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*Grace Nuggets: Simple reminders of God’s great love for you.

*Grace Nuggets: Simple reminders of God’s great love for you.

I’m over six decades old, I lived through the Vietnam war era. I remember the hatred. Remember the violence. I remember the anger and the destruction. Yet, never in all of my life have I seen the level of hatred anger and violence that we see today.

There is no respect for life, there’s no respect for persons belongings, there’s no respect for persons feelings. I think the saddest part is I see no difference between the verbal abuse of those who claim to be Christians in those who claim not to be Christians. It seems like the entire human race, in United States at least, is devouring one another with our judgmental attitudes, our words and violence.

To be honest, that doesn’t surprise me in one sense. The ruler of this world is Satan. He is the great deceiver. His intent is to destroy us. It would seem for now as though he is winning.

Yet the words Jesus speaks in Luke still ring true today. As believers in Jesus we should never be guilty of speaking evil against anyone. That’s hard to do in our culture. But it’s what Jesus did. We are called to love our enemies, to giving to them, to be understanding of them even when we don’t agree with them.

When I say I love you it doesn’t mean I agree with your actions. When I say I love you it’s not based on how you feel about me or what you say about me. My love for you isn’t based on what you do or how you look or how you act. My love for you is based on the love Jesus has for me.

If you are a believer in Jesus today let me encourage you to make it a matter of prayer to love those who are abusing you. To pray for those who are bound with the chains of evil and blinded by the darkness. Remember, our battle isn’t against the left or the right, or Republicans or Democrats, for this race or that race. Our battle is against the forces of darkness and those who listen to the prince of this world, Satan.

His time is short. The victory will be ours someday. But in the meantime, let us as followers of Jesus show the world what real love and real acceptance and forgiveness is about. We were sent here to be salt and the light of the earth and negativity will never do that. Let love be our guide and the Holy Spirit be our power to accomplish what Jesus has sent us to do.

“He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Psalms‬ ‭23:3‬

One of the most well-known psalms is the 23rd Psalm. It’s been memorized by Sunday School classes and confirmation groups, put to music and had entire books written on it.

Unfortunately, many know this psalm as a funeral psalm. Virtually every funeral or celebration of life service includes the 23rd psalm somewhere in the service. That’s unfortunate because Psalm 23 has little to do with death and much to do with life and love!

Todays verse is a great example. There are times in our lives, like now, when the trials and fears of life weigh us down. One more news report, one more doctors visit, one more call from the bill collector, one more car breaking down. We need strength! We need the power to push through.

When life gets confusing, and people let us down, by nature we look for someplace to get our strength. God, as our good shepherd, does two things to help us move forward when we don’t think we can.

First of all, he renews our strength. Like a drink of fresh cold water he revives us. Like a strong hug, he encourages us. Like a reassuring word he comforts us. He strengthens us physically, emotionally and spiritually when we rest in his arms.

Secondly he guides us to the path that we should move forward on. The voices of society and culture scream at us and tell us where we should go. But their voices conflict. The way they tell us changes with the wind. There’s no stability, no trust, no truth in what they preach.

With the strength and guidance of our good shepherd we can be strong. We can see the path clearly, although He may only show us a few steps at a time. When we have direction, we feel good about ourselves. And when we feel good about ourselves God is glorified.

“We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.” Psalms‬ ‭123:2‬

Our family loves to camp. When our youngest was very young she was very afraid of the dark so she would sleep with her mom. As long as she was touching her mom she was fine, but if mom made the slightest move it would not be long before a hand or a foot would be touching her. As long as she could touch her mom, she had nothing to worry about. She needed that constant affirmation that mom was there to protect her.

In the same way, we as believers in the Lord God of heaven need constant reminders of his love and mercy. The writer of this song, reminds us of how important it is to always remember that God is near. His mercy is never more than a touch away.

Sometimes that’s easy to forget. Life gets hard. Relationships fail. Our bodies grow old..Voices scream at us with doubts about his presence, his wisdom or even if he cares about what we are going through.

A good servant, knows his master. When life circumstances attack, the trusting servant doesn’t look at the problem. He looks st his master. If the master doesn’t seem concerned, the servant is at peace. He’s ‘in touch’ with the master and things will be okay.

On the other hand, if the master seems alarmed, the servant will also be concerned and spring into action..

The psalmist reminds us to keep our focus off of life circumstances and on the Father. We know his mercy is available. We know his grace is plentiful..we know his power and wisdom are unmatched. Our God is merciful in the big things and the little things. Don’t miss them! Stay in touch. Watch for the sign.

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  • Healing Prayer
    From our series, "Praying with Purpose". Pastor Mike teaches us from Jesus' parable in Luke 18:9-14 on the Pharisee and the Publican. Prayer that heals is prayer that sees us as we are and accepts the mercy God offers.


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October 2021
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