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From Grace to Gratitude

Have you ever had a word from the Lord? I mean a literal word. As I was reading my Bible and several of my devotion books, the Lord kept showing me this one word. It seemed to keep popping out of the page into my face. That word was “gratitude”. And like most words I had to stop and think about what the word meant. Well, of course I know that it means being grateful or thankful. But I wanted to know more. What was it again; a feeling or expression of being thankful or appreciative. Hmmm, so being grateful …

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Jesus

  “Now that we know what we have-JESUS, this great High Priest with ready access to God-let’s not let it slip through our fingers.We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality.He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all- all but the sin.So let’s walk right up to him and get what He is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” Hebrews 4: 14-16 When I am overwhelmed with shame about my past, difficulties in my present, or fear about my future, I would love to say I always go to Jesus and pour …

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Who are we pleasing?

A thought has been in my mind for quite some time. A thought that seems to judge, but I am just as guilty. A thought about parenting, about the past, about what my spirit is teaching, and about what I am learning… a thought about truth. You see I look around and see. I see more deeply than before. I see what my past has done to me; the thoughts, the inescapable connections in my brain that have been hard wired because of a choice or a thought, whichever it may be, that occurred a long time ago. Sometimes I …

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Personal Liberty

    Freedom: Personal liberty as opposed to bondage or slavery I am so glad to be born in America. So often I wonder why I was born in a land of so many freedoms, while someone else millions of miles away was born into an area of oppression and hardship. I know things are not always easy here in the US. As one of our writers brings to light this edition, there is a terrifying and growing slave trade here that rivals any other country. There is poverty, hunger, unemployment, abuse, and many other areas that are keeping America …

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Becoming a Slave and Gaining Freedom

Freedom is, by definition, the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Slavery is, by definition, a relationship where one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty and fortune. As a teenager I had been engulfed in a life of sin. I was captivated by its lure and enticed by its stronghold. I was a slave to sin, until freedom pursued me and I began to allow God to draw me to Him. As I entered adulthood, I aspired to be happy. I longed for all the normal …

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Grace Expectations

No human will ever be able to meet our deepest needs. This is something I’ve learned over my life. We often put so much pressure on our husbands, children, friends and family to fill a void in our lives, to be a certain way, or to be who we think they should be so they can meet our needs and our expectations.  Whether we are aware we do this or if we do this unknowingly, it’s wrong. Let me say it again, no human will ever be able to meet our deepest needs. It is Jesus’ job to fill that part of our soul …

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Grace and the Good Girl

I was raised in a Christian home and became a Christian at the age of 12. I knew I loved Jesus but I did not have a full understanding of salvation. I tried very hard to live like a Christian but failed many times and still do. I tried to “be good” and by some accounts I was considered “a good girl”. I did not consider myself to be good enough so I tried to be perfect! I am not sure how I came to put this upon myself but for some reason I believed that I had to be …

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Sufficient Grace

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. Romans 12: 4-5 Grace is defined by Merriam-Webster as a way of moving that is smooth and attractive, a way that is not stiff or awkward. Grace is the strength beyond your physical limitations to do what only you were created to do. It is given to us individually to bring …

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The Resurrected King

The Lamb of God was dead.  He had been sacrificed as prophesied by Old Testament prophets. Everything seemed lost to the followers of Jesus.  The disciples were scattered for fear the Romans would be coming after them.  They were hidden from sight.  The Messiah, the one they had followed and loved for three years was dead. Their understanding of what had just happened was null.  Depression, fear, overwhelming despair, angry at themselves for not standing by Jesus were thoughts and feelings they now experienced.  What would they do now? Where would they go? Would they be executed as Jesus had …

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God’s Plan for Redemption

God wrote His story before creation came into being even before He created the heavens and the earth. Because God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent He sees all, knows all, is everywhere at the same time and so powerful He can speak a word and it will be so. Because of who He is, God had a detailed plan to bring about the redemption of fallen man even before Adam and Eve were created and sinned in the Garden of Eden. It was God who planned to bring salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son.  He determined the …

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The Day of Atonement

John 1: 29  “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” The Old Testament gives vivid, detailed instructions about the offering of a sacrifice in atonement for sin.  Since Jesus was the sacrifice for your sins and mine, we do not offer blood sacrifices on this side of the cross.  And because our culture is so different from God’s people in the Old Testament, we often do not fully understand the significance of its meaning. Because sin had entered the world through Adam and Eve, man could no longer come into the presences of Holy …

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Psalms and The Prophets

    Luke 24: 25-27 “Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!  Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”  And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Throughout the Old Testament and especially from Psalm to Malachi, God gave His people specific words to speak and write in prophecy of the coming Messiah. He would remind them of His covenant promise of salvation to come through the …