Comfort My People

2 Corinthians 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Reassure – Console – Encourage – Relieve – Ease – Comfort. Praise be to our Father of compassion.  Praise be to our God – the God of all comfort.  He comforts us . . . through his Comforter sent to come along side us, be with us, never leave us and in fact – indwell us.  He comforts as no one else can.  But sometimes that’s just what we say when no one else will.  His word says he comforts us so that we can comfort others.

You may ask what it is you have to offer, and honestly I have no idea. But what I’m certain of is that we’ve all been comforted in one way or another.  However, he’s comforted you and me – that’s the comfort we have to offer others.

Have you grieved and been comforted? That’s what you have to offer.

Have you had an addiction and been delivered? That’s the comfort you have to offer.

Have you prayed for something, believed you would receive it and then in fact received it? That’s the comfort you have to offer.

Have you been down and someone simply said, “I love you” or gave you a hug and it uplifted your day? That’s the comfort you have to offer.

Praise be to God that he’s comforted us in so many ways. Today, let’s try to comfort someone else with the same comfort we have received.

©2009, Jessica Lynn Sifuentes Devotionals or Something Like it, “Comfort My People”

photo courtesy of turnbacktogod.com

A Real Kind of Father – My Protector and Provider

Provider

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Protector/Shield

Jeremiah 20:11 But the LORD is with me like a dread champion; Therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will be utterly ashamed, because they have failed, With an everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten.

Just a note:  Josh McDowell has a teaching series for youth in which he challenges them (and adults as you’re teaching it) to Count on God’s Protection and Provision after you have stood for what is right or made a right choice even though it doesn’t make you very popular, etc.  The idea is that we should not be deceived into believing that because we trust in God we’re all of a sudden going to be transported to never-never land and spend all day figuring out what our “happy” thoughts are.  Rather we will go through trials, heartache, pain, etc.  But through it all, God has promised us never to leave us or forsake us.  We can be confident of his protection and provision – we just have to know enough about Him to not expect it to be NECESSARILY what we expect it to be.  Look for His movement in all situations. He is there.

(c)2005, Jessica Sifuentes, The Heart of the Matter Ministries, “A Real Kind of Father.”

I am Loved by God!

Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love.  Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.  Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel. 
(Jeremiah 31:3-4)

This will be an everlasting love.  Do you remember that song?  I do.  But that song was about love between a man and woman.  And, I am by all means a diehard romantic, so I very much loved that song.  But in my life, that’s not been true in the sense that the songwriter meant.  People leave because of death, separation, divorce or sometimes for no reason at all.

But once I became the Lord’s, I found a true everlasting love.  I found a love that no one can take from me, not even – and especially not – death.  I found a love that is unmatched because it never fails.  I was pursued by the one true God and it pleased him, out of his love and kindness, to make me a permanent part of his family.  I have heard of an adopted child being taken back, but this is one adoption that is final by all accounts.  (Have you read in the word lately about how secure this family membership is?)  My Father has absolutely no intentions of sending me back to the life I once knew.

Do you know how much you are loved?  I hope so, because He does love you!.

Have a blessed day.  Love – Jessica

 

©2006, The Heart of the Matter Ministries, “I am Somebody”

The One-Time Payment – His Death for My Sin – Paid in Full

1 Peter 3:18 Christ also suffered when he died for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners that he might bring us safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit. (NLT)

 

Jesus died – once, for all times, so that He might bring us to God.  Jesus himself has said, I am the way, the truth and the life.  No man comes to the father except through me.  He is the great mediator between God and man, according to the Scripture.  He was crucified, but He rose and He lives.  His Father desires a relationship with us, simply because it pleases Him to be in relationship with us.  There’s not a sane human alive who doesn’t want to be loved and accepted, and maybe what’s wrong with some of the insane ones is they needed to be loved and accepted.  God loves us.  He invites us to be a part of his family and when we accept, we are indeed an eternal member of His family forever:

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Have a wonderful weekend. Love – Jessica

I am Loved By God! ©2006, The Heart of the Matter Ministries, “I am Somebody”

 

Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love.  Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.  Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel.  (Jeremiah 31:3-4)

 

This will be an everlasting love.  Do you remember that song?  I do.  But that song was about love between a man and woman.  And, I am by all means a diehard romantic, so I very much loved that song.  But in my life, that’s not been true in the sense that the songwriter meant.  People leave because of death, separation or divorce.

 

But once I became the Lord’s, I found a true everlasting love.  I found a love that no one can take from me, not even – and especially not – death.  I found a love that is unmatched because it never fails.  I was pursued by the one true God and it pleased him, out of his love and kindness, to make me a permanent part of his family.  I have heard of an adopted child being taken back, but this is one adoption that is final by all accounts.  (Have you read in the word lately about how secure this family membership is?)  My Father has absolutely no intentions of sending me back to the life I once knew.

 

Do you know how much you are loved?  I hope so, because He does love you!.

 

Have a blessed day.  Love – Jessica

 

 

Strength From the Savior!      

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I can do ALL thing through Christ.  He is the one who strengthens me.  In fact, He is my strength.  Do a quick spiritual inventory.  Where is it that you feel that you’re failing?  What areas of your life have you tried to take control of to no end?  What situation are you trying to figure out how to handle?

My Bible says apart from Him we can do nothing.  That doesn’t mean we’re helpless.  That doesn’t mean that we don’t have a part.  But we have to realize that ALL of our help comes from the Lord.  It’s a process to learn this, unless you’ve been at it a while – then it’s second nature.  But you can always start where you are, taking a closer walk with Him.  His strength is perfect when I’m weak.

(photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)

Victory Through Uncommon Means

Mark 8:22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” 24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” 25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t go into the village.”

 

I almost called this reflection, “A Little Spit’ll Do You Good Sometimes.”  I thought that was pretty cute and a real eye-catcher.  Then I decided against it.  Still think it’s a good title, though; but I’m a self-made part-time comedian.  I’mma keep my day job though! J

 

Sometimes victory comes through the most uncommon means.  What would you have done if Jesus wanted to use spit to heal you?  What would you think?  Would you be repulsed?  Would you get sidetracked by trying to explain, “Well, it wasn’t the spit, it was the fact that He laid His hands on me.”  Would you feel compelled to explain away the spit?  Do you think that it was because this man was blind that he didn’t find the action repulsive?  Or, do you think even if the man had known, he would have let Jesus continue?

 

Would you rather have been the man born blind from birth (John 9)?  You know, the one that Jesus used spit and mud on?  At least he got to the pool and wash it off.  And in that case, how did the man get healed?  Was it the spit, the fact that Jesus spoke, the mud or the pool?

 

The truth is I don’t know which came first in this case, the chicken or the egg.  I don’t know if it was the spit or the fact that He laid his hands on the man.  What I do know is that the blind man regained sight, through uncommon means.  I do know Jesus healed the man.  And I also know that sometimes we Christians can reject the means in which God wants to bring about healing and victory in our lives.  Mixed with faith, victory does come through some very uncommon means!

 

We look for and seek the common method.  This story makes me personally give that tendency a second thought.  What about you?

 

(photo is from Victory Outreach Whittier website.  No other credit was given for photo.  Lessons from Life is not affiliated with the website.)

Victory – Just a Memory Away

Mark 8:14 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” 16 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.” 17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied. 20 “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.” 21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

Sometimes we’re just like the disciples.  Sometimes all we need to do is remember what He’s already done and remember He hasn’t all of a sudden become powerless because of our circumstances.  Victory is sometimes just a memory away – memories of what he did yesterday, last year, last week, throughout your life.  Think back on the things He’s done, then remember He’s got your present and your future securely in His hands.  That’s victory!

(Image is courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net – Photo by markuso)

Lessons From the Word of God – Encouragement Through What is Unseen!

Photo by Stuart Miles. Published on 12 September 2014

2 Corinthians 4:10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

After checking our “hope” box if we find that we are short on hope, or seemingly totally out of hope, we have some help from the Lord.  We are to un-fix our eyes from things that we see.  We may be looking too intently at the trial, problem, situation.  Mediate, concentrate and dwell in those things that are not seen – our eternal glory and the eternal glory of our Father.  Look to his word and remember that we are being renewed day-by-day.  Look to his word and remember that we can rejoice because he’s overcome the world.  Look to his word and remember that if he is for us who (or what) can be against us.  Look to his word and remember that no weapon formed against us will prosper.  Look to his word and remember that it is in him that we live and move and have our being.  Be encouraged today my brothers and sisters! (©2010, The Believer’s Encouragement)