“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” (James 1:2)
What a timely verse! This pandemic has a lot of us worried. Worried about many things like getting the virus, losing a job, not being able to pay bills, or the impact it is having on family, friends, and our
community. Legitimate concerns are normal, rational, and understandable.
James reminds Christians that there is a great opportunity for joy while going through difficult times. The normal response to trouble is not joy. The brother of our Lord says that we are to go against the natural response (worry) and instead be full of joy.
Consider for a moment how the Lord asks His disciples to offer similar responses to life's challenges. We must go the second mile when everyone around us is walking only one (Matthew 5:38-42). We are to love when others hate and persecute us (Matthew 5:43-48). We are to focus on heavenly treasures when everyone around us is focusing on earthly treasures (Matthew 6:19-21). We shouldn't worry when everyone is worrying (Matthew 6:25-34). We are to walk the narrow way with the Lord even when friends and family are walking in a different direction (Matthew 7:13-14).
Allow this current moment in time to be an opportunity for greater joy to be seen in your life. It’s what sets us apart from the rest of the world. Develop greater faith and trust in God. God hasn't changed in the middle of these trying times. He remains faithful, merciful, gracious, and generous in the good days and in the bad days.
In the words of Corrie Ten Boom, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
Continue to shine bright, family!!
“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
John 5 “I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"
Do you remember John saying, “But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” (John 2:24-25)? John records Jesus saying that the Jews DID NOT HAVE the love of God in them. What an indictment!
I wonder if these religious folks thought they were right with God and were full of His love? I believe most people do. Jesus the reason they did not receive Him is because the did not believe what was written by Moses or believe in the words spoken by Him.
Are we full of God’s love? What does Jesus think? Is the love of God seen by what we do and heard by what we say? He knows us inside and out.
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, All His wondrous compassion and purity;
O Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine, ‘Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.
Let the fruit of the Spirit be seen in me, Grant me grace all sufficient that I may be,
True and faithful each day, every step of the way, Pointing souls to the Savior on Calvary.
Hope is a powerful thing! It can keep us going and can help us to reach a goal. I love the story about the businessman who was out of town on a business trip in a small town. After checking into the hotel, he decided to walk around and breathe in some fresh air that evening. He could see the bright lights of a little league ballpark and decided to go and check it out for some good ol’ down-to-earth entertainment. He made his way to the field and leaned up against the outfield fence. It was a brutal first inning for the home team. They had given up 10 runs before the first out was recorded. Finally, the third out would come after giving up 15 runs. The businessman said to the little left fielder who had just caught the third out, “Things look hopeless for this game.” He asks the young outfielder, “Are you discouraged?” The young player replied, “No way! We haven’t gotten to bat yet.” Hope is a Game Changer!
So much emphasis and expectation can be placed on everything but God. Jesus is a game changer. Can you sense the hope that is placed in the pool? If only the lame man can get to the pool. The hope and expectation to catch it at the right time and then get in and everything will be okay. Jesus comes in and does what the pool could not do – HEAL THIS MAN with His word.
Don’t forget to put your faith, trust and hope in Jesus. He is the Great Physician!
I am constantly amazed by your generosity! Collectively, you always meet a need when it is placed before you. Our Fulshear family is an extremely generous church by giving time, talents and money. Recently, I witnessed your generosity by helping support the Senior Citizens from our community, in the work of ministry, in benevolence, and in special contributions for the building, but It’s so much more. I have noticed that some of you are generous in sending cards to encourage others, preparing Bible classes to equip others, helping our girls to learn and serve generously, and by spending time encouraging those who are sick.
The elders have asked for your generous support time and again in so many areas and your selflessness continues to rise to the top. The elders are committed to using our resources wisely and beneficially. However, their request has multiple blessings attached to it. We are blessed as we give because it honors the Lord’s statement, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). It also honors the Lord because we know “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). It honors the King because it communicates the respect we have for His spiritual shepherds, especially when they make a request and we respond as obedient sheep (1 Peter 5:1-5).
Let’s remember to always keep our focus on serving, sharing, and supporting those who are in need as we wait for our Savior to return.
“The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.” (Proverbs 11:25)
When you think about love, what does it look like? Does it look like a sweet lady teaching the wonderful stories of the Bible to a class full of kiddos? Does it look like a sweet older couple who appear to be madly in love with one another even though their faces are lined with wrinkles and their steps have shortened almost to a shuffle, walking hand in hand in full assurance of faith and love? Does it look like the heart of a faithful servant, serving with respect and diligence in a food pantry helping to put food on the table for hungry mouths and empty bellies? Does it look like the innocent face of a newborn baby who is so pure and sinless? Yes, on all accounts!!
There are a lot of people who display selfless, active, and unconditional love each day by the way they live in love. Love is a decision that acts unselfishly, unconditionally, and nonjudgmentally. It’s a tough life but necessary to live out a lifestyle of love!
Jesus Christ is LOVE...Jesus suffers long, He is kind, He does not envy, He does not parade Himself, He is not puffed up, He doesn't behave rudely, nor does He seek His own, and He is not easily provoked. He thinks NO EVIL and doesn't rejoice in iniquity! He bears, believes, hopes, and endures ALL THINGS. Jesus is love with flesh and bones. He is a compassionate heart with a loving nonjudgmental look for the worst of us and serves, cares, and sacrifices anyway! He is what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 13:4-6.
He displayed His love toward the woman at the well (John 4:1-26). He also displayed His love toward Matthew, a sinner (Matthew 9:9-13). He certainly shared His love with an untouchable group of lepers (Luke 17:11-19). There are so many people who are the recipients of Jesus's unconditional, unselfish, and nonjudgmental love.
Let's do all we can to follow the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and love with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Let us love our neighbors the way Jesus loves them.
“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” -- 1 John 2:6