Self Worth And Self Esteem

 

“Our identity in Christ is part of accepting His gift of eternal life through faith.”

Often we put our self-worth in the type of clothes that we wear, the type of car that we drive, our accomplishments, our financial status, our relationship status, our talents, our appearance, etc. If you do this you will end up feeling broken and depressed. You will feel like you’re in shackles until you realise that Christ has set you free. Yes Christ has saved us from sin, but He has also saved us from the brokenness of having the world’s mindset.

Don’t let sin take away your joy. Don’t let the world take away your joy. The world will not take away your joy if your joy doesn’t come from the world. Allow it to come from the perfect merit of Christ.

Christ is the answer to all self-worth issues that may arise in your life. You are more to God than you can ever imagine!

Quotes

  • “Not one drop of my self-worth depends on your acceptance of me.”
  • “If you find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth to someone, you have already forgotten your value.”
  • “Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”
  • “Make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you. Know your worth even if they don’t.”
  • “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

God created man in His own image. 

As a result of the fall we are all broken. God’s image has been perverted by sin. Through the first Adam the image of God was tarnished. Through the second Adam Jesus Christ believers have been redeemed. Adam’s disobedience resulted in brokenness. Christ’s perfection results in restoration. The gospel reveals your value. You are to die for! Christ bore our sins on the cross.

Though we struggle at times due to the effects of the fall. Through Christ we are being renewed daily. We were once a people plagued by that broken image, but through Christ we are being transformed to the perfect image of our Creator. For those struggling with self-esteem we must pray for the Lord to continue to conform us into His image. This takes our focus off of self and puts it on the Lord. We were made for God not the world.

The world says we need this, we need this, we need this. No! We were made for Him, we were made in His image, and we were made for His will. We have a purpose. We are fearfully and wonderfully made! It’s amazing that we get to be image bearers of a glorious God! The world teaches that we need to work on ourselves and that is the problem. How can the problem be the solution?

We don’t have the answers and all of these man made solutions are temporary, but the Lord is eternal! It’s either you create a temporary identity for yourself or you can choose the everlasting identity for yourself that is found and secure in Christ.

1. Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

2. Romans 5:11-12 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have now received this reconciliation through Him. Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned.

3. 2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

4. Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

5. Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

You’re so loved and beautiful beyond imagination!

The world will never comprehend. Even you will never comprehend the great love that God has for you! That is why we must look to Him. You are not in the world for nothing. Your life is not meaningless. Before creation God created you for Himself. He wants you to experience His love, He wants to spend time with you, He wants to tell you the special things of His heart. He never intended for you to look for confidence in yourself.

God says, “I’m going to be your confidence.” It is important on our walk of faith that we get alone with God so we can allow God to work in us and through us. Before the world was created God looked forward to you. He anticipated to have time with you and to reveal Himself to you. He waited in anticipation!

The Bible tells us that God’s heart beats faster and faster for you. Christians are the bride of Christ. Christ is the bridegroom. On a bridegroom’s wedding night all it takes is one look at his bride and his heart beats faster and faster for the love of his life.

Now imagine the love of Christ! Our love grows dull, but the love of Christ never wavers.

Before creation the Lord had many plans for you. He wanted to share His love with you so you would love Him more, He wanted to remove your doubts, your feelings of worthlessness, your feelings of hopelessness, and more. We have to get alone with God!

We struggle with so many things, but the one thing we need we neglect! 

We choose things that never wanted us, that want to alter us, and that never satisfy us over a God who died to be with us! We choose them over a God that says you are wonderfully made. Before the world looked at you and said you are not good enough God said I want him/her. He/she is going to be my treasure.

6. Ephesians 1:4-6 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will–to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

7. 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

8. Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9. John 15:15-16 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

10. Song of Solomon 4:9 “You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride; You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes, With a single strand of your necklace.”

You don’t need to prove to anyone how valuable you are.

The cross speaks louder than your words, your doubts, your accomplishments, and your possessions. The Creator of the Universe died for you on the cross! Jesus shed His blood. Don’t you understand that the simple fact that you are alive right now shows that He knows you and He loves you? God has not forsaken you. He hears you! You feel forsaken, but on the cross Jesus felt forsaken. He has been in your position and He knows how to comfort you.

You are not your past mistakes, you are not your past sins. You have been redeemed by the blood. Keep on pressing on. God is working through your struggles. He knows! God knew you and I were going to be messy. God isn’t frustrated with you so take that out of your head. God hasn’t abandoned you. God’s love is not based on your performance. God’s mercy is not dependent on you. Christ has become our righteousness. He did what you and I could never do.

You were bought with the precious blood of Christ. Not only has God chosen you, not only has God saved you, but God is working in your struggles to make you more like Christ. Don’t let things like sin discourage you. You were bought with the blood of Christ. Now press on. Keep on fighting! Don’t give up. Go to the Lord, confess your sins, and press on! God is not done working yet! If you could have saved yourself by your performance, then you would have never needed a Savior! Jesus is our only claim.

He thought about you when He died on the cross! He saw you living in sin and He said I want him. “I’m dying for him!” You must be so valuable that the Creator would come down from His throne, live the life you couldn’t live, suffer for you, die for you, and rise again for you. He was forsaken so you could be forgiven. Even if you tried to run away from Him you would never be able to get away from Him!

His love would catch you, cover you, and bring you back! His love is going to keep you to the end. He sees every tear, He knows your name, He knows the number of hairs on your head, He knows your faults, He knows every detail about you. Hold on to Christ.

11. 1 Corinthians 6:20 You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

12. Romans 8:32-35 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

13. Luke 12:7 In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

14. Isaiah 43:1 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

15. Isaiah 43:4 Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.

This world teaches us to focus on self and that is the problem.

It’s all about self-help. Even in Christian bookstores you will find popular books titled “5 Steps For The New You!” We can’t fix ourselves. Until you realize you were not created for yourself you will always struggle with self-esteem issues. The world doesn’t revolve around me. It’s all about Him!

Rather than looking to the world to patch up spiritual wounds which it can never do, we should look to God to change our heart. When you take the focus off of self and put all of your focus on Christ you will be so consumed in His love. You will be so busy in loving Him that you will lose the doubt and the feeling of rejection.

You will genuinely love yourself. We always tell people to trust in the Lord, but we forget to tell people that it’s hard to trust in Him when we are not focused on Him. We need to work on our humility. Make that your goal. Think less of yourself and think more of Him.

16. Romans 12:3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

17. Philippians 2:3  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

18. Isaiah 61:3 To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

The world has us comparing ourselves to each other.

This is hurting us. We are not to be like the world. We are to be like Christ. Everyone wants to be like someone. The person who you compare yourself to is comparing himself/herself to someone else. It’s meaningless and it will make you weary. It’s time to say enough is enough.

When you compare yourself to the world you allow Satan to plant seeds of doubt, insecurity, rejection, loneliness, etc. Nothing in this world will satisfy. Find satisfaction and joy in Christ which remains forever. You can’t try to substitute the joy found in Christ. All other joy is only temporary.

19. Ecclesiastes 4:4 Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbours. But this, too, is meaningless–like chasing the wind.

20. Philippians 4:12-13 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things  through Him who strengthens me.

21. 2 Corinthians 10:12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

Setbacks bring down our self-esteem.

Throughout life we make expectations for ourselves. I do it all the time in my mind. I expect to accomplish this at this time. I expect this to be a certain way. I don’t expect setbacks or roadblocks, but sometimes we need a reality check. We are not to trust in our expectations. We are to trust in the Lord because when our expectations prove to be unfaithful we know that the Lord is faithful. We trust our future with our Almighty Father.

Proverbs 3 tells us to not trust in our thoughts. Expectations are dangerous because once you don’t meet your expectations you start to struggle in different areas. You start to struggle with your identity in Christ. You become disappointed in who you are. You start to lose the love of God. “God doesn’t care about me. He doesn’t hear my prayers. I am not fit to do this.”

Maybe you struggle with self-esteem and self-worth because you have encountered a few setbacks. I’ve been there before so I know how it feels. Satan starts spreading lies. “You’re worthless, God has too much to worry about, you’re not one of His special people, you’re not smart enough.”

We have to understand. We don’t need a title. We don’t need to be big and be well known. God loves us! Sometimes setbacks are because the love of God is so great. He is working in broken people and He is making diamonds out of us. Don’t trust in your setbacks. Allow God to work everything out. You can trust in Him. Pray for more joy in Him.

22. Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

23. Isaiah 43:18-19 Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.

24. Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Read Psalms

One thing about my church that I love is that church members take turns reading different chapters in Psalms. Whatever you are struggling with whether it is self-worth, anxiety, fear, etc. take the time to read different Psalms especially Psalm 34. I love that chapter. Psalms will help you with putting your confidence back in the Lord instead of yourself. God hears you! Trust Him even when you see no changes in your situation.

25. Psalm 34:3-7 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

We all struggle with self-worth to some degree. However, the more we learn to take the focus off of self and put it on Christ, the more we realize where our true identity lies. God’s love is so profound it’s difficult to understand. Leonard Ravenhill once said, “it’s not about how much you have to give to Him. It’s about how much He has to give to you.”

God bless!

 —————————————-

**By Fritz Chery at Bible Reasons / Picture by Amine M’Siouri at pexels

Prayer – Speaking To God

Fellowship With God

COMMUNICATION WITH GOD is a two-way matter. We hear God speaking to us through His Word first. And then we speak to Him. But prayer is not just making requests to God. A primary part of prayer should be having fellowship with God, like a bride with her bridegroom. There are no rules on how a bride should speak to her bridegroom.

But as a discipline, it’s good for our prayers to consist of: (i) praise to our Father for Who He is; (ii) confession of sin and failure; (iii) petitions concerning the kingdom of God; (iv) petitions concerning our own needs; (v) intercession for the needs of others; (vi) thanksgiving for what God has done; and (vii) thanksgiving for what God will do. Jesus told us to “pray at all times” (Lk. 18:1).

A Good Habit
A good habit to develop is to learn to speak to God about the little things of daily life – and thus to be in a spirit of prayer throughout the day. Thus, speaking to God will become a joy for us and not a ritual. We’ll also find that God speaks to us in our hearts in surprising ways.But these are just the kindergarten-lessons in the school of prayer. We can progress further if we are faithful. In any case, prayer should never be allowed to degenerate into a dry, empty ritual. Prayer is like breathing. When our breathing becomes difficult for us, then we know that something is wrong! Prayer was never meant by God to be dry or boring.

But as we progress, we will find that prayer becomes hard work. If we are faithful with the little burdens God lays on our heart to pray about, we’ll find that God gives us more and more of His burdens. Thus we can become co-workers with God, in His work of blessing others. Jesus prayed `with loud crying and tears’ (Heb. 5:7). Once when He prayed in Gethsemane, His sweat became like great drops of blood (Lk. 22:44). His praying was so intense. Once He spent a whole night in prayer (Lk. 6:12). He had a habit of slipping off frequently into the wilderness to pray (Lk. 5:16). As someone has said “Like tourists look for sights to see, whenever they come to a new place, Jesus always looked for a quiet place to pray wherever He went.”

Fight The Battle
Jesus’ example shows us how important prayer is. If He needed to pray so much, how much more you and I need to. Fight the battle against laziness then, and determine to be a man/woman of prayer at any cost.

New Covenant Church
The primary mark of a new-covenant church is that God is present in its midst. When the church comes together, and everyone prophesies under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, those who come to the meeting should be convicted of their sins and acknowledge that God is present in the meeting (1 Cor.14:24,25).

————————————————————–

**By Zac Poonen © Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. https://www.cfcindia.com/ 

Photo by  chepté cormani  at pexels

Comparison Is The Thief of Joy

 

One of the fastest ways of discouraging yourself and getting trapped by the sin of envy is when you compare yourself to others. God has a specific plan for you and you won’t accomplish that plan by looking at others. 

Count your blessings and not the blessings of someone else. Let God control your life and give Satan no opportunity to discourage you from the purpose God has for you. Know that all you need is Christ. Set your mind at peace by focusing on the Lord.

This is another way to build unity, by not looking to see if I’m better than the next person, spiritually, intellectually or with anything else the Lord has blessed me with.

“Don’t compare yourself to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.”

“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”

What does the Bible say? Bible verses to Help in Comparing yourselves to others:

Galatians 6:4-5 Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others.  Assume your own responsibility.

2 Corinthians 10:12 We wouldn’t put ourselves in the same class with or compare ourselves to those who are bold enough to make their own recommendations. Certainly, when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves, they show how foolish they are.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.  That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

All it does is lead to envy

James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

1 Corinthians 3:3 For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

Set apart from the world

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

“1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

We don’t live for people

Philippians 2:3 Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves.

Galatians 1:10 Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.

Isaiah 2:22 Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?

Give God your all

Mark 12:30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind and with all your strength.’

Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Be content

1 Timothy 6:6-8 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

Psalm 23:1 A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.

Be grateful in all situations.

1 Thessalonians 5:18  Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this.

Psalm 136:1-2 Give thanks to the Lord because he is good, because his mercy endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods because his mercy endures forever.

Compare yourself to Christ instead so you can be more like Him. 

2 Corinthians 10:17 As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.”

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

That way you can live out God’s will for your life.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Psalm 138:8 The LORD will work out his plans for my life–for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.

Advice

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realise this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Reminder

Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

 

———————————————–

 

By Fritz Chery at Bible Reasons / Picture Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels

Unifying the Body of Christ

Sermon by Zac Poonen “Christlike Freedom from Racism and Partiality”

Unifying the Body of ChristDivided we fall, United we stand

If we say we love God but hate any of our brothers or sisters in His family, we are liars. If we don’t love someone we have seen, how can we love God, whom we have never seen?” 1 John 4:20.

The Bible tells us to bear with one another in love, knitted together as a local body, accepting and respecting each other’s differences; be it colour, nationality, language or gender. We’re to put aside our racial, cultural or societal differences, and to die to ‘self’ in order to maintain unity within the brethren. As the Bible states in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” As Christians we are all called to conform to the likeness of Christ, and not one particular group or culture. We are all equal and loved by the same almighty God who sent His beloved Son Jesus to die for us all. The only thing we’re not to compromise on is God’s Word, His instruction manual on how we’re to live; and the Lord requires the whole gospel to be preached, without exception or apology.

The almighty sovereign God didn’t make a mistake when He placed us in a particular local body; He placed us there so we can serve, build, love and unify as one body in Christ, putting aside all differences in order to build unity and the spirit of faith in the church. Let us not justify why we cannot accept someone who is different than ourselves. Let us search our own hearts and ask the Lord to cleanse us from any partiality, deep rooted behaviours, patterns, prejudices that leave us so slowly. If we confess our sins, the Lord is faithful to forgive us. We can ask Him to help change us, with the help and power of the Holy Spirit. How can we learn unconditional love, if we’re around people who meet all our conditions?

Here are some Bible verses that can help build unity in the Church:

  • Ephesians 4:2-3, “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”
  • John 12:24, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.”
  • In Romans 12:16, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly, Never be wise in your own sight.”
  • 1 Corinthians 4:7, “What is so special about you? What do you have that you were not given? And if it was given to you, how can you brag?”
  • Philippians 2:2-4, “Then make me truly happy by loving each other and agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, working together with one heart and mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing.”

So then, let us love one another, for when we love one another all will know we’re His disciples. – John 13:35


Article by Lori McPherson / Picture by Pixabay at Pexels

 

An Admiring Son

Artwork Susanna Wesley with Five Children by Richard Gilmore Douglas

AN ADMIRING SON

Susanna’s devotion to her faith and her family clearly shaped her son John Wesley’s character and had an impact on countless lives.
Few mums know what it’s like to raise 10 children like Susanna Wesley. Her son John, the founder of the Methodist movement, published a letter in which his mum shared her “principal rules” for parenting, covering things big and small.
Because our understandings of child development have changed greatly in the nearly 300 years since Susanna was raising her kids, we might not agree with all of her advice. But some still rings true today.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
Devotions –“The children of this family were taught, as soon as they could speak, the Lord’s prayer, which they were made to say at rising and bedtime constantly,” Susanna reminded her son.
Worship and Music – When the Wesley children were a little older, the day began with reading or singing a psalm, reading an Old Testament chapter, and saying private prayers — all before breakfast. At the end of the school day, they paired up to read a psalm and a New Testament chapter.
Sabbath – Sundays were special in the Wesley house. The children “were very early made to distinguish the sabbath from other days,” Susanna wrote. Even when the kids were very young, they were expected to participate in the family prayers, “which they used to do by signs before they would kneel or speak.”

EDUCATION
Focus – In the Wesley household, nine to noon and two to five were reserved for the children’s education, a top priority for Susanna. “It is almost incredible what a child may be taught in a quarter of a year, by a vigorous application,” she remembered.
No goofing off – Susanna expected the children’s full attention during the education hours. “Rising out of their places, or going out of the room, was not permitted unless for good cause, and running into the yard, garden or street, without leave, was always esteemed a capital offence.” I imagine Susanna smiling as she wrote that last line to her now grown son.
Reading – Each child was taught to read at age 5, both the boys and the girls. Susanna noted, “[P]utting children to learn sewing before they can read perfectly is the very reason why so few women can read fit to be heard, and never to be well understood.” She would not allow that for her daughters or sons.

ORDER AND DISCIPLINE
Routine – The Wesley house ran on a tight schedule. “The children were always put into a regular method of living,” she wrote. Times were assigned for naps, education, meals, and bedtime.
Self-regulation – Susanna was convinced that “self-will is the root of all sin and misery,” and worked to help her children develop self-control.
Positive reinforcement – Susanna believed, “That every signal [sic] act of obedience…should always be commended and frequently rewarded.” When the thought is there, but the execution lacking, Susanna adds that parents should then “sweetly” direct the child on “how to do better for the future.”
Discipline – When needed, Susanna strived to discipline appropriately. “Some [infractions] should be overlooked and taken no notice of, and others mildly reproved,” she wrote, “but no willful transgression ought ever to be forgiven children without chastisement, less or more, as the nature and circumstances of the offence require.”
Forgiveness – Susanna taught that a child should never be punished for the same offense twice, and “that if they amended they should never be upbraided with it afterwards.”
Peace – The child-filled Wesley household was not chaotic. “The family usually lived in as much quietness as if there had not been a child among them,” Susanna remembers.

SLEEP
Bedtime – After dinner at 6, the process of getting the children ready for bed began at 7 p.m. with the youngest child. All children were in bed by 8 p.m., whether they were ready for sleep or not. “[T]here was no such thing allowed of in our house as sitting by a child till it fell asleep,” she wrote.
Naps – As infants, the children napped on a schedule. “This was done to bring them to a regular course of sleeping,” Susanna reasoned.

MEALS AND DINING
Dining – Mealtime was family time. When the children were young, “At dinner their little table and chairs were set by ours,” Susanna recalls, near enough to be supervised. Children graduated to the dining room table, “As soon as they could handle a knife and fork.”
No snacking – “Drinking or eating between meals was never allowed,” Susanna shares, “unless in case of sickness which seldom happened.”
Choosing meals – The children were expected to eat what was served. “They were never suffered [permitted] to choose their meat, but always made to eat such things as were provided by the family,” Susanna wrote.
Medicine – “They were so constantly used to eat and drink what was given them,” she remembers, “that when any of them was ill there was no difficulty in making them take the most unpleasant medicine.”

MANNERS
Polite speech – Susanna expected her children to be polite. If they wanted something they were to ask, and were given “nothing they cried for, and instructed to speak handsomely for what they wanted.”
No lying – Susanna believed that children were tempted to lie when they feared punishment. “To prevent this,” she reasoned, “a law was made that whoever was charged with a fault, of which they were guilty, if they would ingenuously confess it, and promise to amend,” they would not be punished.
Respect for property – The Wesley children were taught to keep their hands off of another’s stuff, even “in the smallest matter, though it were but of the value of a farthing [1/4 of a penny], or a pin; which they might not take from the owner without, much less Money against his consent.”
John Wesley shared this advice from his mom in his published Journal as he reflected on her death. The entry is dated August 1st, 1742, the day of her funeral. He hoped it would help others caring for “a numerous family.”

*Susanna Wesley gave birth to 19 children (including two sets of twins). Unfortunately, nine died in infancy or soon after.

The Breaking of Bread Covenant


When Jesus instituted the ‘breaking of bread’, He used a word that He never used before – the word ‘covenant’. A proper understanding of this word is essential if we are to partake in the Lord’s table meaningfully.

A Covenant Relationship with God

The first mention of the word ‘covenant’ is found in Genesis 6:18, where God promises to establish a covenant with Noah (Genesis 9:9, 11). God had judged the whole world because of man’s sin and now He made a covenant with Noah that He would never again judge the world with a flood as He had just done. God gave a sign to mark the covenant that He then made. It was what we now call the ‘rainbow’. God, however, called it ‘My bow in the cloud’ (Genesis 9:13). The word used for ‘bow’ there is exactly the same word as is translated elsewhere in the Bible for the weapon, the bow. A bow is always aimed in the direction of the one who is to be shot with the arrow. The significance of the bow in the cloud pointing upwards (instead of downwards) is that God who dwells in the heavens was Himself going to receive the arrow released by that bow and take the judgement for man’s sin. The bow would not be aimed at man but God Himself. The world has never since been judged by a flood. Psalm 69:1, 2 states that the floods of God’s judgement went over Jesus on the cross. This was the fulfilment of the sign of the bow in the cloud.

The next person in the Scriptures with whom God made a covenant was Abram. This is first mentioned in Genesis 15:18. Notice there, how God entered into the covenant with Abram. Abram was told to bring three animals and two birds, to slay them and spread them out on the ground (15:9, 10). The animals were to be cut into two and laid each half opposite the other. At night, God came down and as a smoking fire-pot and a flaming fire passed between those halves of the dead animals. Thus it was that the Lord made a covenant with Abram. The significance was again clear – that God Himself would lay down His life (as those dead animals) for Abram. As in the case of the sign of the covenant with Noah, death was the way that the covenant was established – a death in which God Himself took the initiative.

This method of establishing and confirming a covenant later became a practice in Israel (as is seen from Jeremiah 34:18, 19). Whenever two people entered into a covenant, they would slay a calf, divide it into two and walk between the two halves, thus symbolically stating that each was prepared to lay down his life for the other in being true to the covenant. It was a serious offence to make such a symbolic vow and not to keep it. Hence God told the people of Judah through Jeremiah that He would judge them severely for making such a covenant and then breaking it.In Genesis 17, we find God re-confirming the covenant with Abraham. Again God gave a sign to mark the covenant – this time, circumcision. Circumcision is a cutting off of the flesh and symbolises (as Philippians 3:3 and Colossians 2:11 make plain) death to the flesh.

We notice that the symbol of the covenant is again something that speaks of death. This time, it was Abraham and his seed who had to signify their willingness to be faithful to the covenant unto death. The external circumcision was but a sign of God’s desire to circumcise the hearts of the Israelites to love Him wholeheartedly (See Deuteronomy 30:6; Romans 2:28, 29). This teaches us that there can be no wholehearted love for God apart from death to the flesh.The next time we read of a covenant is when God made a covenant with the nation of Israel through Moses – what we call the ‘old covenant’ or the ‘Old Testament’. We read this is Exodus 24:4-7. Moses wrote God’s words in a book (the book of the covenant), slew young bulls as a sacrifice to the Lord and sprinkled the blood of the bulls on the people saying, “Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you” (Exodus 24:8). The covenant was sealed by the blood of the slain animals.

This is the first time in the Bible that the phrase ‘the blood of the covenant’ occurs. This is the same phrase that Jesus used when passing the cup around, at the last supper, to His disciples (Matthew 26:28). Under the old covenant, the blood was only sprinkled on the people. Under the new covenant, Jesus invites us to drink of the cup. This symbolises the fact that under the old covenant, the law could only cleanse a person’s external life whereas under the new covenant, we can be purified inwardly.

Again, the covenant is entered through death. In Hebrews 9:13-22, this contrast between the blood of bulls and the blood of Christ is brought out; and we are told there that “where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. ….it is never in force while the one who made it lives” (verses 16, 17). This is why every symbol of every covenant that God made with any man symbolised death.The only way that Jesus could establish the new covenant with us was through His own death; and the only way that we can enter into that covenant and its privileges is through death to ourselves. This is the meaning of eating the bread and drinking the wine at the ‘breaking of bread’.

In Hebrews 13:20, we are told that God brought up Jesus from the dead through the blood of the eternal covenant. What does this mean? The blood shed by Jesus on Calvary’s cross was shed as a result of resisting sin unto death (Hebrews 12:4). Jesus was determined to obey the Father and never to sin. His attitude to His Father was, “Father, I would rather die than disobey You in one small point” (See Philippians 2:8 – “obedient unto death”). This was Jesus’ covenant with His Father.

Now Jesus invites us at His table to drink of the cup which is the blood of this new covenant. Are we willing? Can we drink of the cup which He drank of? Do we long, like the apostle Paul, to know “the fellowship of His sufferings being conformed to His death in order that (we too) may attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10, 11).

Most believers come to the Lord’s table so lightly, without any understanding of what it implies and what the covenant is all about. Only one who is determined to strive against sin even unto blood can take part of the Lord’s table worthily.The word ‘covenant’ could be likened to a solemn agreement signed in a court. No one would sign an agreement in a court, without carefully reading and understanding the terms of the agreement. But how lightly believers take part of the bread and wine at the Lord’s table! No wonder, as in Corinth, even today many believers are weak (physically and spiritually), sick (physically and spiritually) and a number of them die before God’s appointed time (1 Corinthians 11:30) – all because they come to the Lord’s table lightly.

In Leviticus 26:14-20, God had warned the Israelites that if they made a covenant with Him and then broke it, they would become sick and diseased and defeated and there would be no profit in their labours or in their businesses.It is a serious thing to break a covenant. “Do not be hasty in word in the presence of God. When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it. ….It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay it” (Ecclesiastes 5:2-5).Anyone who is repeatedly plagued by sickness and weakness should carefully consider whether he has carelessly broken his covenant with God. This is why James tells us to confess our sins in order to be healed (James 5:16).

The bread that we break symbolises the body of Christ. First of all it symbolises that physical body that Jesus took when He came to earth, in which He never did His own will but His Father’s (see Hebrews 10:5-7). Thus His body was a broken, yielded body all through His earthly life. His body was like bread – easily broken when touched even slightly. Such was His yieldedness to His Father’s will at all points. When we break the bread and partake of it, we are testifying thereby, very solemnly, that we too desire to go the same way of yieldedness and brokenness. It is a serious thing therefore to say that to the Lord at the Lord’s table, and then live as though we never made a covenant with God. We may not be perfect, but the Lord expects even the newest believer to have a willingness to go the way of death to self, no longer to live for oneself, but for Him alone (2 Corinthians 5:15). Otherwise we partake of the bread unworthily, not discerning the Lord’s body rightly.

A Covenant Relationship in the Brotherhood:

The bread that we break symbolises not only the physical body of Christ but also the church, the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16, 17), for there is but one loaf, and we who are many are one body. Those who “eat the sacrifices are sharers in the altar” (1 Corinthians 10:18). If we eat at the Lord’s table, we are to share His death on the cross (the altar) – death to our self – not only in our relationship with God, but also in our relationship with others in the body of Christ.”We ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16). This is another aspect of our testimony at the Lord’s table. It is not only with the Lord that we enter into a covenant, but also with our fellow believers. And here too the covenant is entered through death to self.

As the two parties entering into a covenant in Israel passed between the two halves of the slain (‘broken’) calf, even so today we enter into a covenant with one another through the broken bread. This is just as serious a matter as the first aspect that we considered earlier, of making a covenant with God.In 1 Samuel 18:1-8, we read of Jonathan entering into a covenant with David. This is a beautiful picture of what the covenant relationship should be like in the body of Christ. It says there that Jonathan’s soul was knit to the soul of David. The ‘knit’ used here is the same word used in Nehemiah 4:6 where it refers to the wall being built in such a way that there was no gap at all in it. So too was Jonathan’s heart was knit with David’s – there was no gap between their hearts for the enemy to come through. It says further that Jonathan loved David as himself. This is our calling in the body of Christ too – to be joined together as ONE, such that there is no gap between us (no gap of misunderstanding, jealousy, suspicion, etc.) whereby the enemy can come through and bring a division.

Jonathan should have been the one person in Israel who should have been most jealous of David, for he was a threat to Jonathan succeeding Saul as the next king of Israel. Yet he overcame jealousy and loved David as his own self. How Jonathan puts New Testament believers to shame!

Jonathan then made a covenant with David; and as a symbol of the covenant, he took off his royal robe and put it on David. This was symbolic of Jonathan’s desire to die to himself as the next king of Israel and to make David king. We are commanded in the body of Christ to “outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10 – margin). We are to so die to ourselves that we sincerely and earnestly long that our brothers will be greater and higher and more regarded than ourselves. And we take our robe, if necessary, to cover a brother’s nakedness wherever it is seen. Thus we can make our brother glorious in the eyes of others. This is what it means to enter into a covenant relationship with the brothers in the body of Christ.

It is impossible to enter into such a covenant without dying to self persistently. All the problems that riddle almost every assembly of believers arise because the believers therein have not entered into such a covenant relationship with one another. Everyone seeks his own. The net result of this is that Satan triumphs. But such assemblies are not the church that Jesus is building, for Jesus said that the gates of hell would not be able to prevail against the church that He builds (Matthew 16:18).

Jesus is building His church in this world today. If we are to be a part of that church and to have a part in building that church, then we need to take to heart covenant relationships and should seek to learn with all our hearts what it means to make our brother glorious.

Then we read that Jonathan also took his armor, his sword, his bow and his belt and gave them to David. Entering into a covenant with our brothers, we surrender every possible weapon with which we can harm them in any way. This is the meaning of Jonathan’s action. The weapon with which the maximum damage has been done in Christendom is the tongue. Are we willing to lay down this weapon in a covenant relationship with our brothers in such a way that we will never again speak evil or backbite or gossip against another, even once.

This surrender of our weapons also implies a trust in our brother such that we can afford to be defenseless before him, because we know that he will never harm us. It is through such trust and confidence that the brotherhood is built.

In 1 Samuel 19, 20, we see Jonathan’s steadfast loyalty to David even at the cost of having to stand against his own father. Jonathan stood by his brother David in the presence of carnal relatives. Truly he is a worthy example for all of us to follow. We are to love the brotherhood more than our blood relatives.In Amos 1:9, 10, we see how seriously God viewed a breaking of the covenant of brotherhood. Tyre had made a covenant with Israel in the days of Hiram. Yet in the moment of Israel’s need, they betrayed Israel and delivered them over to their enemies and thus broke the covenant that they had made. God told Amos that He was going to judge Tyre severely for this.

In 2 Samuel 21:1, 2, we read another example of this. For three years there had been a famine in Israel. When David sought the Lord for the cause of this, the Lord told him that it was because Israel had broken the covenant that they had made with the Gibeonites in the days of Joshua. King Saul had killed the Gibeonites, disregarding that solemn covenant. Years later, long after Saul had died, judgment caught up with Israel. God may delay His judgments, but where He does not see repentance, those judgments will surely come. One may ask why God delayed so much in sending the famine. No doubt it was because He gave Israel time to repent. When they did not repent, judgment fell on them.

Paul told the Corinthians that if they judged themselves, God would not judge them. But since they had not judged themselves, therefore many of them were sick and weak and many died before their time (1 Corinthians 11:30, 31). All believers who are perpetually weak and sick should seek God to see if the reason for it is perhaps a broken covenant of brotherhood – taking part in the table of the Lord and then betraying their brothers and sisters, behind their backs, by slander, gossip, etc. This was the chief crime of Judas Iscariot – that he had partaken of the covenant meal with Jesus and then gone out and betrayed Him. As the psalmist prophesied, “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me” (Psalm 41:9).

May the Lord enable each one of us to examine ourselves and partake of the Lord’s table meaningfully in future. Let us repent wholeheartedly of the sin of breaking covenant with the Lord and with our brothers and sisters; and let us take heed to the voice of the Spirit that has come to us.

**By Zac Poonen excerpt from his book: New wine for new wineskins

Zac Poonen © Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. https://www.cfcindia.com/

Gentleness

“Be completely humble and gentle.” -Ephesians 4:2

The troubles of life can make us cranky and out of sorts, but we should never excuse these bouts of bad behaviour, for they can wither the hearts of those we love and spread misery all around us. We have not fulfilled our duty to others until we have learned to be pleasant.

The New Testament has a word for the virtue that corrects our unpleasantness—gentleness, a term that suggests a kind and gracious soul. Ephesians 4:2 reminds us, “Be completely humble and gentle.”

Gentleness is a willingness to accept limitations and ailments without taking out our aggravation on others. It shows gratitude for the smallest service rendered and tolerance for those who do not serve us well. It puts up with bothersome people—especially noisy, boisterous little people; for kindness to children is a crowning mark of a good and gentle person. It speaks softly in the face of provocation. It can be silent; for calm, unruffled silence is often the most eloquent response to unkind words.

Jesus is “gentle and humble in heart” (Matt. 11:29). If we ask Him, He will, in time, recreate us in His image. Scottish author George MacDonald says, “[God] would not hear from [us] a tone to jar the heart of another, a word to make it ache . . . . From such, as from all other sins, Jesus was born to deliver us.”

Humility towards God will make us gentle towards others.

Insight

The apostle Paul had a lot to say about gentleness. Paul was the founding pastor of the church at Corinth and taught there for eighteen months (Acts 18:1–11). Yet, soon after he left the city, the believers rejected him as a true apostle. Paul had every reason and every right to come down hard on these believers, but he didn’t. Instead, he appealed to them “by the humility and gentleness of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:1). In his letter to another church, Paul urged two feuding sisters to reconcile. Paul asked that their “gentleness be evident to all” (Phil. 4:5). In dealing with people who are not sympathetic to the Christian faith and are antagonistic towards us, Peter urged us to be ready “to give an answer to everyone who asks [us] to give the reason for the hope that [we] have.” But we are to do so “with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

The Scriptures show us how we should relate to everyone—we are to be kind, gracious, respectful, and gentle.

 

Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to be a gentle person. Please help me to be kind and gracious to others today.  


 Article by David H Roper (c) 2020 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Photo by Erik Karits at Pexels

 

Have Patience With Me

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love” Ephesians 4:2

“Have patience with me,” cried the slave as he begged his fellow-slave for mercy (Matt.18:29). This is also the unspoken cry that comes to us as housewives and mothers from many of those with whom we have to do each day. But we need to be sensitive in our spirits if we are to hear that cry – for it is unspoken. It may be that our children are slow at learning something that we have repeatedly been trying to teach them, and we are sorely tempted to become impatient with them. If we could hear their unspoken cry, saying, “Have patience with me, I am trying my best to do it right,” then it would be easier for us to overcome the temptation to get irritated with them.

Perhaps the servant who helps us with our work around the home is somewhat clumsy, and not as clean as we want her to be, and we are tempted to be hard on her. But her unspoken cry is, “Have patience with me. Give me another chance and I’ll improve” – and we are presented with another opportunity to be more gentle. Or it may be that our aged parents, being old and infirm, are now dependent on us. Their feeble, unspoken cry is also, “Have patience with me. I don’t want to trouble you, but I need your help now.” If we are sensitive to their feelings, we will hear their cry and help them, without depriving them of their dignity, and without letting them feel their dependence.

Perhaps the behaviour of our fellow-sisters in the church is a trial for us. Their unspoken cry is also, “Have patience with me. I still lack a lot of wisdom.” Then we realise that they also, like us, are struggling towards perfection.In such situations, we all find a tendency in our flesh to be like that unmerciful slave. Yet those are the very times when we need to remember afresh how much we have been forgiven by God, and how patient others have been with our own follies. So we should have our spiritual ears attuned at all times to hear the cry for patience that comes to us from our fellow-slaves – both young and old. Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:4).

——————————

**By Dr Annie Poonen © Copyright – Annie Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. https://www.cfcindia.com/ 

**Be blessed further by Annie Poonen with FREE books, articles and sermons: Here

Abiding in Gratitude

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)

If we are not careful, we will spend an entire lifetime wishing for the things we do not yet have. So often I myself am guilty of this, so today I want to encourage you not to wish one more minute of your precious life away. We must carry hope with us. In fact, Proverbs 13:12 tells us, “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” We must hope and pray for the good things God has in store for our lives, but we must also embrace right where we are because today is a day you will never get back. If we do not guard our hearts diligently, discontentment will rob you of everything good in your life if you allow it too. But we can fight discontentment by digging up the things in our heart that shouldn’t be there and replacing them with good things.

There are many roots of discontentment, so today I want to challenge you to find the cause of those roots, dig them up, and plant seeds of thankfulness and gratitude. You don’t have to worry about your future because God already has it written in the palm of His hand. And if God is already there, you can bet it’s going to be something wonderful. Bitterness, envy, and anxiety breed discontentment, but thankfulness breeds contentment. Gratitude will overflow into every area of your life.

Practice thankfulness in this moment, no matter what your situation may be. Just as the apostle Paul spoke about in Philippians 4:8, set your minds on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, honourable, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Don’t allow discontentment to rob you of today’s blessings.

By Tiffany Langford from Unveiled Wife

How To Pray For The Unsaved

How To Pray For The Unsaved…

1. For God to have mercy upon them

2. For God to lift the veil off them and give them revelation of who He is

3. For their hearts to be prepared by the Holy Spirit to receive His truth

4. For their spiritual eyes and ears to be opened

5. For Godly people to come across their pathway each day – who are ready in season and out of season to give their testimony led by the guidance of the Holy Spirit

6. That God would cast down anything in them that’s exalting itself against the knowledge of Him, especially pride and rebellion

7. To take down all known strongholds, thought patterns and opinions that goes against God’s will and Word

8. To bind Satan from taking them captive, and to bind all wicked thoughts and lies Satan will try to place in their mind

9. For their protection, uprooting any traps and snares lay wait for them by Satan and his minions

10. To bring healing and restoration to them mentally, physically and most of all spiritually

11. For God to give them a spirit of repentance and forgiveness (of others)

12. And that they come to know the Lord as their personal Lord and Saviour and soon coming King!

————————————————————————-

**How to be saved – The Path To Salvation: HERE

The Father’s Love Letter

The Father’s Love Letter
An intimate message from God to YOU.

My Child,
You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3 

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalm 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4
And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad. Almighty God

Father’s Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications ©1999 FathersLoveLetter.com


**How to be saved: The Path To Salvation, please click: HERE

A Good Thought For The Day…

Customer: Well, after much consideration, I’ve decided to install Love. Can you guide me through the process?

Tech Support: Yes. I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?

Customer: Well, I’m not very technical, but I think I’m ready. What do I do first?

Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart?

Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is it okay to install Love while they are running?

Tech Support: What programs are running?

Customer: Let’s see, I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge, and Resentment running right now.

Tech Support: No problem, Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory but will no longer disrupt other programs. Love will eventually override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called High Self-Esteem. However, you have to completely turn off Grudge and Resentment. Those programs prevent Love from being properly installed. Can you turn those off?

Customer: I don’t know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?

Tech Support: With pleasure. Go to your start menu and select Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and Resentment have been completely erased.

Customer: Okay, done! Love has started installing itself. Oops! I have an error message already. It says, “Error- Program not run on external components.” What should I do?

Tech Support: Don’t worry. In non technical terms, it simply means you have to Love yourself before you can Love others. Pull down Self-Acceptance; then click on the following files: Forgive Self, Realise Your Worth, and Acknowledge Your Limitations.

Customer: Got it. Hey! My heart is filling up with new files. Smile is playing on my monitor and Peace and Contentment are copying themselves all over my Heart. Is this normal?

Tech Support: Yes, that means Love is installed and running. One more thing before we hang up. This Love program is freeware.

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)


*Prayer for forgiving others

The Act of Kindness

What does Biblical Kindness Look Like?

Kindness is a lifestyle. It is a daily practice. It is a choice. As Christians we are to grow in the fruit of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and kindness – and growth takes time. A seed does not transform into a tree overnight, but with careful watering, tending, and patience, a seed will slowly grow day-by-day into a strong towering tree. It is the same with kindness. We must be faithful every day to bear the good fruit of kindness. Being kind should be our default mode, a habit of goodwill, a heart of continual service every day of the year.

If kindness needs faithful practice every day, kindness also requires intentionality. Oftentimes, kind acts are on-the-spot, in the moment, and unplanned. However, we must be intentional, it isn’t just when we feel like it. Kindness requires a seeking out, a looking for the needs of others. During his life on earth, Jesus was a perfect emblem of this fruit of the spirit. For three years of ministry, he looked toward the needs of others, never turning them away. He could be counted on. How often today do we miss opportunities to show God’s love to others because we are too busy? We rush here and there, leaving the needs of others in a blur as we whiz past. Slow down and open your eyes. Jesus took the time, and you should too. So, slow down, make the time, and look for the needs of others. Be intentional in showing kindness; be consistent.

“Love your neighbour as yourself,” – the second greatest commandment. But, Lord, “who is my neighbour?” With this question, the Parable of the Good Samaritan was born. Here, a Jewish man was robbed and beaten, left to die. The Jewish priest and Levite passed by, but the Samaritan saved him. The point of Jesus’ story was this: everyone is your neighbour – the foreigner, the widow, the orphan, and even your enemy. We are to show merciful kindness to everyone. “The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless;” “Love your enemies…do good to them that hate you;” “he who does not love his brother, how is it possible for him to love God who is invisible?”

Time and again, God looks out for the cause of the widows and orphans; he cares deeply for the strangers in the land; he emphasizes love for family; he requires mercy and compassion for even your enemies. Oftentimes, we want to choose to whom we show kindness. Left to our own, we would limit kind acts to friends and people in authority above us, people from whom we can attain something in return. But Christ calls us to lower our eyes and look at those who are below, who have nothing, can offer nothing, have no defender. He calls us to welcome the foreigner, the rejected in our land.

Rather than revenge, He calls us to bless our enemies, knowing that through kindness, we can soften hearts. It is easy to get irritated at siblings, throw them under the bus, argue, fight, blame, or just plain ignore them, but Christ emphasizes mercy, patience, love, and kindness to our families. Friends are easy to love, but we are called to be a friend to the friendless. Kindness is selfless, compassionate, and merciful; its greatest power revealed in practice to our enemies and amongst the least of these. Love your neighbour; show kindness to EVERYONE.

For a perfect emblem of Biblical kindness, we need look no further than Jesus. Crowds followed Him and travelled miles just to hear him speak. Healing the sick, feeding the hungry, teaching the people, caring for the widow, and defending children, Jesus lived 33 years of perfect kindness. He is not asking any more of us than what He willingly practiced himself. Even on the cross, He displayed compassionate, merciful kindness praying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Defending the weak, poor, and needy, He stated, “As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

Jesus was perfectly selfless in everything He did. Flowing unceasingly from Him, kindness was His lifestyle. He took notice for the cause of the needy, intentionally and consistently seeking them out, even when He was tired and weary. Without partiality, He was kind to everyone, even if they didn’t “deserve” it. He turned no one away. And by the shedding of his blood on the cross, He demonstrated His love for the entirety of humanity – the ultimate act of kindness. Christ is the perfect role model of kindness.

So, what does Biblical kindness look like? It looks like Christ. Not for just a season or one day of the year, kindness is for every moment of every day; it’s a habit, a lifestyle, a continual practice. It is intentional, taking time and patience, a giving of ourselves in “the busy,” even when we are “too tired.” And lastly, kindness is for absolutely everyone. As we intentionally show kindness each day, may we shine the light of Christ to a dying world in need of a saviour, a generation in need of love and grace. Be Jesus to someone today and every day; make Him your role model and kindness your lifestyle.

By Olivia Forton

Saved Out of the New Age

We all have our stories to tell of how we came to know Christ, and I always love to hear them, as they’re never the same. The Lord works in miraculous ways, wooing us and convicting us via His Holy Spirit, as Titus 3:5 states ‘He saved us, not by the righteous deeds we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit’.

I grew up in a dysfunctional secular household in London, England. I had a warped view of spirituality from a young age and this led me to seek ‘higher truth’ in my own way. I was bit of a magpie grabbing onto whatever fit in with the way I wanted to live my life, till eventually I came across a movement called the New Age which derived from the East. A movement which heavily into improving, ‘the self’ and worshipping ‘the self’ through a wide range of spiritual beliefs and practices. I latched onto it and ran, even qualifying as a life coach in such matters. 

I was into self-help books, astrology, tarot cards, mediums; I believed in reincarnation and studied past life regression. I was into reaching higher states of consciousness through meditation, which I learned through yoga, in turn making me curious about the yogi teachers themselves. I believed there were many paths to God and it didn’t matter what religion you practiced, as it all led to the same place and that it was a personal choice on how you chose to get there. 

I was running wild, partying, clubbing, drinking, shopping, consumed by the image beast. I was careless and reckless in my behaviour, mixing with the wrong crowds. I wore a mask to the world, not wanting to be me, as deep down I was wounded, lacking self-esteem. I was in the miry clay, the pit of sin. I was on fire for the devil and running away from life.

 I got to a point that all the doors closed in on me, and everything that could go wrong, went terribly wrong. I was caught between a rock and a hard place and went through a serious bought of depression. I was broken and wounded, and felt like I had no one to turn too. In my pain suicidal thoughts wrecked havoc on my mind. When I had a realisation of the selfishness of this act, I had a feeling of remorse and that I was ‘not right’ as a person; and that I was a self-pitying evil mess and I just randomly started to repent of my sins. I didn’t realise at the time what I was doing, but I know now. And Jesus in the midst of my pain reached out to me and gave me peace. In Psalm 34:18 it says ‘The LORD is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit’ it didn’t matter that I wasn’t a Christian as the Lord is no respecter of persons. In my pain and torment, I just knew to cry out. That night the Lord took the broken pieces of my life, and mended me together again. What months of therapy couldn’t do, Jesus did overnight, He healed me. The following morning, I looked at the world with fresh eyes, I felt like a new person. 

I knew it was Jesus because of the prayers my grandmother had been giving me to read in the midst of my pain; she was always watching the religious channel and as I was staying with her at the time, something must’ve unconsciously sunk in. Because of this I wanted to know more about Him and started to read the Bible, I always thought that he was some sort of teacher, like one of the gurus from my meditative yoga practices. And as it says in Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” So, I sought Him. I’d heard about Jesus, the great teacher, the Hollywood Jesus with the blonde hair and blue eyes, the baby catholic Jesus, the Muslim Isa the prophet, but it’s not until that night in my room when I was seeking for ways to take my life that I came to know the real Jesus, the Son of God! 

Soon after I found myself working abroad, and was led to a Christian volunteer charity worker, who was a pastor. He showed me some verses in the bible, that really spoke to my heart like, Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ.” and also Deuteronomy 18:9-14, among others. I had to renounce the new age religion and repent properly of my sins. I had to personally invite Jesus into my life. So I did, as Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn the world but to save it (John 3:17). It was the goodness of God that brought me to repentance (Romans 2:4). 

 Since becoming a Christian that hole in my heart that I tried to fill with the empty things of this world started to slowly get filled with Jesus, as something in the spirit realm had taken place, the third heaven, God’s Kingdom. I started to build upon this relationship with prayer, just talking to the Lord. And I began reading and looking for guidance via His Word the Bible, His love letter to the world. The Bible is living, it’s breathing, and it’s sharp and active, like a double-edged sword. And when it goes into your soul, it cuts things, it breaks things, and it changes things. It weeds out the garden of your heart so it’s pleasant for the Lord to reside there. 

When I realised how much I’d been deceived it shook me to my core, but my journey didn’t end there, it was only the beginning… The Bible says in John 8:32, ‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ 

 Lori McPherson

——————

**My full testimony is called “BLINDSIDED” and is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback

**How to be saved: The Path To Salvation, please click: HERE