As we cross into the new year to 2014, “…God—so rich is He in His mercy!”

Ephesians 2:4-7

Amplified Bible (AMP)

But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).  And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).  He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.

Points:
  • God has a “great and wonderful and intense love” for us.  Let us dwell on His love for us, let’s keep His love in front of us as we continue on our walk!  This love will cast out every concern and fear (1 John 4:18)!
  • We are alive through and with Christ!  In fact it says “[He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him…”  So the same life that is in Christ, that allowed him to overcome the world is in us.  Let us focus on Christ our King!  Let us cast every care to Him, not worry or hold onto it, but simply give it to Him with trust and hope (have an anticipation of good) (1 Peter 5:7)!  Let us also know that we receive what we need each and every day (Matthew 6:25-34).
  • “…And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere…”  It does not say we will sit with Him, it says we are sitting with Him “…in the heavenly sphere…”
    • If there is a hope we have for the new year, a trouble trouble or difficulty remember we are sitting with Him “…in the heavenly sphere…”!  Also remember “all things are under His feet!  So let us simply cast it to Jesus and trust! (Ephesians 2:19-22) “And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places],Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.22 And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church]”

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Powerful Promises of God, God is faithful to us! Hebrews 13:5-6

I will not worry or doubt, only trust.  God will not fail me.
Hebrews 13:5-6
“…and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]. So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?

Bible Words on Health

Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, give attention to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart
from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; For
they are life to those who find them, and health to all
their flesh.

Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently
hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do
that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to
his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will
put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have
brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that
healeth thee.

Deuteronomy 7:15 And the Lord will take away from you all
sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible
diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them
on all those who hate you.

Psalm 107:20 He sent his word,and healed them, and
delivered them from their destructions.

Psalm 91:16 With long life will I satisfy him,
and shew him my salvation.

Jeremiah 30:17a For I will restore health unto thee,
and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord.

Galatians 3:13,14 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of
the law (sickness, poverty, spiritual death), being made a
curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth
on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles
through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the
Spirit through faith.

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body
on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto
righteousness: by whose stripes (wounds) ye were healed.

No weapon forged against you will prevail

Isaiah 54:10-17

New International Version (NIV)

10 Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

11 “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,
I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,[a]
your foundations with lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of sparkling jewels,
and all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children will be taught by the Lord,
and great will be their peace.
14 In righteousness you will be established:
Tyranny will be far from you;
you will have nothing to fear.
Terror will be far removed;
it will not come near you.
15 If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing;
whoever attacks you will surrender to you.

16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17     no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.

Mordecai Brown – Overcoming Setbacks and Discouragement

I have been reading “Everyday a Friday” by Joel Osteen.  In fact, I must be going through the book my fourth time.  In the book Joel provides an inspiring story of Mordecai “three-finger” Brown.  He sustained damage in his youth to his fingers on his throwing hand.  He turned this setback into his advantage.  This brings to mind the story of Joseph, shortly after his father Jacob died:

Genesis 50:14-21

Joseph Reassures His Brothers

14 After burying Jacob, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to his father’s burial. 15But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said. 16 So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us 17 to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. 18 Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said.   19 But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. 21 No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.

Many times we look at a setback, a situation that we are facing and have fear and become discouraged.  When times like this come, let’s remember to keep serving God in faith.  Let’s remember that God allows everything for a purpose.  That at times we may feel disadvantaged when God doesn’t see a disadvantage, He knows that we are equipped and able to achieve His vision.  Mordecai Brown had it in his heart to play baseball.  He didn’t allow a setback to discourage him and loose his dream.  Joseph had many setbacks in his life, but always remained in faith.  Let us too remain in faith and know that God is in control.  Let’s focus on His vision for us and not let anything take away our hope or joy.

If you want to read more about Mordecai Brown here is a link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mordecai_Brown