Sunday, August 26, 2012

Always a Favorite...

James 1:5-8If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

Okay- Lily, James is one of my all-time favorite books of the Bible.  It is also your Baba's favorite, as well.  It is chocked full of wisdom that is so easy to understand.  So, spend a lot of time reading James over and over again during your life.  I will try to highlight some tidbits here and there while we study it this time- but I could never do it justice.  There is just too much to tell you about.  So, read it over...and over...and over.  Promise will impact your Godly life!

Everywhere, Among Everyone!

Acts 10:34-36

The Message (MSG)
 34-36Peter fairly exploded with his good news: "It's God's own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you're from—if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open. The Message he sent to the children of Israel—that through Jesus Christ everything is being put together again—well, he's doing it everywhere, among everyone.

God's Plan

Proverbs 19:21

The Message (MSG)

 21 We humans keep brainstorming options and plans,
   but God's purpose prevails.

No matter what we plan or do, it is so wonderful to know that in the end, His plan will prevail.  

Something to ponder...

John 21:25

The Message (MSG)
 25There are so many other things Jesus did. If they were all written down, each of them, one by one, I can't imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books.

Amazing, isn't it!

The World's Terms

John 15:18-19

The Message (MSG)
Hated by the World
18-19"If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. If you lived on the world's terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God's terms and no longer on the world's terms, the world is going to hate you.

It is a simple truth, and you will feel this many times throughout your life when you stick up for God and his ways within your life.  Just remember that when you do what He wants- He is so proud of you and His love is way stronger and more powerful than anything this world could ever bring your way. 

Nana Claire's Favorite

John 14:1-4

The Message (MSG)

John 14

The Road
 1-4 "Don't let this throw you. You trust God, don't you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father's home. If that weren't so, would I have told you that I'm on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I'm on my way to get your room ready, I'll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I'm taking."

Nana Claire used to read the passage every night.  Her Mom also loved it, and I believe it was a passage that had passed along as a favorite in her family for years.  Every time I read it, I am reminded of the how much she loved me and how much she loved you.  She knew you were coming, and she longed to be your grandmother.  It just wasn't meant for you to meet her here, but she is waiting to meet you someday in Heaven.  

Simply Be Yourself

Matthew 23:11-12

The Message (MSG)
 11-12"Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you'll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you're content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.

Lily-  Always be a servant.  Serving God and others in His name is the best way to spend your days on this earth.

Two Cents

Mark 12:6

The Message (MSG)
 6"Finally there was only one left: a beloved son. In a last-ditch effort, he sent him, thinking, 'Surely they will respect my son.'

Mark 12:41-44

The Message (MSG)
 41-44Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, "The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they'll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn't afford—she gave her all."

Be a Child of Light

John 12:35-36

The Message (MSG)
 35-36Jesus said, "For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn't destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don't know where you're going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You'll be children of light."

Embrace this God-Life

Simply beautiful...

Mark 11:22-25

The Message (MSG)
 22-25Jesus was matter-of-fact: "Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, 'Go jump in the lake'—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it's as good as done. That's why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you'll get God's everything. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it's not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins."

More Than You Dreamed Of

Luke 19:24-26

The Message (MSG)

26"He said, 'That's what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag.

Make it your prayer Lily to always risk anything and everything for God- doing whatever He asks you to do.

Triumph over Huge Obstacles

Matthew 21:18-46

The Message (MSG)
The Withered Fig Tree
 18-20Early the next morning Jesus was returning to the city. He was hungry. Seeing a lone fig tree alongside the road, he approached it anticipating a breakfast of figs. When he got to the tree, there was nothing but fig leaves. He said, "No more figs from this tree—ever!" The fig tree withered on the spot, a dry stick. The disciples saw it happen. They rubbed their eyes, saying, "Did we really see this? A leafy tree one minute, a dry stick the next?"  21-22But Jesus was matter-of-fact: "Yes—and if you embrace this kingdom life and don't doubt God, you'll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. This mountain, for instance, you'll tell, 'Go jump in the lake,' and it will jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God."
True Authority
 23Then he was back in the Temple, teaching. The high priests and leaders of the people came up and demanded, "Show us your credentials. Who authorized you to teach here?"  24-25Jesus responded, "First let me ask you a question. You answer my question and I'll answer yours. About the baptism of John—who authorized it: heaven or humans?"
 25-27They were on the spot and knew it. They pulled back into a huddle and whispered, "If we say 'heaven,' he'll ask us why we didn't believe him; if we say 'humans,' we're up against it with the people because they all hold John up as a prophet." They decided to concede that round to Jesus. "We don't know," they answered.
   Jesus said, "Then neither will I answer your question.
The Story of Two Sons
 28"Tell me what you think of this story: A man had two sons. He went up to the first and said, 'Son, go out for the day and work in the vineyard.'  29"The son answered, 'I don't want to.' Later on he thought better of it and went.
 30"The father gave the same command to the second son. He answered, 'Sure, glad to.' But he never went.
 31-32"Which of the two sons did what the father asked?"
   They said, "The first."
   Jesus said, "Yes, and I tell you that crooks and whores are going to precede you into God's kingdom. John came to you showing you the right road. You turned up your noses at him, but the crooks and whores believed him. Even when you saw their changed lives, you didn't care enough to change and believe him.
The Story of the Greedy Farmhands
 33-34"Here's another story. Listen closely. There was once a man, a wealthy farmer, who planted a vineyard. He fenced it, dug a winepress, put up a watchtower, then turned it over to the farmhands and went off on a trip. When it was time to harvest the grapes, he sent his servants back to collect his profits.  35-37"The farmhands grabbed the first servant and beat him up. The next one they murdered. They threw stones at the third but he got away. The owner tried again, sending more servants. They got the same treatment. The owner was at the end of his rope. He decided to send his son. 'Surely,' he thought, 'they will respect my son.'
 38-39"But when the farmhands saw the son arrive, they rubbed their hands in greed. 'This is the heir! Let's kill him and have it all for ourselves.' They grabbed him, threw him out, and killed him.
 40"Now, when the owner of the vineyard arrives home from his trip, what do you think he will do to the farmhands?"
 41"He'll kill them—a rotten bunch, and good riddance," they answered. "Then he'll assign the vineyard to farmhands who will hand over the profits when it's time."
 42-44Jesus said, "Right—and you can read it for yourselves in your Bibles:

   The stone the masons threw out
      is now the cornerstone.
   This is God's work;
      we rub our eyes, we can hardly believe it!
"This is the way it is with you. God's kingdom will be taken back from you and handed over to a people who will live out a kingdom life. Whoever stumbles on this Stone gets shattered; whoever the Stone falls on gets smashed."
 45-46When the religious leaders heard this story, they knew it was aimed at them. They wanted to arrest Jesus and put him in jail, but, intimidated by public opinion, they held back. Most people held him to be a prophet of God.

No One Should Desecrate His Art

You have been asking a lot of questions lately about divorce.  You have a lot of friends in your life who have parents who are divorced, so you have really wanted to know what the Bible says about this.  We read this just the other day with you.  You went on to tell someone else what God says about marriage.  You told them that God joined them together and they are no longer two bodies but one.  Yes, as usual, you were listening...taking it all in.  

Matthew 19:4-6

The Message (MSG)
 4-6He answered, "Haven't you read in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh—no longer two bodies but one. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart."

Be Content to Be You

 Luke 18:14

The Message (MSG)
 14Jesus commented, "This tax man, not the other, went home made right with God. If you walk around with your nose in the air, you're going to end up flat on your face, but if you're content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself."

Be content to be the YOU that God made YOU to be!

No One to Blame

John 9:3-5

The Message (MSG)
3-5Jesus said, "You're asking the wrong question. You're looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world's Light."

Lily- always be energetically at work for God.  He placed you here for His purpose and His amazing timing!  Your place in His mighty plan is BIG!