that. In addition, when you start to worry, talk to God about your concerns.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Pro 18:10 NKJV
When you are confused about the future, go to your Jehovah-raah, your caring shepherd. When you are anxious about provision, talk to Jehovah-jireh, the Lord who provides. Are your challenges too great? Seek the help of Jehovah-shalom, the Lord is peace. Is your body sick? Are your emotions weak? Jehovah-rophe, the Lord who heals you, will see you now. Do you feel like a soldier stranded behind enemy lines? Take refuge in Jehovah-nissi, the Lord my banner.
Meditating on the names of God reminds you of the character of God. Take these names and bury them in your heart.
the shepherd who guides,
the Lord who provides,
the voice who brings peace in the storm,
the physician who heals the sick, and
the banner that guides the soldier.
The Great House of God (Max Lucado)
"Patience. The very word can cause us to roll our eyes. That's because when we think of patience, we think of waiting. And we don't like to wait. But it seems as though we're always waiting for something. Waiting for a certain thing to happen, for one thing to begin, and another to end. Waiting for more time or more money. Waiting for our marriage to get better, or for our spouse to change. Waiting for the kids to grow up. Waiting for our prayers to be answered.
"Waiting can be painful & difficult - especially when it comes to our need for change in marriage. But God says waiting is good. That's because it produces patience in us." (Stormie Omartian)
Deep down we know that waiting & having patience is a good thing. But just because something is good for us, it doesn't mean that we want it. That's especially true when, in order to develop patience, it means being involved in long-term character testing, faith-walking, endurance- stretching waiting. Not too many of us want to do that just because it's "good" for us!
On this subject, we came across some things on the importance of patience in marriage, from Stormie Omartian in a past issue of Marriage Partnership Magazine (no longer being published), that we'd like to present to you. Plus, we'll add a few comments of our own. Please read, glean through, and apply what God personally shows you. Stormie writes: "The Apostle Paul tells us that patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit. In other words, patience is a by-product of God's work within us. He describes it as 'long-suffering' (Galatians 5:22), a word that, according to Webster's dictionary means, 'long & patient enduring of trouble or provocation.' Can you think of a marriage that doesn't require 'long-suffering?' The truth is, we can't have patience without the waiting. But just because we're waiting doesn't necessarily mean we have patience. It's HOW we wait in marriage that's most important. Do we wait with a good attitude?"I know a couple in which the husband is always on time and his wife frequently runs late. When he taps his fingers loudly, grows angry, and paces anxiously while spewing stinging barbs, he doesn't practice patience! He's waiting, yes. But it's forced waiting and it never accomplishes what he hopes it will. Neither does silently fuming." As I (Cindy) read this, I thought, "How's that working for him? Not too good apparently! It's not good for him, or for her, or for their relationship. Somehow, they need to work on this "problem" at a time (or times) where there's less pressure going on, to figure out what they can do together so the waiting game is resolved in healthier ways. As Cindy and I (Steve) have struggled a LOT is this area in our 40 years of marriage and as I look back and reflect now, I realize that we have grown and improved considerably - though we haven't "arrived" yet, for sure. I think God uses every situation in our marriage as an opportunity for both of us to grow spiritually, as well as relationally with one
another. In Stormie Omartian's article, 'The Power of Patience'," she further points out that "patience and a good attitude go hand in hand. Patience is deciding that his mate is worth the wait and doing it calmly. On the other hand, his wife, who runs perpetually late, needs to show patience with her husband's various expressions of frustration and impatience." I (Cindy) need to say here that the waiting dilemma can be a tough one. There may be a million and one reasons both spouses can give as why one spouse is late and the other is left waiting. The spouse who runs late may need to be more considerate of others (including the waiting spouse) and be time-concious, or better time-management may come into the picture for one or both of them. Or the waiting spouse may need to be more "helpful" beforehand so BOTH spouses can be ready at the same time… the list can go on and on. If you're involved in this frustrating "dance," I'm sure you have your own perspective on this dilemma. No matter what, though, as Steve said, everything that happens is an opportunity for growth and character development in us. Stormie Omartian goes on to say, "Paul makes it very clear that not only are we supposed to desire patience, we're to pursue it (1 Timothy (6:11). If you're like me, the thought of pursuing patience doesn't bring forth shouts of joy and excitement! But when we chase patience, it pleases God. Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:1-2: 'I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.' So how do we pursue patience? "PRAY. One way is to ask God for it. Prayer has an amazing way of helping us become more patient. Let's be honest, though, prayer is about the last thing we feel like doing when our patience is being tested, isn't it? But we can pray about whatever is causing us to be impatient. For example, my friend can pray for his wife who's always late and ask God how he can help her be on time. Maybe she's overloaded with too much to do. Or she tries to fit too much into a day. Or she's trying to be perfect. On the flip side, she can ask God to help her be better organized, or have a clearer concept of time and how much of it is needed to accomplish all she needs to do to get out of the house.
Whatever the case, remember that each prayer, even when it seems to be about the same thing, has new life in it each time you pray it. Prayer sets something in motion, even your spouse - though it may not seem immediately detectable."
Stormie goes on to write other ways to pursue patience, such as making "a mental adjustment, being thankful, keeping quiet," when it would be best, and "don't give up" In conclusion, please consider the following thoughts, which Stormie gives on an added benefit you can gain while waiting: "Grow your faith. Patience means working on growing deeper in your relationship with God, especially when it appears that the only thing growing deeper in your life is the divide between you and your mate. Patience means remembering that it could be worse [except in cases of abuse], and deliberately looking for the good in the other person.
"Patience means expressing the positive when you want to point out the negative. It's deciding to overlook some irritating things and, instead, think about the eternal future before you. This means knowing that because you didn't divorce when you considered it, but determined to be patient instead, your whole family can now celebrate holidays and birthdays and life together.
"The most important reason to pursue patience is that it is one of God's attributes. When we're patient, we're more like Him. The apostle James writes that the testing of your faith produces patience, and patience perfects us and makes us complete so that we lack nothing (James 1:2-4). So each time you find yourself in a situation where you have to make yourself pursue patience, try to think about how perfect and godlike you're becoming. It really helps."
We Sincerely hope this message ministers to your hearts and to your marriage. Steve and Cindy Wright
Tom was baie depressief na sy vrou Elle se dood. Hy het lank sy hart uitgestort. Katarsis is natuurlik goed; dit dui aan wat jy nog moet hanteer. Maar praat opsigself verander niks. Daarom het sy berader gevra: 'As die situasie omgekeerd was en jy het eerste te sterwe gekom, wat sou verwag het moes Elle doen?' Hy het dadelik geantwoord: 'Aangaan en die lewe geniet.' Die oomblik toe hy dit verbaliseer, het 'n lig in hom opgegaan: 'Ek het te lank vir myself jammer gevoel. Ons albei kon dit nie verdra as mense dit doen nie. Ek gaan leef, 'n doel vind en terugkeer kerk toe.' Toe Tom en sy berader daarna weer gesels, was hy besig om sy lewe te herbou. Die pyn was steeds daar, maar hy het bo dit uitgestyg deur aksie te neem. Sigmund Freud het gereken psigoanalise kan die onderbewussyn van pynlike herinneringe bevry. Maar sy veronderstelling was verkeerd, want goeie en slegte herinneringe bly deel van jou. Sy teorie kan verder daartoe lei dat jy aanvaar dat jou probleme deur 'n blote gesprek onderdruk kan word sonder om iets daaraan doen. Sommige mense oorwin hul hartseer vinniger as andere; terwyl andere dit ongelukkig nooit oorwin nie. Jy hoef nie een van hulle te wees nie! God het gesê: 'Ek sal hulle droefheid in vreugde verander'. God kan jou verlede herskik en nuwe betekenis gee. Hy kan jou help om met dankbaarheid terug te kyk, en dan vorentoe te beur met selfvertroue. Hoe? Deur pynlike herinneringe in kragbronne van wysheid te verander. Vra Hom net; Hy sal jou wys hoe!
Sielskos: Num 29:1-6; Matt 24; Open 11:15-19; 1 Kor 15:50-58