When facing adversity, we all have a decision to make. Do we run from God, blaming Him for the troubles in our lives? Or do we run to God, searching for Him with all of our hearts? After being captured and forced to live in exile in a foreign country, Israel faced the same question. But Jeremiah encouraged the people to never stop seeking God. Because the Lord promises that those who earnestly search for Him, will always find Him. The truth is, we will never escape from troubles in our lives. But when we have a close, personal, relationship with God, we never face those troubles alone. Which is why Jeremiah admonishes not just Israel, but us as well to intentionally seek fellowship with God. For only through the Lord can we find the peace, hope, and love we so desperately seek.
When dealing with immaturity, the standard response is, “Grow up!” That’s Paul’s response too. When we first receive Jesus as our Savior, we are mere babes. Children with childish views. But we aren’t to remain that way. And Paul tells us it’s time to grow up in our faith and relationship with God. The dictionary definition of growing up means to arrive at full stature or physical or mental maturity; to progress from childhood toward adulthood. A perfect description of the Christian walk. Each new day should be a step forward to moving closer to God and our transformation of becoming more like Jesus. And we can only do this when we leave behind our stubborn, foolish, childlike ways. One day when Jesus returns we will reach the “fullness of Christ.” But until then we are to continue growing, learning, and maturing in our faith.
Before when reading the gospels, I would glance over the miracles of Jesus feeding thousands. After all they aren’t as exciting as raising people from the dead, or walking on water. But they are just as important. Important enough, that twice when Jesus feed the masses, both times were recorded. Why? Because both miracles are perfect examples of why Jesus came. …
English author Neil Gaiman once said, “There’s none so blind as those who will not listen.” An opinion shared by God. For He warns us against being stubborn like a mule or an untamed horse; only coming near when forced. Such animals need a bridle and bit because they fight against the training of their masters. God doesn’t want us battling against His instructions. Instead He wants His people to come Him willingly, joyfully, and eager for His guidance. Our Father always knows best, and His will and ways are perfect. So instead of running away in stubborn disobedience, we should be drawing near to the One who cares for us most. For His eye is always upon us and He will lead us in the perfect direction in which we should go.
In Colossians the apostle Paul admonishes believers to walk in Christ just as they received Him. So what does that mean? It means that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. So to walk in Jesus means a continuous, daily walk in faith. Not an easy task. But not impossible when our foundation is built on the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus and the Word of God. And that foundation, whose roots of faith run deep in our hearts and minds, allows us to withstand any attack of the Enemy. When we invited Christ into our hearts, we began a wonderful, loving, relationship with our Heavenly Father. A relationship that grows and blooms only when we are walking in Jesus. And so with hearts overflowing with thankfulness, each day we should walk hand in hand with the One who loves us most!
Israel Strongly Condemns Russia Attacks Against Ukraine
Knowing firsthand how it feels to have their exitance as a people and country threatened to be annihilated, Israel has strongly condemned the action of Russia and president Putin against Ukraine. “The Russian attack on Ukraine is a serious violation of the international order,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said. “Israel condemns the attack, and is ready and prepared to provide humanitarian assistance to the citizens of Ukraine.” Lapid added that “Israel is a country that has experienced wars, and war is not the way to resolve conflicts. The first hours and days of any war are also the last time you can still stop and return to the negotiating table, mediated by world powers, to settle disputes peacefully.” Read more about Israel’s stand here.
New California Law Forces Doctors To Participate In Assisted Suicide
A new California law known as SB380, has doctors worried that they will be forced to go against their religious beliefs and participate in assisted suicide. now some concerned are suing the state for violating their religious liberty rights. Although the text of the law says physicians who object to assisted suicide “shall not be required to participate,” the law actually requires all doctors to participate at the beginning of the process, according to the suit. That’s because a doctor who opposes the law must still write the date of an individual’s request for end-of-life drugs “in the medical record” and then transfer the record “with documentation” to a “new health care provider or health care entity,” according to the law’s text. Read more about the lawsuit here.
New Poll Shows Less Than Half Of Americans Trust Pastors
According to new data from Barna Research Group, less than half of American adults, including non-Christians, find pastors to be “very reliable” sources of wisdom when it comes to spiritual matters. The research, which asked whether pastors are seen as trustworthy sources of wisdom, found that 57 percent of Americans generally agreed that pastors were “somewhat” reliable and 23 percent of American adults agreed that pastors are “definitely” a “trustworthy source of wisdom.” Thirty-one percent of Christians said pastors are “definitely” trustworthy, while just four percent of non-Christians said the same thing. Less than half of Christians (44 percent) considered pastors to be “very reliable” when addressing spiritual matters, while another 39 percent found them “somewhat reliable.” Read more about the research here.
Research Shows Mental Speed Of Brain Slows Down Much Later Than Thought
Mental speed of our brain as we age slows down much later than previously thought. Psychologists at Heidelberg University have come to this conclusion. Under the leadership of Dr Mischa von Krause and Dr Stefan Radev, they evaluated data from a large-scale online experiment with over a million participants. The findings of the new study suggest that the speed of cognitive information processing remains largely stable between the ages of 20 and 60, and only deteriorates at higher ages. The Heidelberg researchers have hereby called into question the assumption to date that mental speed starts to decline already in early adulthood. Another finding of the study was that average information processing speed only progressively declined with participants over the age of 60. Read more about the findings here.
We are almost at the end of the winter season and most of us are getting ready for the spring! Some are excited to begin working in their gardens. Because although it involves lots of work and dedication, in due time they get to see the results. They enjoy the beauty, and can’t help but smile and sigh knowing the work was worth it! Those who are pros know they need to have good soil so whatever they plant will grow and bloom. And the plants have to be protected from weeds and pests so they will grow and bear fruit. So almost on a daily basis the gardener must bend down and look for those weeds and pests in order to get rid of them ASAP!!
In today’s scripture Paul has written God’s heartfelt desire for His people to walk in spiritual wisdom and understanding. He wants us to, “please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing in the knowledge of God.” In our Christian walk we as “the gardeners of our soul”, must also protect our hearts and minds from those “weeds and pests” that will prevent us from growing and bearing fruit. James 1:21-22 tells us how. “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
I would like to ask you to take some time and prayerfully, in wholly surrender, ask our Abba Father to show you, what you are to get rid of to fully please Him and be able to bear fruit? He will show you and will also help you. You only need to ask. Because God loves you and He is Faithful!!
Like a newborn needs the life giving nourishment of a mother’s milk, Christians need the nourishment of the spiritual milk of God’s Word. Because God’s Word is living and life giving. And it is tailored to provide us with the spiritual comfort and nutrition that we need to grow and thrive. Just as breast milk changes to meet the needs of an infant, God tailors what we receive from the Bible to meet our spiritual needs. I can read through a passage of scripture that I’ve read countless times before and God may show me something completely new. Something that meets my current needs and broadens my understanding. Showing how He is working in my heart and life at that particular time. And it is the the sweetness of those experiences that makes me thirst for more.
Do you remember the popular ads for milk? The ones where various celebrities pose with milk mustaches proudly displayed and the caption “Got Milk?” This ad campaign started to emphasize the necessity of always having milk on hand. And the unfortunate struggles of running out. The evidence of their thirst quenching experience is proudly displayed above a beaming smile. I think that our time being nurtured by the milk of God’s Word should leave similar evidence for the world to see. They should see that something has been tasted and left our spirits satisfied with God’s goodness!
Franklin Graham Under Fire For Asking People To Prayer For Vladimir Putin
Evangelist Franklin Graham has been criticized after he urged Christians to pray for Russian president Vladimir Putin amid rising tensions in the Ukrainian-Russian border. “Pray for President Putin today. This may sound like a strange request, but we need to pray that God would work in his heart so that war – and the loss of thousands of lives – could be avoided at all cost,” Graham wrote on his social media. But request sparked criticism from some. The pastor’s critics immediately went to work expressing outrage at the idea that he would pray for Russian President Vladimir Putin rather than President Biden or Ukraine even if it was to call for peace. Read more about the complaints here.
Texas Attorney general Sues Christian Influencer For Scamming Clients
Brittany Dawn Davis, a fitness and Christianity influencer from Fort Worth, is being sued by the state of Texas for promising her followers personalized exercise and nutrition plans that never materialized. Davis’s website promised clients that her Brittany Dawn Fitness (BDF) crew would be with them “every step of the way”, but instead her followers received a generic diet and workout plan not unique to them. The state believes this amounts to “deceptive trade practices” and is seeking damages from $250,000 up to $1m. Davis has since pivoted to lifestyle and religious content. She now hosts Christian retreats in different cities across Texas and charges $125 for admission. Read more about the lawsuit here.
Discovery Plus Releasing Documentary About Hillsong Church Abuses
The interim global senior pastor of the embattled Hillsong group of churches is accusing producers of an upcoming docuseries of aiming “simply to hurt the church.” Speaking in a global simulcast this past Sunday, Pastor Phil Dooley claimed the docuseries, premiering March 24 on Discovery Plus, paints a picture “far removed from . . . the truth of who we are.” He added, “There are also producers behind this documentary and their purpose is not the healing of people, but simply to hurt the church.” Discovery Plus on Thursday released the trailer for its upcoming original three-part documentary series about Hillsong church, saying it will “explore the high-profile, star-studded church’s alleged exploitation, abuse and cover-ups” of the global movement. Read more about the documentary here.
Huge Black Diamond With Unknown Origin Sells For $4.3 Million
With a final closing bid of $4.28 million, an anonymous buyer just became the new owner of the 555.55-carat black diamond known as the Enigma. The sale of this bizarre stone has reignited a long-simmering debate about where it came from, stoked by the controversial theory that it may have arrived from outer space. “The Enigma” is a carbonado diamond, which is found in deposits close to, or on, the Earth’s surface, indicating that it could have come from space. “It is thought that this specific type of black diamond was created either from meteoric impacts producing natural chemical vapor deposition or an extraterrestrial origin — from supernovae explosions that formed diamond-bearing asteroids which ultimately collided with the Earth,” Sotheby’s explained. Read more about the diamond here.
What exactly is good soil in Jesus’ parable found in Luke? It is a heart that is open, honest, and humble. A heart that is genuinely and sincerely searching for the truth and longing to abide in Christ. Would this describe your heart? This type of heart is the first prerequisite to growing and producing fruit in our faith. Because fruitfulness is the natural result of a heart that is surrendered to God. One that not only studies God’s Word, but is careful to obey it. (Ezra 7:10)
So what is the key to bearing godly fruit? Jesus explained it in John 15:4-5, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” Bearing fruit in the Christian life requires abiding in Jesus. He not only promises that those who abide will “bear fruit” (John. 15:2), but “bear much fruit” (v. 8), and “bear fruit…that will last.” (v.16). And don’t we all want that?
Each minute of each day we should walk a surrendered life. Inviting Jesus to come in and live His life through us in order for Him to love and serve others through you. And ultimately when that happens, not only will you be amazed at all HE can do through you, but Jesus will be glorified and you will be blessed!