Running Back to God , last post. Taking break from socia media

Luke 15:11-24

The story of the Prodigal Son is probably the best known of Jesus’ parables. Perhaps we love it so much because we can each find ourselves in the narrative since we have all moved out of our Father’s will at one time or another.

The King James Bible says the prodigal son went away to a “far country.” When we reject God’s will, we also enter a “far country,” even if we never leave our hometown. Satan beckons with promises of new experiences and entertainment, whispering, “Come satisfy your curiosity—this is the way to really live.” But the reality of the “far country” doesn’t fulfill those empty promises. Sin distorts our thinking, causing us to lose our sense of what is right and good. We squander time, money, and relationships. God-given talents, ambitions, and opportunities are wasted on pointless pursuits as we pour days and dollars into things that bring only temporary satisfaction.

Outside of God’s will, it’s easy to make foolish decisions and end up in trouble. That could involve some physical or financial need. Or it might even be a wretched emotional state, in which we feel isolated, unloved, or rejected.

The ultimate end to such a journey is our personal “hog pen”—the place where we finally realize sin doesn’t pay. Having traveled so far to reach this new low, we may wonder if the Lord can ever love us again. The answer is yes. Our sin can never outdistance the reach of God’s grace. If we, like the prodigal son, will turn around, repent, and come home to our Father, we’ll receive His restoring forgiveness and be welcomed with rejoicing.

last post. Taking break from socia media

Listening to our Appetites

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

What words would you say describe our society? Materialistic, sensual, impatient, indulgent,undisciplined—these are just a few. We’re also a “have it now” culture. Satan specializes in presenting us with opportunities for instant gratification while promising that indulging our appetites will bring us satisfaction.

Human appetites in themselves are not sinful. In fact, they’re God-given. However, because we are human, we can’t always trust them. When our appetites have complete authority, we’re in trouble. The apostle Paul likened the Christian life to that of athletes who are so focused on winning the race that they devote every aspect of their lives to that goal.

That’s how we’re called to live, yet we lack the power to do so in our own strength—and sometimes the motivation as well. For this reason, we need to rely on the Holy Spirit within us. If we yield our lives to Him and obey, He will be our strength, and we can say no when fleshly desires feel overpowering (Gal. 5:16).

Another key to success is keeping our focus on the eternal instead of the temporal. Many decisions that seem mundane are, in fact, spiritually significant. Are you indulging an appetite that could result in the sacrifice of an imperishable reward in heaven?

When the enemy tempts us, he tries to keep our attention on our desire and the pleasure of indulgence rather than on the eternal rewards and blessings we’re forfeiting. Just remind yourself how quickly immediate gratification wanes and how long eternity lasts.

Breathing God’s Grace   #umusa #Grace #christianposts #sbs

In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed – Mark 1:25

We know from the Gospel that our Lord prayed early in the morning, often in silence and solitude. Morning is the perfect time for prayer. I also like to get up early in the morning while everything is still quiet. The world looks so peaceful and innocent then, like sin never came into it, like there is no evil. My heart is calm and undisturbed by the turmoil of daily life. In times like those, I feel very close to the Lord. When I breathe the fresh morning air, praising His Holy Name and thanking Him for all that He gave me, both good and bad, I feel so relaxed and secure. It is our moment, our moment of peace and quiet, our moment of re. It is God who gives me the strength to cope with the problems of that day. I feel renewed by His Spirit and encouraged by His Word. You can try this too. Before you begin the day, spend some time with Him in prayer, feel the peace of His Spirit and the comfort of His presence. You’ll be amazed. Well I love food too, as much I pray same with eating. Balancing equation . 17 March will be my birthday now this month is a month of prayer and food for me. #Prayer
Heavenly Father, let me feel Your beautiful presence and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Bless this day and help me with all the challenges it brings. Give me wisdom and patience to face those challenges. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

Forgiving Ourselves

Psalm 103:10-14

Have you ever come to the Lord in repentance, confessing your wrongdoing, and yet still felt guilty? Sometimes the problem is that we can’t forgive ourselves. Therefore, we go into a self-punishing mode, repeatedly replaying the sin until we feel unworthy not only of pardon but also of blessings, answers to prayer, and the Father’s love. Eventually we build a prison of guilt because our offense seems unforgivable.

But what does such behavior tell us about our faith in God and our estimation of ourselves? According to the Bible, our Father freely bestows forgiveness on the basis of His Son’s payment of our sin debt—and has removed our transgression “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). Is our refusal to forgive ourselves a way of saying we consider Christ’s sacrifice insufficient? In other words, is our standard of righteousness higher than the Lord’s?

Two men in Scripture teach us about the importance of accepting God’s full forgiveness. One is Peter, who denied knowing Christ, and the other is Paul, who persecuted Christians. The Bible gives no evidence that either one of them refused to forgive himself. Although their offenses were great and both men probably regretted their actions, they received God’s forgiveness and lived in the freedom of His grace.

To be free of an unforgiving spirit toward ourselves, we must realize it’s the result of self-focus. Instead of believing the truth of God’s forgiveness, we’ve been relying on our own feelings and making them superior to His Word. It’s time to humble ourselves and place trust in God—not in our feelings.

Genesis 50:15-21

One of the most beautiful examples of a forgiving spirit is found in the book of Genesis. Despite being the victim of jealousy, evil intentions, malicious plotting, and selfish disregard, Joseph had an attitude of forgiveness that is uncommon and hard for many of us to imagine. By responding in this way to new hurts, he demonstrated that he was a godly man who understood how to let go of resentment and grab hold of forgiveness.

If we refuse to forgive, we can expect to go through painful consequences:

We will have difficulty dealing with the wrong done to us. Instead of releasing it to the Lord, we’ll rehearse the offense and relive the pain.

Resentment will take root in our heart and mind, allowing bitterness to grow.

Negativity will begin to affect other areas of our life,such as relationships, emotions, attitudes, and even physical health.

Then feelings of discouragement will rob us of joy and contentment. We may look successful to the world, but deep inside, Christ’s peace is absent.

A buildup of ill feelings will start damaging our emotional health, which in turn hampers our ability to love others and accept love in return.

Eventually despair will set in. The inner turmoil may become so great that we might frantically resort to drugs, alcohol, affairs, pleasure, or excessive devotion to a career in an effort to find relief.

The good news is that this downward spiral can be stopped at any point along the way by choosing to forgive. If opening your heart proves difficult, accepting help from a Christian counselor or pastor could be valuable.

3 Proven Ways to Run the Race That is Set before Us

Several times in the Bible, our everyday life in Christ is described as a race. We’re off and running in this marathon, and each sunrise presents new challenges as we hurry along. All the while, we know that God has provided the path we’re supposed to take.

But how exactly can we run this race that is set before us? Thankfully, we’re not left jogging in the dark. The author of Hebrews provides 3 proven ways to keep us on the right track.

Remembering the Cloud of Witnesses
We get our start in the race of life by remembering that we’re not alone:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…” (Hebrews 12:1a)

When ancient sprinters dashed off in their quest for victory and the laurel crown, they often did so in a large arena filled with spectators (much like sporting events today). Peering up into the stands full of billowing clothes and moving people looked somewhat like looking up into the clouds.

And that’s what it’s like for us in our race, too. We’re not the only ones to take this journey. People have run this way before, as Hebrews 11 shows (a chapter that’s often called the “hall of faith”). Our spiritual ancestors, such as Abraham and Noah, answered God’s call and set out on the race set before them. Their example gives us encouragement.

But we don’t have to look back to find “heroes of the faith.” We can find them today—right in the pews and chairs on any given Sunday morning. Christians are meant to make this journey together, and we’re much stronger when we do. Seeing the powerful examples of faithfulness around you can give you the courage you need to charge ahead.

“For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.” (1 Corinthians 4:17)

Sometimes, however, other problems can keep us from running our race, even when the crowd is cheering us on.

Throwing off the Sin that Entangles Us
If we’re to keep chugging along on the right path, we can’t do so if we’re constantly tripping up. The writer of Hebrews describes it this way:

“… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1b)

In the sporting events of the ancient world, competitors usually ran in a much more “natural” way than athletes do today. Long before the days of special sprinting attire, the clothes of the time either had to be tied up away from the legs or taken off before running. Otherwise, the runner would get tangled up and fall on his face.

Our Christian race isn’t much different. We can’t run very well if we’re bound up in the snares of sinful living. Those things that seem so satisfying in the moment can take our eyes off the prize (as we’ll see), and instead keep us fixated on temporary thrills. But we’re called to a much better path:

“For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13)

Life works best when we follow God’s Word and obey His commands in the Bible. He didn’t give us those commands to trap us, but to free us to run our race with endurance. When we do so, our true goal comes into view.

Looking to Jesus
While we may glance at the crowd of witnesses around us and we may throw off the things that tangle us up, our ultimate encouragement is in the prize that awaits those of us who live by faith:

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

At the beginning of the race, Jesus may seem far away in the distance. We know of Him through the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We’ve heard how He has changed other lives. But our race is still new.

Before long, however, we realize that the prize awaiting us is the Savior of our souls, and He’s not content to just sit and watch us from the finish line. He’s busy working on us as we run the race:

“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10–11)

As we run and keep our eyes on Jesus, God works on us, making us more and more like His Son. Ultimately, He will bring us to our long-awaited reward:

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

Run the race that is set before you. But run it with the hope that God wants you to have in Christ.