Why we never need to worry 

The past couple of months, I’ve learned an amazing truth.  I hope this will mean something to someone else, too! 

I loved my grandmother.  I sent her letters the old-fashioned way, visited her in the old age home during holidays, spent hours paging through her photo albums with her, and eventually many more hours making her a special light-weight album with old and recent pictures of her offspring, when the old albums became too heavy for her to lift.  I loved my grandmother dearly.  I used to start crying just at the thought that she might one day die… although I knew that she was already deep in her 80’s and that we had to treasure every moment together.  I prayed many prayers that she would live to see my children, and took lots of photos when we were together.  I couldn’t imagine my life without her, and my heart broke at the thought of ever having to say goodbye. 

One Saturday morning in July this year, I had the phone call I dread so much.  She had gone to be with her Saviour in the most gentle way imaginable.  She had still been relatively healthy, and this was completely unexpected.  She had phoned just 2 days before, to congratulate my husband’s completed university degree. 

I cried a lot.  Especially when I phoned my mom later that morning.  But I experienced an amazing truth during that time, and still every time I miss her:  God’s grace is new every morning, every day, in every MOMENT…  and THAT is the reason we get through difficult times, looking back and wondering how we could ever cope. 

In Jesus’s famous Sermon in the Mount (Matthew 6:34, KJV), He said the following:

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

Compare that to Lamentations 3:22-23, which says, 

“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.”

The reason we can cope with life’s most difficult challenges, is because God gives us, every day, enough mercy, grace and compassion for the day.  He KNOWS what lies ahead for us, He KNOWS what we need…  It says so in the few verses preceding Jesus’s words quoted above:

30 “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”  (Matthew 6) 

One of the greatest challenges I can imagine is coping after your house burned down in a fire.  I’ve often prayed that such a thing will never happen to me or my loved ones.  Yet, I know that when such a terrible thing happens, people find strength to cope, somehow…  I now understand why – because God’s grace is there with them in that moment, an unseen Hand carrying them through the difficult time.  Oh, imagine if we could SEE our loving Father and Saviour’s protection, strength and Presence with us!! 

I am so grateful that God gives more than ENOUGH mercy, grace, strength and compassionate love for what we need every moment.  

This is why we never need to be worried:  God WILL be there in that moment you’re scared of, dreading, or worried about, with ENOUGH of what you need to carry you through.  I hope this will encourage you today!! 

2 Corinthians 12:8-10, KJV

8 “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And He said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

© blessedbeyondmeasure3.wordpress.com 

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Steady

You’re my true north when I’m headed south
My constant solid ground
You are my lantern in the night

When I’m twisted up and shaken
You’re the One I put my faith in
Yeah, You’re the reason I survive…

You keep me steady when the sky is falling
and I’ll keep steady after You!
I’ll carry on when my strength is failing,
take heart ’cause You’re with me.
So let the stars drop, whatever comes I’ll be ready –
You keep me steady!

You keep me steady…

You’re a river, You cover me
When the bombs fall, You’re the cavalry
Somehow You’re always standing right by my side

So no matter what I will be facing
I will not be over-taken
And You are the only reason why

Chorus

You’re my hiding place, my home
And fear cannot invade these four walls
I need You near, I need You here

~ Performed by:  for King & Country
Written by:  Luke Smallbone, Joel Smallbone, Ben Glover, Tedd Tjornhom ~

Shoulders

Spoken:  “I look up to the mountains.  Does my strength come from the mountains?  No.  My strength comes from God, Who made heaven and earth, and the mountains…”  (Psalm 121)

When confusion’s my companion,  (Job 10:15)
and despair holds me for ransom,  (Ecclesiastes 2:20)
I will feel no fear –  (Psalm 118:6)
I know that You are near!  (Psalm 34:18)

When I’m caught deep in the valley,  (Psalm 23:4)
with chaos for my company,
I’ll find my comfort here  (2 Corinthians 1:4)
‘Cause I know that You are near…

My help comes from You –  (Psalm 121:2)
You’re right here, pulling me through! 
You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness  (Isaiah 53:4)
all on Your shoulders, Your shoulders.
My help comes from You –
You are my rest, my rescue…  (Matthew 11:28, Daniel 6:27)
I don’t have to see to believe that You’re lifting me up  (2 Corinthians 5:7)
on Your shoulders, Your shoulders.

You mend what once was shattered  (Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18)
and You turn my tears to laughter;  (Psalm 126:5)
Your forgiveness is my fortress;  (Colossians 1:14)
Oh, Your mercy is relentless!  (Lamentations 3:22-23)

~ Written by:  Luke Smallbone, Joel Smallbone, Ben Glover & Tedd Tjornhom
Performed by:  for King & Country ~

Remember Who you belong to!

When you feel like you can’t handle the task and you ask yourself:  “Who’s your Daddy?” You can feel secure – not because of you, but because of Who you belong to.  Remember Who He is, and that you belong to Him:

He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End.  (Revelation 22:13)  He’s the keeper of creation and the Creator of all.  (Genesis 1:1, John 1:3, 2 Peter 3:7)  He’s the architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.  (Psalms 8:3, 147:4)  He always was, always is, always will be (Hebrews 13:8) – unmoved, unchanged, undefeated and never undone.  He was bruised, but brought healing.  He was pierced, but eases pain.  He was persecuted, but brought freedom.  He was dead and brings life.  He has risen to bring power and He reigns to bring peace.  (Isaiah 53:3-5, 61:1-3)

The world can’t understand Him.  Armies can’t defeat Him.  Schools can’t explain Him.  And leaders… they can’t ignore Him.  Herod couldn’t kill Him;  Nero couldn’t crush Him;  the New Age cannot replace Him, and Oprah cannot explain Him away.

Remind yourself that He is Light; (John 8:12) He is Love; (1 John 4:8) He is longevity and He is the LORD!  (Philippians 2:11)  He is goodness and kindness and faithfulness, and He is God!  (Exodus 34:6) He is holy and righteous, powerful and pure.  (Psalm 145:17, 29:4)  His ways are right, His Word eternal, His Will unchanging, and His Mind is on us!  (Deuteronomy 32:4, John 6:68, Malachi 3:6, Psalm 115:12)  He’s our Saviour, our Guide, our Peace, our Joy, our Comfort, our LORD, and He rules our lives.  (Matthew 18:11, Luke 2:11, Psalm 48:14, Isaiah 9:6, John 15:11, John 14:16, Psalm 103:19)

I serve Him because His bond is love, His yoke is easy, His burden is light, and His goal for us is abundant life.  (Colossians 3:14, Matthew 11:30, John 10:10)  I follow Him because He’s the Wisdom of the wise, the Power of the powerful, the Ancient of Days, the Ruler of rulers, the Leader of all leaders!  (Proverbs 8:12-35, Revelation 7:12, Daniel 7:9, 7:22, John 19:11, Romans 13:1)

His goal is a relationship with me…  (John 3:16, Revelation 3:20, John 15:14)

He’ll never leave you, never forsake you, never mislead you, never forget you, never overlook you, and never cancel your appointment in His appointment Book.  Never!  (Hebrews 13:5, Isaiah 49:16, Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 1:6)

When you fall, He’ll lift you up.  When you fail, He’ll forgive you.  When you’re weak, He’s strong.  When you’re lost, He’s your way.  When you’re afraid, He’s your courage.  When you stumble, He will steady you.  When you’re hurt, He’s gonna heal you.  When you’re broken, He will mend you.  When you’re blind, He will lead you.  When you’re hungry, He will feed you.  When you face trials, He is with you!  (Psalm 147:6, Psalm 103:3, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, John 14:6, Joshua 1:9, Proverbs 3:23, Malachi 4:2, Psalm 34:18, Psalm 23:3, Isaiah 42:16, John 6:51, John 4:10, Matthew 28:20)

When I face persecution, He shields me.  When I face problems, He will comfort me.  When I face loss, He will provide for me.  And when we face death, He will carry us all Home to meet Him!  (Psalm 33:20, Psalm 23:4, Philippians 4:19, Isaiah 40:11, 46:4)

He is everything, for everybody, everywhere, every time, and in every way!  (Ephesians 1:21-23)

He is your God, and THAT is Who you belong to!

~Taken from sermon by Priscilla Shirer ~

Grace is enough

I can boast to many works done out of insecurity,
and credit many conversations to my immaturity.
And while I’m misunderstood, You are understanding me,
and showing me how Grace is enough

For everything that I’ve done right, seems like a thousand I’ve done wrong;
And I keep on losing count of all the times my flesh has won…
And when the light of Christ that’s in me, is overshadowed by the fall,
You’re showing me how Grace is enough…

When I feel unworthy, so undeserving –

Still I can come, just as I am,
for I find Your love is free of condition!
So I will run to Your wide-open arms,
where I am accepted, and I am forgiven:
Grace is enough for me
Your grace is enough for me

I’ve been quick at passing judgment, when I’m worthy of conviction;
and at times I’ve measured virtue only based on my religion!
But theology, it seems, is not the things that’s saving me –
You are showing me a Grace that’s enough…

When I feel unworthy, so undeserving –

Chorus

Though I was blind, now I see –
Sweet is the sound of Your grace over me!
You said it all on the Cross –
Your grace goes beyond all that I’ve done…

When I feel unworthy, so undeserving,
You love me beyond all my failing and hurting.
It’s not who I am, but who I can be;
I know You are working Your purpose in me!

Chorus

Your grace is enough – more than enough!
Your grace is enough for me…

~ Don Moen ~

2 Corinthians 12
7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.  8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  9  And He said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Ephesians 2
4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us,  5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  7  That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Titus 2
11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  14  Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace – how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! 
I once was lost, but now I’m found;  was blind, but now I see!

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear, and Grace my fears relieved! 
How precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed…

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far, and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me – His Word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil, a life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun,
we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’ve first begun!

~ John Newton (1725-1807) ~

Heavenly Perspective

Colossians 3
1  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  2  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  4  When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.

Hebrews 12
1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  3  For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

2 Corinthians 4
16  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.  (See also 2 Corinthians 5:7  “For we walk by faith, not by sight…”)

Hebrews 11
8  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  9  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  10  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God.
13  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  14  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.  15  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.  16  But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.

Hebrews 13
14  For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.  15  By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name.

John 14
1  “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.  2  In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  4  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”  5  Thomas saith unto Him, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?”  6  Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”

2 Peter 3
11  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,  12  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  13  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Titus 2
11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  14  Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Romans 8
24  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  25  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

1 Peter 2
19  For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.  20  For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  21  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps…

1 Peter 5
7  Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.  8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.  10  But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Matthew 6
31  “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  32  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

1 Timothy 6
6  But godliness with contentment is great gain.  7  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
17  Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;  18  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;  19  Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Philippians 3
7  But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  9  And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  10  That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death…

See also http://www.shepherd.to/heaven/contents/How_live.htm

More than conquerors

When my hope and strength is gone,
You’re the One Who calls me on –
You are the Life, You are the fight that’s in my soul…

Oh, Your resurrection power
burns like fire in my heart;
When waters rise I lift my eyes up to Your throne.

We are more than conquerors, through Christ
You have overcome this world, this life
We will not bow to sin or to shame
We are defiant in Your Name
You are the fire that cannot be tamed
You are the power in our veins
Our Lord, our God, our Conqueror

I will sing into the night:
Christ is risen and on high!
Greater is He living in me than in the world!

No surrender, no retreat:
we are free and we’re redeemed!
We will declare over despair: You are the hope!

Chorus

Nothing is impossible;
Every chain is breakable:
With You, we are victorious

You are stronger than our hearts;
You are greater than the dark:
With You, we are victorious

~ Written and performed by: Rend Collective ~

Romans 8:37
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”

1 John 4:4
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

1 Corinthians 15:57
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Pray & work

Prayer & work:

Never work harder than you pray

Never work harder than you pray.

“… continuing instant in prayer.”
~ Romans 12:12

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
~ Philippians 4:6-7

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”
~ Colossians 4:2

“Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

“… The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
James 5:16

 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
~ Philippians 4:13 ~

The Faithful One

I find no hope within to call my own
For I am frail of heart, my strength is gone
But deep within my soul is rising up a song
Here in the comfort of the Faithful One

I walk a narrow road through valleys deep
In search of higher ground, on mountains steep
And though with feet unsure, I still keep pressing on
For I am guided by the Faithful One.

Faithful, faithful to the end,
My true and precious Friend,
You have been faithful,
Faithful, so faithful to me

I see Your wounded hands, I touch Your side
With thorns upon Your brow You bled and died
But there’s an empty tomb, a love for all who come
And give their hearts to you, the Faithful One

Faithful, faithful to the end,
My true and precious Friend,
You have been faithful,
Faithful, so faithful to me

And when the day is dawned and when the race is run
I will bow down before God’s only Son
And I will lift my hands in praise for all You’ve done
And I will worship You, my Faithful One

~ Performed by: Selah
Written by:  B.G. White & C.N. Eaton ~

Being called a “Christian”

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
I’m whispering, “I get lost sometimes,
That’s why I chose this Way.”  (John 14:6, Luke 19:10)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I don’t speak with human pride;
I’m confessing that I stumble –
needing God to be my guide.  (Luke 1:78-79, Proverbs 4:11-12)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak,
and pray for strength to carry on.  (Philippians 4:13, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I’m not bragging of success –
I’m admitting that I’ve failed
and cannot ever pay the debt.  (Isaiah 64:6-8, Isaiah 53:3-7, 1 Corinthians 6:20, Romans 6:23)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I don’t think I know it all.
I submit to my confusion
asking humbly to be taught.  (Luke 10:38-42, Proverbs 1:5, Proverbs 2:1-11)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I’m not claiming to be perfect:
My flaws are far too visible,
but God believes I’m worth it.  (Psalm 14:2-3, John 3:16)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I still feel the sting of pain;
I have my share of heartache,
which is why I seek God’s Name.  (Psalm 73:25-26, Psalm 105:3)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I do not wish to judge.
I have no authority,
I only know I’m loved.  (John 3:16, 1 John 3:1)

~ Carol Wimmer (1988) ~

Additional verses (author unknown):

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I am not shouting that “I am clean living”…
I’m whispering, “I was lost,
but now I’m found and forgiven.”  (Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I’m not “holier than thou” –
I’m just a simple sinner
who received God’s good grace, somehow!  (Ephesians 2:7-8)