I AM MORE THAN ONE—WITH THE LORD

new year touching lives

 MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN 2016

This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

“An optimist says up until midnight to see the New Year in.
A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”¹

The Pessimist:
Let’s leave 2015 behind as quickly as possible and watch the ball drop at Times Square to make sure this year departs. It’s been a year of turmoil, strife, violence, loss, an increase in acceptance and tolerance of immoral behavior, and a challenge to our Christian faith. Why would we want to hold onto it? Just “drop the ball” and start off anew on January 1st, 2016.

The Optimist:
Let’s reflect on 2015: A year of turmoil, strife, violence, loss, an increase in acceptance and tolerance of immoral behavior, and a challenge to our Christian faith—during which times many demonstrated courage, empathy, charity, forgiveness, compassion, sacrifice, and great faith. It has been a year where we were called to stand for what we believe in, both publicly and privately. The ball may “drop” to end 2015, but what we learned this year should be carried into 2016. We cannot start anew. We must start where we left off and make use of the lessons of 2015 to build up our faith, our courage, our empathy, our charity, our forgiveness, our compassion, and our willingness to make sacrifices for the Lord.

The Pessimist: I am only one. What can I do to make a difference?
The Optimist: I am the one. “I must be the change I wish to see in the world” (Gandhi)—and in myself.

“Do I dare Disturb the universe?”― T.S. Eliot
“In a gentle way, [I] can shake the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”
― Edward Everett Hale
“I have one life and one chance to make it count for something… My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”
― Jimmy Carter

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” – James 5:16

A new year awaits us. Let us go to our “war rooms” and pray with due diligence to be stronger in our trust in God, wiser in our actions by His guidance, and bolder in our decisions to make a difference for the Lord.

I AM MORE THAN ONE—WITH THE LORD.

 ¹Bill Vaughan

(Sharon G. Tate blog 12/27/15) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

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The Manger–The Garden–The Cross: God’s Gift of Grace

Free-Wallpaper-Christian-Christmas-Luke2-11

A child born, fulfilling His prophecy:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)
A man kneeling, praying His sorrow:
“ ‘Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.’ 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 20:42-44)
A Son lifted, rendering His obedience:
“ . . . Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst!’ 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” (Luke 28-30)

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The child, the man, the Son–as one,
Carrying the burden of the promise-
At the manger, the Garden, the cross;
Compassion, redemption, salvation.
God has blessed us—every one.

The Reason to Rejoice this Season—and all Seasons
“Then the shepherds returned, glorifying God and praising God for
all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”
(Luke 2:20)

As it has been told to us through the Word, let us rejoice in the birth
of Jesus and the fulfillment of the prophecy that led to our salvation.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 12/20/15) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

SINGING TO GOD WITH THE VOICE OF THE HEART

 

 

sing-to-the-lord

“Music is well said to be the speech of angels;
in fact, nothing among the utterances allowed to man
is felt to be so divine.
It brings us near to the infinite.” ¹

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.” (Psalm 95:1)

Through the music, we sing to the Lord–
**expressing our joy, adoration, love, and thanksgiving;
**requesting His forgiveness, His grace, His mercy, and His hope;
**reaching up to Him in awe, in wonder, and in praise;
**crying out to Him in distress, in loneliness, in despair, and in grief;
**worshipping Him with the outpouring of our souls through song.

Through the music, we connect with each other on a spiritual level:
“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord…” (Ephesians 5:19)
Through singing, we are in harmony before the Lord, lifting our voices and our hearts in one accord to Him. The words of the music become our devotion, our prayer, our praise, our thanks, our joy, our hope, our confession, our penance, and our love to the Father.

Through the music, that which truly dwells within us is given voice:
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)

How we sing the music is an indication of the nature of our inner being. If the Word of the Lord is deeply rooted within us, firmly secured in our hearts, our voices will sing spiritual songs.

Through the music, we proclaim His Glory:
“I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.” (Psalm 101:1)
“I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.” (Psalm 7:17)
“I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 9:2)

As we sing to our Lord and our God, let us remember that He is listening. As we sing to the Most High, let us not forget that He is hearing. As we offer our voices in song to our Father, let us bear in mind that He wants us, His children, to acknowledge Him with due respect and honor.

We must each search within and ask: “What voice will the Lord hear from my heart today?”

¹Thomas Carlyle (1795 –1881) was a Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 12/13/15) teacherforjesus.com   Meditations on God’s Word

CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP: A GIFT BESTOWED BY GOD

fellowship encourage one another

FELLOWSHIP: Friendly association, especially with people who share one’s interests; companionship; comradeship; friendship; mutual support; togetherness; solidarity. (www.google.com/fellowship)

Fellowship in the Lord is a special gift only Christians can fully unwrap, open to the Light, and experience. God has given us a church family—brothers and sisters who share a common bond, a common love, a common faith, a common hope in Christ. Through Christian fellowship, we are each other’s mutual support and companions through the challenges, tests, struggles, suffering, and hardships in this life. We are each other’s faithful friends, sharing in the joys, special moments, and laugh-out-loud times. Our solidarity is secured in our united efforts as comrades in the cause of Christ, showing His love through our lives and through our fellowship with one another.

Do we have this type of fellowship that God intended for us? Are we following the example of the New Testament church?
Acts 2:42 – And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:3 – That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the Lord cannot exist without the presence of CHRIST Himself. When we pray, when we break bread, when we sing, when we worship, HE is with us. When we share a meal and thank Him for it, HE is seated at the table. As we clean the building in the spring, HE is there in our midst. When we sing carols to the elderly in a nursing home or assisted living, JESUS is harmonizing with us. Fellowship in Christ is fellowship with Christ.

This gift of Christian fellowship, bestowed by God, is a blessing in this life but an even greater joy in eternity. Our friendship, our companionship, and our togetherness will continue forever. Human fellowship cannot last, but fellowship in Christ endures and grows stronger. Can we envision what Christian fellowship in heaven will be like? Can we have the kind of Christian fellowship on this earth that prepares us for that Day?

Hebrews 10:24-25- And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, (25) not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Have we made good use of God’s special gift to us in our fellowship with one another? How have we thanked Him? Do others know we are Christians by our fellowship with one another? Let us pray with purpose and faith that we may use this God-gift of Christian fellowship to help and encourage each other in our walk with Him, as we work together in solidarity to bring souls to His salvation-and to this special fellowship of His followers.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 12/06/15)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word