Revive Me #48–Go to Calvary

Revive Me, Week 48–A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Go to Calvary

I’m fighting distraction.  I’ve been focused on whatever my current responsibility has been.  When I could check off that assignment or event, my focus would move on to the next one.  Yesterday during the Lord’s Supper, I was about to put the fruit of the vine to my lips when it dawned on me that my mind had completely wandered all through the partaking of the bread.  I lifted my head as I realized I couldn’t recall one single sentence mentioned in either prayer that had just been offered.

Paul lifted up the cross as his central focus.  For him, nothing else mattered.  “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:1,2).  I can see that I need to clear away the clutter and focus on the cross:

  • It is my power source (1 Cor. 1:18).
  • It is my motivation (Gal. 2:20).
  • It reminds me of God’s love (Rom. 5:8).
  • It strengthens me against temptation (1 Pet. 2:24,25).
  • It helps me see what’s important in life (Heb. 12:1,2).

It is so easy to get pulled away.  When I wander off on my own, I need to revisit Calvary.  The purpose of the cross was to bring me to God (1 Pet. 3:18).  Jesus gave everything for me there and that should be the reason for everything I do here.

“He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Cor. 5:15).

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  Read through all the gospel accounts of the death, burial, and resurrection.
  2. See how many of the rest of the New Testament books mention the cross.
  3. Sing songs about the cross this week:  “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Lead Me to Calvary,” “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross,” etc.
  4. Share the story of the cross with someone this week.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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Revive Me #47– Give Thanks

Revive Me, Week 47–A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Give Thanks

“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”

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“Be thankful” (Col. 3:15; 4:2).  “Give thanks to Him and praise His name” (Psa. 100:4).

When?

  • In all circumstances- 1 Thess. 5:18
  • In all that you say and do- Col. 3:17
  • In every situation- Phil. 4:6
  • Always and for everything- Eph. 5:20
  • Forever- Psa. 30:12

Why?

  • For God is good and His love endures forever- 1 Chron. 16:34; Psa. 106:1
  • Because it is God’s will for you- 1 Thess. 5:18
  • For the Lord is the great God, the great King- Psa. 95:2,3
  • Because of the kingdom- Heb. 12:28
  • Because everything God created is good- 1 Tim. 4:4
  • Because of grace- 2 Cor. 4:15
  • Because of the generosity of others- 2 Cor. 9:11
  • Because it is good-Psa. 92:1
  • Because of all of the Lord’s wonderful deeds- Psa. 9:1,2
  • Because God answers- Psa. 118:21
  • Because the one who does it glorifies God- Psa. 50:23

Expressing thanks should be easy for the Christian.  We are most blessed!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, readers.  May the Lord bless you and your loved ones as you continue to live for Him.

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  Memorize Psalm 100
  2.  Send handmade cards expressing thanks for several individuals who may feel unappreciated, unnoticed, or taken for granted.
  3.  Makes sure your daily prayers overflow with thanksgiving.
  4. Create a list of specific things to be thankful for.  Post it in a prominent place and add to it daily.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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Revive Me #46–Live Victoriously

Revive Me, Week 46–A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Live Victoriously

Have you picked up any anxious vibes lately?  We went to lunch with some friends a couple of days ago and as soon as the waitress greeted us she launched into her fears about our nation.  I’ve heard other conversations swirling around me involving words like unsafe, need protection, and division.  The fear is palpable.

Fear, doubt, insecurity, anxiety, mistrust, timidity, alarm, dread…surely these are the devil’s tools.  How will we react to them?  Will we freeze up or faith up?  Will we cry out or carry on?  Will we shudder or shoulder?  God’s people are armed with His strength.  That should make us view things differently:

  • “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4).
  • “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
  • “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph. 6:10).
  • “Salvation belongs to the Lord.  Your blessing be upon Your people!” (Psa. 3:8).
  • “Stand firm in the Lord, my beloved” (Phil. 4:1).
  • “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the Lord” (Prov. 21:31).
  • “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).

Courage!  Inspiration!  Power!  Victory!  These belong to us because we belong to God.  Oh, how the world needs to see that in us.  We are not of this world (Col. 3:1,2).  Our hope rests in Christ Jesus (1 Pet. 1:3).  Our peace cannot be taken away (John 14:27).  So let us smile more, teach more, love more, and shine more.  We can do it (Phil. 4:13)!

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written,For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;  We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Rom. 8:31-39)

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  Choose a verse about power or victory to memorize.
  2.  Have a song in your heart (like “Victory in Jesus” or “Faith is the Victory”).
  3.  Don’t be driven by fear.  Pray for confidence in Christ to saturate your thinking.  This should affect your choices, temptations, speech, demeanor, and relationships.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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image credit: sparkpeople.com

 

Revive Me #45–Be a Gentlewoman

Revive Me, Week 45– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Be a Gentlewoman

Gentlemen are a pleasure to be around.  They are courteous, mannerly, noble, and honorable.   I believe all Christian men should be gentlemen.  They demonstrate sterling traits that represent Christ well.  They stand out.

God desires all Christian women to be gentlewomen.

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

1 Peter 3:3,4

“Very precious in the sight of God.”  Don’t you love that phrase?  That’s how God feels about a woman whose heart and spirit are gentle.  Do you have a gentle spirit?  Gentleness is a trait of those striving to “walk worthy of their calling” (Eph. 4:1,2).  It is demonstrated by those trying to “walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16, 22, 23).  It is an essential part of having “good behavior in Christ” (1 Pet. 3:15,16).

At the risk of sounding old-fashioned, women have a special knack for being gentle.  Even Paul compared gentleness to “a nursing mother tenderly caring for her own children” (1 Thess. 2:7).  Let’s not smother that God-given ability.  It’s beautiful.  Let’s not swallow the world’s presentation of the hard, edgy woman.  When a woman displays gentleness, it doesn’t mean she lacks strength.  We don’t think of a gentleman as being a weakling!  No, a gentle woman has the greatest strength of all–the ability to draw others to Christ by her compassion, kindness, and patience (Col. 3:12).

“Let your gentle spirit be known to all men.”

(Phil. 4:5)

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  Practice gentleness in your speech, tone, and body language.
  2.  Would your husband describe you as gentle?  Would your children?  If not, start today to make sure they see your inner beauty.
  3.  Look up “gentle” and “gentleness” in the Bible.  In what areas should we be practicing gentleness?
  4.  Smooth out any rough edges in your personality.  Be attractive.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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