Category Archives: God

Peace!–In the Midst of Storm!

Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-peace-in-the-midst-of-storm

Have you ever been in a big storm, a powerful hurricane, earthquake or typhoon? Were you afraid or scared or worried? Well, most people ARE when caught in such storms because they never know if they’re going to get blown away or if the lightning is going to strike them or the wind will rip the roof off their house or somehow hurt or even kill them!

But this little family is peaceful and unafraid, even though all around them a terrible storm is raging! The wind is howling, big trees are being uprooted and blown down, lightning is flashing and thunder is crashing! But they don’t look worried at all! They’re perfectly at peace and at rest!

Do you know what a mother hen does with her little chicks whenever danger is near? She gathers them under her wings and covers and protects them there. Well, the Bible says that the Lord does the same thing with HIS children. “He shall cover you, and under His wings you can trust. There you need not fear the terror by night, nor the destruction by day, for the LORD is your refuge and place of protection.” (Psalm 91)

If we belong to the Lord and stay close to Him, He will take care of us.–ALWAYS! So that even if we’re in the middle of a terrible storm like we see in this picture, His strong and loving Heavenly hands will be there to keep, protect and take care of us. Even when all is dark and stormy OUTSIDE, we can have the sunshine of His love and rainbow of His blessings and peace INSIDE!

Did you ever hear the Bible story of Rahab? A long time ago, there was a city called Jericho which was so wicked that God was going to punish and destroy it. But within the city was a dear little woman named Rahab who was kind and helpful to God’s children. And because she was good to God’s people, God was good to her!

The huge protective walls that ran around Jericho were very high and very thick–so thick that many people actually had their houses ON the walls, as did Rahab. When the day of God’s judgements came, He shook the city and caused the ENTIRE WALL to COLLAPSE to the ground! Except for ONE tiny little part of it that remained standing all alone–and that was the house of Rahab! Because she had faith and because she had received and been good to God’s children, when He destroyed the entire city and everybody else in it, her little house didn’t fall and she and her family were spared and protected! (Joshua 2 and 6)

So why worry? If you’re the LORD’S child, HE will take care of you! His children who stay close to Him live in a CHARMED CIRCLE of His protection! It’s like a special FORCE-FIELD that nothing can get through without His permission! Of course this doesn’t mean that the Lord will NEVER allow us to be harmed or tested, but He’ll never allow us to have any INSUFFERABLE harm or any UNBEARABLE damage, and He promises to always save us out of our troubles. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord DELIVERS him out of them ALL!” (Psalm 34:19)

If He doesn’t deliver us any other way, He delivers us by DEATH! Because for the CHRISTIAN, the one who loves the Lord, death is no problem! It’s our HOMEGOING to HEAVEN, and you couldn’t go to a better place than Heaven! Then all your worries will be over and you will have graduated from this life! He will either take CARE of you or He will TAKE you, so you’ve got it made one way or the other!

So the most important thing is to make sure that you belong to HIM. Then you’ll KNOW that everything will be all right and that WHATEVER happens to you will be for your GOOD. He says that “ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love the Lord.” (Romans 8:28) If you are His child, you’ll know that everything that happens in your life comes from Him and is somehow for your good!

Then even if there’s a terrible storm and great destruction all around you, you won’t need to fear! The Lord says, “Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed, I am thy God! You shall be SAFE in the midst of storm, in the hollow of My hand, for underneath you are MY Everlasting Arms.” (Isaiah 41:10; Deuteronomy 33:27) He is ALWAYS there, He’ll NEVER EVER leave you, for He promises, “I am with you ALWAYS, even to the End of the World!” (Matthew 28:20)

If you would like to have such peace and assurance and heavenly protection, all you need to do is receive and love God’s Son, JESUS! Then, no matter WHAT difficulties or hardships arise in your life, HE will help you to BRAVE the storms and FACE the winds and NOT be swept away! No matter HOW dark the clouds become that may sometimes overshadow you, the Light of His Love will ALWAYS come bursting through to encourage you and to give you hope and strength to pull through!

He and His Love are just that WONDERFUL! He will brighten your life and give you peace that the Bible says even “passes your own understanding–PERFECT peace, because you TRUST in Him!” (Philippians 4:7; Isaiah 26:3) No matter HOW dark or stormy or difficult the outward conditions may be, in your HEART the sun can always be shining, the birds can always be singing, the flowers can always be blossoming, and all can be well and happy in Him!

So may God bless you with His PEACE and His LOVE through the one and only “PRINCE of peace”, JESUS CHRIST! He LOVES you and will come into your life right NOW if you’ll just ask Him into your heart! He says, “Behold, I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock. If any man hear My voice and open the door, I WILL come into him.” (Revelation 3:20)

Simply pray: “Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God and that You died for me. Please forgive me for all my sins. I ask You, Jesus, to please come into my heart and give me Your free Gift of Eternal Life! Help me to love You and to love others by telling them about You and Your Love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

God BLESS you! We LOVE you!

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Anchor

Near to the Heart of God

A compilation

free-bible-studies-online-anchorThe great passion of the writer of Hebrews is that we “draw near” to God. (Hebrews 4:16, 7:25, 10:22, 11:6) Draw near to his throne to find all the help we need. Draw near to him, confident that he will reward us with all that he is for us in Jesus. And this is clearly what he means in Hebrews 10:22, because verse 19 says that we have confidence “to enter the holy place,” that is, the new heavenly “holy of holies,” like that inner room in the old tabernacle of the Old Testament where the high priest met with God once a year, and where his glory descended on the ark of the covenant. So the one command, the one exhortation that we are given in Hebrews 10:19–22 is to draw near to God. The great aim of this writer is that we get near God, that we have fellowship with him, that we not settle for a Christian life at a distance from God, that God not be a distant thought, but a near and present reality, that we experience what the old Puritans called communion with God.

This drawing near is not a physical act. It’s not building a tower of Babel, by your achievements, to get to heaven. It’s not necessarily going into a church building, or walking to an altar at the front. It is an invisible act of the heart. … It is a directing of the heart into the presence of God who is as distant as the holy of holies in heaven, and yet as near as the door of faith. He is commanding us to come, to approach him, to draw near to him…

“We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (Romans 5:11) This is the center of the gospel—this is what the Garden of Gethsemane and Good Friday are all about—that God has done astonishing and costly things to draw us near. He has sent his Son to suffer and to die so that through him we might draw near. It’s all so that we might draw near. And all of this is for our joy and for his glory.

He does not need us. If we stay away, he is not impoverished. He does not need us in order to be happy in the fellowship of the Trinity. But he magnifies his mercy by giving us free access through his Son, in spite of our sin, to the one Reality that can satisfy us completely and forever, namely, himself. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

—John Piper

 
Keep going for God

You’ve got to keep going for the Lord in this life! No matter how many mistakes you make, how many stumbles and falls and how many times you get off the track, you’ve just got to keep trying. You’ve got to keep going! Even if you keep on crying, you’ve got to keep on trying. Keep going for God! Hallelujah!

To love someone more dearly every day,
To help a wandering soul to find his way,
To ponder o’er His holy Word and pray,
And pray when evening comes,
And smile when evening comes: This is my task.

To follow truth as blind men long for light,
To do my best from dawn of day till night,
To keep my heart fit for His holy sight
And answer when He calls
And answer when He calls: This is my task.

And then my Savior by and by I’ll see,
When faith hath made our task on earth complete,
And lay my homage at my Master’s feet,
Within those jasper walls,
Within those jasper walls: This crowns my task!

(My Task,” Maude Ray (1903), adapted)

God bless you and make you a blessing! May that be your task, in Jesus’ name, amen. Whatever you do, keep going for God! Jesus never fails!

—David Brandt Berg

 
Bigger than anything

Bigger than all my problems, bigger than all my fears,
God is bigger than any mountain I can, or cannot, see,
Bigger than all my questions, bigger than anything,
God is bigger than any mountain I can, or cannot, see.

God is far bigger than I can ever imagine! God is a “doing” God! He is a God who is well able to do anything! He is able to do anything, far beyond our every human thought or imagination. The Bible says in Ephesians 3:20, “Unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think.”

There is no impossible circumstance too far gone that God cannot minister to,
No problem too big that God cannot solve,
No sickness He cannot heal,
No miracle which God cannot do,
No prayer which He cannot answer,
No sinner too lost in their sin that God cannot save,
No backslider too far from God that God cannot restore,
No city too hard that God cannot bring a mighty revival to.
For our God is well able to do far above all that we ask or think … He is able to do!

If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that we, more often than not, tend to fix our eyes on the problem. Then as we dwell on it, we allow it to grow until it becomes to us this huge mountain before us. However, in the eyes of our great and awesome God, it is but a speck of dust, which He can blow away by the gentlest breath…

Our God is able to do whatever it is you need Him to do.
Our God is able to heal you.
Our God is able to rescue you.
Our God is able to save you.
Our God is able to meet all your needs.
Our God is able to turn things around for you.
Our God is able to restore you.
Our God is able to heal your broken marriage.
Our God is able to forgive you.
Our God is able to show you mercy and grace.
Our God is able to answer all your prayers.
Our God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think.
Our God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.
Our God is a great big God, bigger than all our problems; He is bigger than anything.

We may never grasp how awesome God is, or the enormity of God. Or even how omnipotent, omnipresent, or omniscient He is. However, may we grasp the fullness of this promise from the Lord in Ephesians 3:20: “Unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think,” because our God is an awesome God!

—Matthew McDonald

 
 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Anchor

Jesus Loves Me!

A compilation

free-bible-studies-online-anchorGive thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.
—Psalm 136:26 ESV

*

Occasionally, all too occasionally, I sense the truth of grace. There are times when I study the parables and grasp that they are about me. I am the sheep the shepherd has left the flock to find, the prodigal for whom the father scans the horizon, the servant whose debt has been forgiven. I am the beloved one of God.

Not long ago I received in the mail a postcard from a friend that had on it only six words, “I am the one Jesus loves.” I smiled when I saw the return address, for my strange friend excels at these pious slogans. When I called him, though, he told me the slogan came from the author and speaker Brennan Manning. At a seminar, Manning referred to Jesus’ closest friend on earth, the disciple named John, identified in the Gospels as “the one Jesus loved.” Manning said, “If John were to be asked, ‘What is your primary identity in life?’ he would not reply, ‘I am a disciple, an apostle, an evangelist, an author of one of the four Gospels,’ but rather, ‘I am the one Jesus loves.’”

What would it mean, I ask myself, if I too came to the place where I saw my primary identity in life as “the one Jesus loves”? How differently would I view myself at the end of a day?

Sociologists have a theory of the looking-glass self: you become what the most important person in your life (wife, father, boss, etc.) thinks you are. How would my life change if I truly believed the Bible’s astounding words about God’s love for me, if I looked in the mirror and saw what God sees?

Brennan Manning tells the story of an Irish priest who, on a walking tour of a rural parish, sees an old peasant kneeling by the side of the road, praying. Impressed, the priest says to the man, “You must be very close to God.” The peasant looks up from his prayers, thinks a moment, and then smiles. “Yes, he’s very fond of me.”

—Philip Yancey

*

As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you. …

I know you through and through. I know everything about you. Each hair of your head is counted. There is nothing unimportant to Me about your life. All these years I have followed you, and even in your strayings I have always loved you.

I know each of your problems, I know all of your needs and all of your wants, and yes, I also know all of your sins. Still, I will repeat again that I love you, not because of what you have or haven’t done, but because of you yourself, for the sake of the beauty and the value that My Father has given you, creating you in His own likeness. That value that you so often forget about, that beauty that you have covered with sin. I love you as you are, and I have poured out My blood to win you again. …

I care for you, more than you can even imagine—even to the death of the cross for your sake.

I thirst for you. Yes, this is the only way that I can express to you My love. I thirst for you, thirst to love you and thirst after your love. You are very precious to Me. I thirst for you. Come to Me, and I will fill up your heart and heal your wounds. I will remake you into a new creation, and even in all your trials will I give you peace. I thirst for you.

Never doubt My mercy, My desire and will to forgive, My yearning to bless you and live in you. I thirst for you. If in the world’s eyes you are of little importance, that means nothing. In this world, I have no one more important than you. I thirst for you. Open up to Me, come to Me, thirst for Me. Give Me your life and I will show you how much you mean to My heart.

It doesn’t matter how far you have strayed, it doesn’t matter how often you have forgotten Me, it doesn’t matter how many crosses you are able to carry, there is just one thing that you have to remember that is true, that will never change: I thirst for you, just as you are.

—Jesus, speaking in prophecy, as penned by Mother Teresa

*

The Bible tells us, “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) He is not a cruel tyrant, not a monster who is trying to frighten everyone into hell, but a God who is trying to love everyone into heaven! He’s so close, so intimate, so personal, so loving, so kind, so tender, so gentle, so concerned. He is the great Spirit of Love who created you and me and this beautiful world and the entire universe! To show us His love and to help us understand Himself, He sent His own Son to earth in the form of a man—Jesus Christ.

God loves you so much that He gave His most priceless possession, the most cherished thing He had for you, Jesus, “that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) He shared His love with the whole world.

God is pictured in His Son, Jesus, a man who loved everybody, even the poorest and the worst of all. He came for love and lived in love and died for love that we might live and love forever. His death brings life, forgiveness, and eternal joy to those who love Him in return.

He loves you dearly, more dearly than the spoken word can tell! You can never understand the love of God. It’s too great, it passes all understanding. You just have to receive it and feel it with your heart. (Ephesians 3:19)

—David Brandt Berg

*

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
—Romans 8:38–39 ESV

 
 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Man’s Illegal Laws!

Against the Laws of God!

Inspired by the writings of David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-mans-illegal-laws

From time to time you may hear or read about Christian witnesses or missionaries who are accused of “breaking the law” or of doing something “illegal”. Or you may hear that a Christian group has been expelled from some country and wonder “what they did wrong”. The fact is, they may have done NOTHING wrong, other than obey the law of GOD! For sad to say, in today’s modern World, a good MANY of MAN’S laws are in DIRECT CONFLICT with the laws of GOD!

It might surprise you to know that there are not just a FEW isolated examples of Man’s laws which contradict the laws of God, but modern Man has now drifted so far away from God and His Truth that almost the entire materialistic, Godless, humanist FOUNDATION of society itself–moral, political, religious and judicial–is in absolute REBELLION against God and His commandments! Such illegal laws of Man make criminals out of even the righteous and the innocent by making decrees that it is impossible for men to keep, or laws which the righteous, in all good conscience toward God, CANNOT abide by!

The Bible speaks of rulers “who frame MISCHIEF by a LAW”, who “gather together against the soul of the RIGHTEOUS, and CONDEMN the INNOCENT.” (Psalm 94:20-21). Although Romans 13:1-7 tells us to “OBEY the powers that be” and submit to legal ordinances, when MAN’S unjust laws CONTRADICT the laws of GOD, the Bible tells us: “We ought to obey GOD rather than MEN!” (Acts 5:29).

There are certain laws which Christians can NOT keep. For example, Jesus commanded His followers to “go into ALL the World and preach the Gospel to EVERY creature…and teach ALL nations.” (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19). Now that is a DIRECT COMMANDMENT by Jesus Christ, the Son of God! And, in the eyes of GOD, any law of Man which FORBIDS us to witness and to win souls is ILLEGAL and does NOT need to be obeyed.

Many nations in the World today have laws against witnessing or ‘proselytising’. So why should we be shocked when we hear about missionaries who are deported from such nations for “breaking the law”? Christians are NOT morally obliged to keep laws which contradict the laws of God and the direct commandments of Jesus Christ!

In many countries, it is illegal to have a gathering of a group of people other than just your personal family. But the Bible tells Christians, “Do NOT FORSAKE the ASSEMBLING of yourselves TOGETHER!” (Hebrews 10:25). In other words, don’t stop doing it! Many Christians down through history and even today have been forced to break this law by meeting in secret.

The Bible exhorts believers to “greet one another with an holy kiss” (1Corinthians 16:20; 1Thessalonians 5:26; 1Peter 5:14), yet in some countries you can be arrested for kissing someone in public or on the street!

Heathen and Communist nations have laws against reading the Bible or having prayer in public schools, but did you know that God, the Bible, prayer and witnessing are ALSO BANNED and OUTLAWED on the schools and campuses of so-called “Christian” AMERICA! This is clearly a wilful rejection of the laws of God! On many of the same campuses and universities where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is illegal, accredited courses in the OCCULT, Hinduism and WITCHCRAFT are available to interested students!

Furthermore, in “Christian” America, it is now ILLEGAL to celebrate CHRISTMAS, the birth of Christ, in public schools, or even to have a nativity scene on any public property! Even the giving of religious CHRISTMAS CARDS to classmates is against the law!

The cardinal religious law of almost every church denomination today is, “Thou shalt go to CHURCH on SUNDAY!” Most churches say this is a Law of God because one of the Ten Commandments to the Jews was “Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8). But as any Bible student knows, Sunday is not even the Biblical “Sabbath”–SATURDAY is! And Jesus NEVER said to build church buildings or form huge hierarchical organisations called “denominations”! He NEVER said “go to church on Sunday” either! NOT ONCE!

The foundation principle of most churches is that their building or cathedral is the very “HOUSE OF GOD” itself, and is sacred and holy. But the Scriptures clearly point out, “The Most High God does NOT dwell in buildings made with hands!” (Acts 7:48; Isaiah 66:1-2; 1Kings 8:27). The TRUE temple of God is the HEARTS of those who love Him. (1Corinthians 3:16-17; 2Corinthians 6:16; Revelation 3:20).

The Catholic Church has made a LAW that its PRIESTS cannot MARRY, but must remain CELIBATE. The Bible clearly says that “forbidding to marry” is a false teaching and even a “doctrine of devils”! (1Timothy 4:1-3; Genesis 2:18; 1Corinthians 7:9). The priests in the Old Testament–even those who entered into the HOLIEST OF HOLIES in the Temple–were allowed to marry. Even PETER, whom Catholics consider to be the first POPE, was MARRIED! (Matthew 8:14; 1Corinthians 9:5). As it now stands, the Church’s teaching on celibacy has driven many priests into God-cursed sodomy, or homosexuality!

The early Christians gave monetary gifts to the Apostles who then either invested it in preaching the Gospel, or gave it to the poor. (Acts 4:34-35; 2:45). Jesus had explicitly commanded his followers to “NOT lay up for themselves treasures on EARTH” (Matthew 6:20), but most of today’s churches have done just that! In most churches, only 3% of all offerings go to missionaries preaching the Gospel; most of the rest goes to building bigger and more luxurious church buildings! Or maintaining, repairing and “improving” the ones they’ve already got! “That which is HIGHLY esteemed among MEN is ABOMINATION in the sight of GOD!” (Luke 16:15). The Catholic church has BILLIONS of dollars invested in cathedrals, properties, art treasures, antiques, businesses etc., while millions of good Catholics live in absolute squalor and pitiful poverty!

In many nations, you’re not allowed to walk down the street without money in your pocket! It’s called VAGRANCY. Yet JESUS sent HIS disciples out with no money to preach the Gospel, telling them to depend on the charity of others. (Matthew 10:9-11; Mark 6:8-10).

A related law in many countries is that it’s illegal to beg. Yet begging is a time-honoured Scriptural practice, and the Bible commands believers to give to beggars and the needy. (Deuteronomy 15:11; Matthew 5:42).

Influential women’s lobby groups have had many laws passed in recent years giving women equal rights with–and often MORE rights than–men. But the whole concept of the `WOMEN’S LIB’ movement is unnatural and unscriptural. In the Old Testament, wives were clearly expected to submit to their husbands, and this Godly principle did not change in the New Testament. (1Corinthians 11:3,8-9; Ephesians 5:22-24,33; Colossians 3:18; 1Peter 3:1,5-6).

Old and New Testament societies were PATRIARCHAL societies, with the father in charge of the home and family. Yet in country after country today, it is the WOMEN–who by legal laws and actual practice–run the home, the children, family finances etc. For example, if a man and wife separate or divorce, the Courts in most Western countries give the woman the home, the car, custody of all the children etc. Contrary to the laws of God!

ABORTION is totally anti-God! In Old Testament times, the heathen had their own form of “birth control”, and threw their unwanted babies into the furnace in the belly of their devil-god, Molech, “causing their children to pass through the fire”. This practice was absolutely and unequivocally FORBIDDEN and ABHORRED by GOD throughout the Bible! (Deuteronomy 18:10). (See also 2Kings 17:17; 2Chronicles 28:3) God’s Word is diametrically opposed to “the shedding of innocent blood”! (2Kings 24:4; Ezekiel 16:36,38; 23:45). A perfect description of today’s societies’ attitude toward abortion is found in Jeremiah 2:34-35, which says: “In thy SKIRTS is found the BLOOD of the souls of the POOR INNOCENTS, yet you say, `I am INNOCENT. I have not sinned!'” But no matter how “legal” Man’s laws make abortion, or how much a supposedly “enlightened, progressive and modern” society promotes it, it’s still devilish infanticide, baby-murder, and a diabolical violation of God’s laws!

BIRTH CONTROL of ANY kind was considered unnatural and forbidden in Bible times. In Genesis 38:7-10, Onan didn’t want to get his brother’s widow pregnant, lest he have to share his inheritance with her children, so he deliberately, selfishly withdrew from her at the point of orgasm. And the Lord SLEW him for it! THAT is “ONANISM”, NOT masturbation, which is NOT forbidden in the Bible. God is opposed to any form of birth control whatsoever, even the so-called “natural” methods.

In some countries, they have ENFORCED sterilisation and family planning, and only a certain number of children are allowed. But the Bible says, “Children are an HERITAGE from the LORD, and the fruit of the womb is His REWARD. Happy is the man that hath his quiver FULL of them!” (Psalm 127:3-5).

In many countries it’s ILLEGAL to get married if the girl is under 16 and the boy under 18, and in some very conservative nations, the girl has to be up in her 20’s before she is legally allowed to marry without parental permission! This is totally contrary to Scriptural practices! In Bible times–and in fact, in MOST of the World up until even MODERN times–legal age for marriage for women was 13 or 14 years old.

What Western laws and culture call “unlawful” BIGAMY and POLYGAMY, or the practice of having more than one wife, was very COMMON in Bible times and perfectly LEGAL under the Mosaic Law. Many great Bible heroes such as Abraham, Moses, Gideon, David etc. were blessed with more than one wife. (Genesis 16:1-4; 29:16-30; Judges 8:29-31; 1Samuel 1:1-2; 2Samuel 3:3-5; 12:8; 1Chronicles 4:5; 14:3; 2Chronicles 11:18-21; 24:2-3). The only warning was not to “multiply wives”, or take TOO many (Deuteronomy 17:17), such as King Solomon who had 700 wives (1Kings 11:3-4)!

Although Western laws strictly forbid SIMULTANEOUS polygamy, or having more than one wife at the SAME TIME, these same lawmakers are very tolerant towards SEQUENTIAL polygamy, or having as many wives as you want, as long as you only have them ONE AT A TIME, and DIVORCE each one before you marry the NEXT one. This is strictly in defiance of God’s laws regarding multiple marriage, where, if you took a new wife, you were NOT allowed to divorce or neglect the FIRST one! (Exodus 21:10; Deuteronomy 21:15-16).

Even having MISTRESSES and CONCUBINES was perfectly legal in the Old Testament. (Genesis 16:1-4; 30:1-4;9-10; Judges 8:31; 2Samuel 5:13; 15:16; 19:5; 1Chronicles 1:32; 2:46-48). This practice was not ruled out in the New Testament, yet the self-righteous, overly-prudish moralists of Western society made it illegal anyway.

SODOMY, or HOMOSEXUALITY between men, is an abomination to God, and utterly and unequivocally forbidden in the Bible! (See Genesis 9:20-25; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-28; 1Corinthians 6:9). In many countries today, however, the laws of Man have now made it LEGAL and even PROMOTE it in the media! So as usual, God’s laws are in DIRECT CONFLICT with Man’s unrighteous laws!

TRANSVESTISM, where men dress and act effeminate like women, is also forbidden in the Scriptures. (Deuteronomy 22:5; 1Corinthians 6:9). And this obviously also includes the anti-nature sex-change operations which modern Man has made legal.

In the U.S. they can take your baby away from you at any little provocation. If you run into a hospital to have a baby at the last minute, they can call you an “unfit mother” and have your baby taken away. Such self-righteous legalists probably would have taken baby Jesus away from Joseph and Mary by a court order and had Him put in an orphanage because she gave birth to Him in a stable! (Luke 2:4-7).

In many Western countries, it is against the law to have a baby naturally at home, even with an experienced midwife present. They insist that you HAVE to have childbirth in a hospital! In the Bible, natural childbirth at home was the RULE, and even midwives were not required. (Exodus 1:19).

In some Western so-called CHRISTIAN countries, you can get arrested for praying for the sick, because they call it “practicing medicine without a license”. They would literally have thrown Jesus Himself in jail for healing the sick!

In the U.S., especially California, if someone is sick, it’s against the law NOT to call a doctor! If they die and you DIDN’T call a doctor, they can put you in jail for manslaughter! It’s happened many times!

In some countries it is illegal to trust the Lord to take care of you and protect you (Psalm 118:8), and you are, by law, REQUIRED to have certain insurance policies.

2Thessalonians 3:10 says, “He that shall not work shall not eat”, yet in many industrialised nations around the World, millions of people simply REFUSE to work and LEGALLY live off of WELFARE and the DOLE!

The Bible has many warnings against extortion, yet most of the modern banking system, with its legal, exorbitantly high interest rates, is totally disobedient to this commandment. (Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:35-37; Nehemiah 5:10-11).

The Lord made several commandments about having just labour laws and wages (Deuteronomy 24:14; Proverbs 22:22), yet today, there are a MULTITUDE of crooked laws which, for all practical purposes, legalise financial slavery of poor labourers. (James 5:1-4).

The rich industrialised so-called Christian countries waste and throw millions of tons of food away, even paying their farmers NOT to grow crops or to DESTROY them–to selfishly, artificially keep their own prices and standard of living high while millions of people in poor nations starve! (See Ezekiel 16:49.)

The Bible says, “Honour your father and mother” (Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 19:3; Deuteronomy 27:16), and “Children, obey your parents.” (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20). Punishment for disobedient, rebellious children was severe. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21; Exodus 21:15,17; Leviticus 20:9). Yet in some modern countries, it is against the law to even SPANK or DISCIPLINE a rebellious child! Something the Bible COMMANDS parents to do! (Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14).

The Bible says to “honour the old men” and “despise not your parents when they are old”. (Leviticus 19:32; Proverbs 23:22). Children were expected to love, respect and care for their elderly parents. Only in today’s selfish society do children send their parents off to “Old Folks’ Homes” or “Rest Homes” in defiance of God’s laws! (Mark 7:9-13).

In some places, it only takes one person to commit someone to a mental hospital. The Bible says that no legal action can be taken against someone unless it’s confirmed by two or three witnesses. (Deuteronomy 19:15).

There could hardly be ANYTHING more natural, Godly or Scriptural than a mother breast-feeding her baby. Yet in many countries it would cause a public scandal for a mother to nurse her baby in public! And in some countries she could even get ARRESTED for “indecent exposure”!

In the Bible, communal family living was the rule–even in the New Testament (Acts 2:44-45)–yet in most modern countries, city building codes regulate how many people can live in one house, how many bedrooms and toilets you are required by law to have for so many people etc., making Godly communal living illegal.

The Bible explicitly specified that human dung and waste was to be buried in the GROUND (Deuteronomy 23:13), yet modern Man, on a vast and horrifying scale, has been irresponsibly pumping and dumping his waste and sewage directly into streams, rivers and oceans, so that Worldwide they are now FOULED and POLLUTED with sewage!

There are so many other laws of Man which are in direct defiance of Godly laws and principles that it would be impossible to list them all here; but briefly, here are a few more:

Man’s use of chemicals and plastics which POLLUTE AND DEFILE the environment. (Jeremiah 2:7; Isaiah 24:5)

Leviticus 17:10-14 forbids Man to DRINK BLOOD, yet blood sausages etc. are considered a popular delicacy in most of the World today, and blood transfusions are rampant!

TAMPERING WITH NATURE by splitting the atom and releasing Nuclear power.

The NUCLEAR ARSENALS of the Superpowers which can destroy the entire World! (Matthew 24:22)

Some nations spending most of their national budget on WEAPONS and the military while their people starve!

The entire wasteful SPACE PROGRAM upon which billions are wasted while the poor starve! (Obadiah 1:4)

INDUSTRIALISATION, UNNATURAL CITY LIFE, forsaking a normal agricultural economy, dangerously tall buildings and skyscrapers, which God is against! (Genesis 11:4-8).

MANDATORY VOTING LAWS of some nations which make it illegal NOT to vote.

MANDATORY DRAFT LAWS many nations have (James 4:1), whereas God’s Word gave MANY reasons to be excused from military duty. (Deuteronomy 20:5-8).

MANDATORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE, where it is illegal to drop out of classes that teach the anti-Christ theory of Evolution! (2Timothy 4:3,4; 1Corinthians 10:21; Col.2:8)

Many nations today have gotten rid of the death penalty for serious crimes and instead pamper the criminals all their lives in prison cells. The MOSAIC LAW clearly instituted the DEATH penalty for serious crimes and did not allow imprisonment! (Exodus 21:12-17,29 etc.)

NUDITY is against the law in most places, whereas God CREATED Man and Woman to be naked and not ashamed of their bodies. (Genesis 2:25)

THE ABUSING OF MAN’S BODY, “the temple of the Holy Spirit”, through legal drugs and strong alcoholic drinks. (1Cor.3:16-17)

Many nations have either a total or partial ban on ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, even though it was perfectly common and legal throughout the entire Bible. Even Jesus MADE wine on one occasion. (John 2:1-11)

The list of Man’s illegal laws and practices could go on and on: “Face lifts”, working on night shifts instead of daylight hours, modern devilish Rock music, tatoos, African female circumcision, processed formulas instead of breast feeding, artificial prolonging of life, unnatural medicines, vaccinations, test-tube babies, artificial insemination etc. etc. etc.!

There are so many of Man’s perverted laws that GOD HIMSELF constantly breaks, that rebellious, foolish, anti-God Man would surely issue an immediate warrant for His arrest, have Him extradited from His throne in Heaven, and put Him behind bars for several hundred million years if he could! But who REALLY are the criminals and law-breakers? GOD and His holy CHILDREN? Or those who MAKE illegal laws! What do YOU think?

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Anchor

Finding Grace in a World of Ungrace

A compilation

free-bible-studies-online-anchorI’m not perfect. And who knows how many times I’ve fallen short. We all fall short. That’s the amazing thing about the grace of God.
—Tim Tebow

*

I came to see that the image of God that I had been raised with was woefully incomplete. I came to know a God who is, in the words of the psalmist, “a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86:15 NIV)

Grace comes free of charge to people who do not deserve it, and I am one of those people. I think back to who I was—resentful, wound up tight with anger, a single hardened link in a long chain of ungrace learned from family and church. Now I am trying in my own small way to pipe the tune of grace. I do so because I know, more surely than I know anything, that any pang of healing or forgiveness or goodness I have ever felt comes solely from the grace of God.

—Philip Yancey

*

The Christian faith is not about performance; it’s about God’s relentless tenderness and love. You are the prodigal child, the pearl of great price, and the treasure in the field, Jesus said through parables. And he instructed his followers to address God as abba, our daddy.

Christianity is not primarily a moral code, or an ethic, or a philosophy of life. It’s a love affair. Jesus takes us to the father, and they pour out the Holy Spirit upon us—not to be nicer people with better morals, but brand-new creations, prophets, lovers, human torches ignited with the flaming Spirit of the living God.

Self-condemnation and gloom block God’s way to us. The key is to let yourself be loved in your brokenness. Let the focus of your inner life rest on one truth, the staggering, mind-blowing truth that God loves you unconditionally as you are and not as you should be. Because nobody is as they should be.

—Brennan Manning

*

The meaning of life. The wasted years of life. The poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: grace.
—Max Lucado

*

By the law we are judged for our sins and condemned to suffer and die. Jesus came to save us by His love, by His grace, by His mercy, offering Himself as a sacrifice for our sins and thereby fulfilling the law. And Jesus said that all the law and the prophets hang on love for God and love for our neighbors.

But when people are not willing to receive the freedom that God’s Spirit and salvation by grace give, they often turn back to legalism and the law to prove their points. And when they do that, they are also turning their backs on the freedom of grace and the liberty which the Lord has given us.

You’ve either got to go all the way by accepting salvation by grace or you’ve got to go all the way by attempting to earn your salvation by works and keeping the law, because if you fail to keep the law even on one point, you are held accountable for the whole law. (Romans 11:6; James 2:10)

So “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free!” (Galatians 5:1)

—David Brandt Berg

*

When a person works an eight-hour day and receives a fair day’s pay for his time, that is a wage. When a person competes with an opponent and receives a trophy for his performance, that is a prize. When a person receives appropriate recognition for his long service or high achievements, that is an award. But when a person is not capable of earning a wage, can win no prize, and deserves no award, yet receives such a gift anyway, that is a good picture of God’s unmerited favor. This is what we mean when we talk about the grace of God.
—G. W. Knight

*

Now I will say this to every sinner, though he should think himself to be the worst sinner who ever lived: cry to the Lord and seek Him while He may be found. A throne of grace is a place fitted for you. By simple faith, go to your Savior, for He is the throne of grace.
—Charles Spurgeon

*

Watching a trapeze show is breathtaking. We wonder at the dexterity and timing. We gasp at near-misses. In most cases, there is a net underneath. When they fall, they jump up and bounce back to the trapeze.

In Christ, we live on the trapeze. The whole world should be able to watch and say, “Look how they live, how they love one another. Look how well the husbands treat their wives. And aren’t they the best workers, the best neighbors, the best students?” That is to live on the trapeze, being a show to the world.

What happens when we slip? The net is surely there. The blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ, has provided forgiveness for ALL our trespasses. Both the net and the ability to stay on the trapeze are works of God’s grace.

—Juan Carlos Ortiz

*

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace—only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.
—Anne Lamott

*

A story of grace: One cold winter’s day a 10-year-old boy was standing barefoot in front of a shoe store, peering through the window and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and asked him what he was doing.

“I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,” the boy replied.

The lady took him by the hand and went into the store, and asked the clerk to get a half dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the boy to the back part of the store, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with a towel.

By this time the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she then purchased him a pair of shoes, and tying up the remaining pairs of socks, gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, “No doubt, my little fellow, you feel more comfortable now?”

As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her by the hand, and looking up in her face, with tears in his eyes, answered the question with these words: “Are you God’s wife?”

—Author unknown

 
 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

The Lover of All Lovers!

Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-the-lover-of-all-lovers

He came to Earth as a tiny, weak and helpless baby, born to a simple, humble young girl who miraculously conceived the Child, having never slept with any man! In fact, the news of her pregnancy was so shocking that when the man to whom she was engaged to be married learned about it, he promptly decided to break the engagement and call off the wedding. Until a powerful Heavenly Being intervened and instructed him to stay with her and rear and protect this very special Child that she was carrying.

Although ordained and predestined to be a KING, in fact the King OF kings, He was not born in a palace with famous and glorious members of the court in attendance and the honour and praise of the System. Instead, He was born on the dirty floor of a barn amidst the cattle and the donkeys, wrapped in rags and laid to rest in the animal’s feed-trough.

And though His birth brought no great fanfare or recognition from the institutions and governments of Men, that night on a nearby hillside, a motley crew of poor shepherds were awestruck as a brilliant, almost blinding light burst upon them from the starry sky and an host of Angels filled the night with their Heavenly declaration and song: “Glory to God in the highest! Peace on Earth to men of good will! For unto you this day is born a SAVIOUR, Christ the Lord!”

Far away in the East, another herald appeared in the Heavens, a bright STAR that caught the attention of certain wise men, who interpreted its meaning and followed it, crossing thousands of miles of desert, as it led them to the exact location of the young Child in that little town of Bethlehem, where they honoured Him with their precious gifts.

His earthly father was a carpenter, a humble hewer of wood with whom He lived and laboured, conforming to our human ways of life, custom, language and living that He might understand and love us better and communicate with us on the lowly level of our own limited human understanding! He learned to LOVE Mankind. He saw their suffering and had great compassion on them, longing to not only heal their sick and broken bodies, but also to save their immortal spirits!

When the time came and He began his life’s work, He went about everywhere doing good. Helping people, loving children, healing heartaches, strengthening tired bodies, saving whom He could. He not PREACHED His message, but He LIVED it amongst us. He not only ministered to their spiritual needs, but He spent a great deal of time ministering to their physical and material needs, miraculously healing them when they were sick, feeding them when they were hungry and sharing His life and His Love!

He was so simple and His religion was so simple that He said you must become as a little CHILD to receive it! He didn’t preach Temple worship, He didn’t preach going to synagogue nor going to church, He didn’t preach any complicated ceremonies or difficult rules. All he did was preach LOVE and show Love, as He strove to lead God’s children into the True Kingdom of God, whose only laws are to “love the Lord with all thy heart” and “love thy neighbour as thyself”.

He had very little to do with the high-fallutin’, rich-robed, churchy scribes, pharisees and hypocrites–the religious leaders of that day–except when they insisted on annoying Him with their critical questions. Then He would sock it to them, publicly exposing them as the “blind leaders of the blind” that they were, even telling them that they were like white-washed SEPULCHRES, which indeed appear beautiful, clean and holy on the OUTSIDE, but WITHIN are full of rottenness, corruption and stinking dead men’s bones!

He was not a mere religious reformer, He was a REVOLUTIONARY! He refused to compromise with the false religious system, but rather worked totally OUTSIDE of it, reaching and sharing His Love with the poor and common folk who had long ago abandoned and been abandoned by organised religion. He never went into any bar with whip in hand, breaking up the bottles and throwing out the bartender. Nor did He ever enter any brothel, beating up the poor girls, overturning their beds and throwing the men out the window. But He DID make a whip, go into their big beautiful religious Temple, overturn the tables, spill out the money and drive the money-mad money-changers out of the church, condemning them for turning what was supposed to be a house of prayer into a den of thieves!

He made Himself of no reputation, and was a companion of drunks and prostitutes, publicans and sinners, the outcasts and downtrodden of society. He even told them that they would enter the Kingdom of Heaven before the so-called “good” people, the self-righteous and religious leaders who rejected Him and His simple Message of Love. The power of His Love and of His appeal was so great and gave such great faith to the sincere truth-seekers that they didn’t hesitate to drop everything they had and forsake all immediately to become His full-time followers!

Once, while crossing a lake in a small boat with His disciples, when a great storm arose and the boat was in danger of sinking, He commanded the winds and the waves to cease and immediately there was a great calm! His disciples, astonished by such a demonstration of miraculous power, exclaimed to one another, “What manner of man IS this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!”

Throughout His ministry He gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, cleansed lepers and raised the dead! In fact, so marvellous were His works that they prompted a leading member of the religious establishment that most bitterly opposed and resented Him to exclaim, “We KNOW that You are come from God! For no man could do these miracles that You do unless GOD were with Him!”

As His Message of Love spread and His followers multiplied, the established religion and its jealous leaders realised what a THREAT this formerly unknown carpenter had become to them! His simple doctrine of Love was LIBERATING the people from the control of the hypocritical High Priests, the big-shot religionists, and was therefore destroying their entire religious system, their religious authority, their power and control and hold on people.

These powerful religious enemies finally had Him arrested and brought to trial on false charges of sedition and subversion. And although the governor found Him innocent, he was pressured and persuaded by these religionists to execute Him. Just prior to His arrest, He had said, “They couldn’t even TOUCH Me without My Father’s permission! If I would but raise My little finger, He would send legions of angels to rescue Me!” But instead, He CHOSE to die to save you and me! Nobody TOOK His life from Him, He LAID it down, He GAVE His life of His Own free will and accord.

But even His death did not satisfy His jealous enemies! To ensure that His followers couldn’t steal His body and claim He’d come back to life, they placed a huge stone over the door of His tomb and posted a group of Roman soldiers there to guard it. A scheme that proved futile, as these same guards became witnesses to the greatest miracle of all! Three days after His lifeless body was laid to rest in that cold tomb, He ROSE from the dead, the Victor over all death and hell forever!

Death itself could not stop His work nor His Words! He rose to lead His tiny band of followers to ultimate victory to overthrow the Roman Empire with Love and the power of the Gospel! And the Love of God simply rolled right on over His jealous enemies like a giant tidal wave to cover the whole Earth! And they were left far behind as dead and dry as He said they’d be!

Since that miraculous day nearly 2,000 years ago, this same man, Jesus Christ, has done more to change history and the course of civilisation and the condition of Man than any other leader, group, government or Empire before Him or since! He has saved BILLIONS from the death of a hopeless, Christless tomb and has given Eternal Life and the Love of God to all who call upon His Name. This man, Jesus Christ, is not merely a philosopher or teacher or rabbi or guru, or even a prophet. He is THE Son of God! God, the Great Creator, is a SPIRIT and is all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere and in everything far beyond our limited human comprehension! So He sent JESUS, in the form of a MAN, to show us what He Himself is like and to bring us to Himself. And although many great teachers have spoken and taught ABOUT Love and ABOUT God, He IS Love and He IS God! The only One Who died for the sins of the World and rose from the dead! So He’s in a class all by Himself, because He’s the only SAVIOUR! He said, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE! No man cometh unto the Father but by ME!”

How can YOU find out and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ really IS the Son of God, the way to Salvation? The answer is simple: TRY Him! Simply humble yourself and sincerely ask Him to reveal Himself to you! Ask Him to come into your heart, forgive you of all your sins and fill your life with His Love, peace and joy!

He’s REAL and He loves YOU! So much so that He DIED in YOUR place and suffered for YOUR sins so that YOU wouldn’t have to if you’ll just RECEIVE Him and His free Gift of Eternal Life! But He can’t save you unless you WANT Him to! His Love is all-powerful, but He won’t FORCE His way into your life. He KNOCKS at the door of your heart. He doesn’t kick it in or break it down. He stands there gently, meekly, in loving patience, waiting for YOU to open up and ask Him in.

Will YOU receive Him? If so, He will be the most precious One in your life! Your closest Friend and Companion Who will be with you ALWAYS! For He alone is the Lover of ALL lovers, Who CAME for love and LIVED in love and DIED for love that WE might LIVE and LOVE FOREVER!

You can personally receive Jesus into your own heart right now by sincerely praying this simple prayer: “Dear Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I believe You died for me. I believe You’re the Son of God, & I now ask You to come into my life. I open the door & I invite You into my heart. Jesus, please come in & help me to confess You before others that they may find You too. In Jesus’ name I ask, amen.”

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Anchor

The Unconquerable Life

A compilation

free-bible-studies-online-anchor“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
—Romans 8:31 (NIV)

*

If we are in Christ, and predestined to be like Him by an all-powerful sovereign God, then it stands to reason Paul would ask, “Who can be against us?” The reality is that all kinds of things can be against us, but to what effect? Paul asks another question. “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?” (Romans 8:33) The reality is that there are many charges and condemnation that come against us, but to what effect?

The key to our security and serenity in a world where there is plenty working against us is our dependency on God, and knowing that in all things He works for the good. If God is for us, then no one can be against us to any avail, because we are on God’s agenda, and being moulded to the image of Christ, who, by His death, burial, and resurrection has already defeated anything that threatens us, including death. Paul writes, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) God does not leave us unequipped and stranded, but He gives us Jesus, through whom we are strengthened and sustained in every hardship.

We all encounter situations of tension and conflict, but if I may paraphrase, “If God is for us, who cares about anything against us?” As Christians, we are to live with a disposition of heart that says, “If God is for me, then I am secure, regardless of what comes against me.” The issue is not about conflicts and tension coming into our lives. They are part of life we all contend with. The issue is about our response to them. Paul says, “Who then is the one who condemns us? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Romans 8:34) Our response needs to be one of victory already received. Why? Because God is in us.

Paul then asks, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:35) He says, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors in Christ,” because “nothing in all creation is able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:37,39) It is in a love relationship with Jesus Christ that we place ourselves in the hands of an all-powerful, sovereign God who has given us the unconquerable life that we have in His Son.

—Charles Price

 
Surviving disappointment

Life certainly doesn’t always turn out the way we imagine it will. When it doesn’t, how can we survive the disappointment? How can we get through those dark times?

Often our greatest times of disappointment come when someone fails us, or we at least feel that they have. People can hurt us deeply. Sometimes they know what they are doing, while other times they’re only doing the best they know how to do with the tools they have. In either case, the level of fulfillment and happiness we experience in our lives doesn’t depend on other people; it depends on God. Of course, we do rely on other people for certain things, and it’s painful when they let us down. But the ultimate success or joy of our life should not depend on them. We don’t have to prolong suffering over what others do or don’t do to us, because ultimately our reward is in God’s hands.

It’s also seriously disappointing when we believe we have failed in some way, perhaps due to our own carelessness or in spite of our best efforts. Or we think we have failed when we really haven’t at all. And we sit in darkness over it, torturing ourselves. The regret and condemnation pounds us down like a giant sledgehammer to our soul. “If only I hadn’t…” “If I just would have…” “Why didn’t I…” It’s a weight we can’t carry and were never meant to.

Even when we have to bear the consequences for the wrong choices we’ve made, God is still on our side. “When I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me.” (Micah 7:8) How wonderful it is to know that even in a darkness of our own creation, God is still there and so is His light. I think that’s what makes us love Him most. His grace. We realize how little we deserve it and how far short of His glory we fall, yet He loves and accepts us anyway. Even in our greatest depth of failure, God brings good out of it as long as we reach humbly to Him.

We make a mistake in expecting too much from ourselves, other people, and life, when our expectations should be from God. God often allows hard things to happen in our lives in order to bless us in some way. If we are willing to allow for that possibility in everything that happens, it saves us from being devastated by people and situations that are ultimately going to be used for God’s glory. If we surrender our disappointment to God and say, “Be my light and lead me through this, Lord,” His work will be accomplished faster. …

Remember that no matter how dark times of disappointment become, God is still your light. Walk in the light He gives you.

—Stormie Omartian

 
New dreams

We all have them: plans that didn’t turn out the way we’d hoped, prayers that seem like they didn’t make it past the ceiling, dreams that break and are shattered as we wonder what went wrong. We go on, leaving behind broken dreams and seemingly unanswered prayers, but often they remain etched in our mind along with a question mark. Why didn’t things turn out the way I had planned, or hoped, or prayed?

What is a broken dream, anyway, but an idea of a path, or somewhere we thought our life should go but that led us elsewhere. We made a turn, somewhere, where life seemed to fall apart, or we lost our way and missed it somehow.

Being the flawed human beings that we are, we usually think we’ve failed. We begin to blame ourselves, or others, and carry a weight of failure or disappointment around, sometimes for years. If we blame others, that can be a heavy weight to carry, and until we give it up and forgive, it has the power to taint and mar the joy in our life so much that life itself can become a sad and weary experience.

The way we tend to judge things to be either “a success” or “a failure” is often such a keyhole-sized view. We peer inside and see only a tiny glimpse, which confirms, once again, a sad, sad acceptance of our failure. But if we could only see our lives from a bigger, more complete perspective, so many other elements and colors and highlights would come into view, and that tiny image would be transformed into the marvelous masterpiece that it truly can be, and probably is, in God’s eyes.

If we try to figure God out or try to fully understand His plan for our lives, forcing things to fit into our very limited perspective, we will only be disappointed in ourselves and Him when things don’t happen the way we dreamed and hoped. But if we have the faith to give Him the shattered pieces of our broken dreams, and trust Him to work with them as He knows is best, we will find that dreams can be mended and realize that all is not lost.

How can this happen? When does it happen? In His perfect way and in His perfect time. He, who is only love, has His own dream for our lives. He, who has only our best interests in mind, stands waiting with a paintbrush ready to paint into reality His dream of a life full of splashes of light and blends of color, depth, and texture. This is a dream that will not break. All we have to do is let go and let Him make something beautiful.

—Janet Kluck

 
 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.