Category Archives: Inspiration

Sweet Dreams Tonight!

Based on the writings of David Brandt Berg

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My Saviour, hear my prayer
Before I go to rest;
It is Your little child
Who comes now to be blest.

Forgive me all my sin,
And let me sleep this night
In safety and in peace
Until the morning light.

The final thing we should do at night as we lie down to sleep is to thank Jesus for a good day, and pray for a good night’s rest! He has promised to keep us in PERFECT PEACE if we keep our minds stayed on Him. (Isaiah 26:3). So you’ll find it very conducive to a peaceful night’s sleep if you’ll get your mind off your worries and problems and think about JESUS, and read something short and soothing and comforting from His Word. In fact, there are many precious promises in His Word that we can claim for a good night’s sleep:

 
“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
–Psalm 4:8

 
“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
–Exodus 33:14

 
“When you lie down, you will not be afraid: You shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet.”
–Proverbs 3:24

As we go to sleep, it’s a good time to “commune with our own heart upon our bed” (Psalm 4:4), to take stock of things and to reflect momentarily on the day’s events and accomplishments, and perhaps sometimes even its failures. Ask yourself if it has been a day in which you’ve done God’s Will in obedience and yieldedness. Has it been a day that you’re thankful for because you’re sure the Lord is pleased with it? “What have I done with my life?”, is a good question to ask yourself as you lie down to sleep at the end of every day. “What have I done with my life THIS day? Did I live it for JESUS so that I can lie down happy and contended, thankful and satisfied that I have done my best this day and can now rest peacefully?”

“Now I lay me down to sleep;
I pray Thee Lord, my soul to keep.
Thy Love guard me through the night,
And wake me with the morning bright!”

 
“GUARDIAN ANGELS ROUND MY BED….”

“The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them.”
–Psalm 34:7

Jesus never sleeps! He watches over you all the time! “He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you.” (Psalm 121:4,5). And so do all of His Angels and Saints!–Isn’t that a comforting thought?

Thank God for His Guardian Angels who make it possible for us to lie down in peace and go to sleep and not worry about enemies or troubles or anything! They never sleep, they’re always awake! They don’t need to rest, because they’re not affected by gravity or weariness or hunger!

Our guards, the hosts of Heaven surrounding us, are on the job fulltime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, ALL the time! Isn’t that wonderful? Even this World has never been able to furnish any guards like that!

Praise the Lord! As the famous opera star, Mario Lanza, sang:

Guardian Angels around my bed
Joining me in my prayers;
They hush the shadows when they dance about!
They shoo away the bears!

Guardian Angels around my bed
Standing by till I rise.
There’s one with shining wings who holds my hand
And shows me Paradise!

 
OUR HEAVENLY EDUCATION!…

“In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; THEN He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction.”
–Job 33:15,16

Believe it or not, your SPIRIT, the real YOU, doesn’t need sleep! While your physical body is having to rest, your immortal spirit is constantly busy and thinking and dreaming and having spiritual experiences all the time in your sleep. It doesn’t have to sleep because it’s immortal, eternal, spiritual. “The things that are seen are temporal, the things that are not seen are eternal!” (2Corinthians 4:18). The physical dies away but the spiritual is forever, and even in your sleep, it’s busy all the time, having experiences, learning lessons, making decisions and exploring!

Sometimes the Lord allows us to remember those spiritual experiences and dreams. But it’s undoubtedly a blessing that He doesn’t allow us to remember everything that our spirits experience while we’re asleep! It would be too much of a burden on our conscious minds to have to remember all that, when we have enough in our present physical lives to think and be concerned about!

Sometimes the Lord lets us be TESTED in our dreams to see what we WOULD do under such circumstances! It’s a pretty realistic test under dream conditions, because you don’t know you’re in a dream! You think it’s really happening, so your reactions are very realistic and genuine as to what you would REALLY do under such circumstances!

Then, many times when you have to make a certain decision when you’re awake, it’s much easier to make the right decisions, because hopefully you learned the lessons while you were sleeping and making choices under similiar conditions in your dreams. So, thank God for our dreams! They’re part of our Heavenly spiritual education!

“I will praise the Lord, Who has given me counsel: Even in the night He instructs my heart.”
–Psalm 16:7

 
“THOU SHALT NOT BE AFRAID FOR THE TERROR BY NIGHT…”–PSALM 91:5

Though we tremble in the dark
In need of help and cheer,
We have a tender Father’s Word,
“Fear thou not, for I am here!”

There are a lot of different reasons why people sometimes have bad dreams. It could be something you ate, or something you were worrying about when you went to sleep, and you just subconsciously carried that train of thought on in your sleep. Sometimes bad dreams are a warning from the Lord about something that’s going to happen–or is already happening that you don’t know about. But WARNING dreams from the LORD usually have something good and meaningful in them. They are usually not ENTIRELY bad and always have some kind of LESSON to be learned.

Some bad dreams could be a definite implantation of thoughts in your mind from evil spiritual sources, in an attempt to try to influence your thinking and scare you. The evil spirits try to fight us in our dreams just like the good spirits are trying to HELP us in our dreams!

When you have nightmares, your spirit is actually battling evil spiritual forces! The Lord sometimes ALLOWS it to see what you will DO, and what effect it will have on you. He wants to see if you’ll make the right decision to really call on HIM for HELP! So bad dreams too are all a part of your spiritual life and experience which continues in your sleep! Of course, it is NOT God’s Will that we have bad dreams all the time! If your sleep is troubled and you are continually having nightmares or bad dreams, you should pray and rebuke the Devil and ask the Lord to DELIVER you from such hindering dreams!

It’s often helpful to have a NIGHTLIGHT on in your room because evil spirits don’t like the light! They are lovers of darkness because their deeds are evil, so they flee from the light! (John 3:19). So it’s good to always have a little light on and not sleep in complete darkness.

You also need to specifically PRAY and ask the Lord to give you good dreams! Sometimes we have bad dreams because we forget to PRAY and ask the Lord for good ones! As James 4:2 says, sometimes “we HAVE NOT because we ASK NOT”. The Lord wants to be recognised. He wants you to know that you need Him! That’s why He wants you to pray!

If you know the Lord, then you’re HIS child, and you don’t have ANYTHING to fear or worry about! You KNOW that the Lord is protecting and keeping you! He hallows you around about and gives His Angels charge over you! (See Psalm 91:11).

 
THE BEAUTY OF THE NIGHT!…

Why fight insomnia with a pill?
Why dread to meet the night?
There is no better time to find
The everlasting Light!

Those times in the night when you can’t sleep are a wonderful time to PRAY and PRAISE the Lord! King David said “I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches” (Psalm 63:6). The night is so quiet and still! You can reach right up to God and hear His Voice so plain–the still small voice in the wee hours of the night!

He likes to whisper like a lover in your ear in soft, sweet tones! He likes to woo you in the night with His tender, gentle, loving Voice, whispering in your heart, when the slightest whisper can be heard! It’s often so hard to hear Him in the daytime with the clatter, the noise, all the other voices, all the racket of the World pounding on your eardrums! But in the cool and quiet of the night, it’s all so peaceful and still. You can see the tiny stars twinkling away so quietly, so sweetly! Like watching Angels, they just wink at you, they whisper to you, they talk to you without a sound!

While the Scriptures speak many times of DARKNESS with an evil connotation, the physical NIGHT, created by God Himself, is NOT evil, and is often spoken of as a blessing! Jesus arose a great while before it was day, so obviously He rose during the NIGHT to pray! The Lord appeared to Solomon in the NIGHT and granted him wisdom and knowledge as he had requested! And David in the Psalms speaks so much of communing with God in the NIGHT seasons! (Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12; 1Kings 3:5-15; Psalm 77:6).

So, if you wake up at night and can’t go back to sleep, maybe God wants you to PRAY! As soon as you get prayed up, you’ll probably go right back to sleep! TRY it!

When at night you sleepless lie,
And the weary hours drag by–
Lift your thoughts to God above,
Bending down to you in love!

Feel His presence by your bed–
His soft touch upon your head.
Let your last thought be a prayer,
As you nestle in His care!

Ask Him all your way to keep,
Then–why then–drop off to sleep!

God bless you! Good night and SWEET DREAMS!

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Activated

A Tale of Two Brothers

Author unknown

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According to legend, there was once an abbey which had a very generous abbot. No beggar was ever turned away, and he gave all he could to the needy. The strange thing was that the more he gave away, the richer the abbey seemed to become.

When the old abbot died, he was replaced by a new one with exactly the opposite nature. One day an elderly man arrived at the monastery, saying that he had stayed there years before, and was seeking shelter again.

“Our monastery cannot provide for strangers like it used to when we were wealthy,” the abbot said. “No one seems to make gifts towards our work nowadays.”

“Ah, well,” said the stranger, “I think that is because you banished two brothers from the monastery.”

“I don’t think we ever did that,” said the puzzled abbot.

“Oh, yes,” was the reply. “They were twins. One was called ‘Give’ and the other, ‘It will be given to you.’ (See Luke 6:38) You banished ‘Give,’ so his brother decided to go as well.”

 

*

 
Freely you have received, freely give.
—Jesus, Matthew 10:8

 
I believe that a trusting attitude and a patient attitude go hand in hand. You see, when you let go and learn to trust God, it releases joy in your life. And when you trust God, you’re able to be more patient. Patience is not just about waiting for something… it’s about how you wait, or your attitude while waiting.
—Joyce Meyer (b. 1943)

 
I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance, but by our disposition.
—Martha Washington (1731–1802)

 
The more you give, the more comes back to you, because God is the greatest giver in the universe, and He won’t let you outgive Him. Go ahead and try. See what happens.
—Randy Alcorn (b. 1954)

 
In all of my years of service to my Lord, I have discovered a truth that has never failed and has never been compromised. That truth is that it is beyond the realm of possibilities that one has the ability to outgive God. Even if I give the whole of my worth to Him, He will find a way to give back to me much more than I have given.
—Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892)

 
 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

The Sultan and Satan–A Lesson for all!

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An ancient legend from the East tells how a great Sultan–who was known for being a devout man of God–overslept and didn’t awaken at the hour of prayer. When the Devil saw that the hour was passing, he came and waked him, urging him to get out of bed and pray.

“Who are you?” said the startled Sultan, still rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

“Oh, it’s not important.” replied the shady figure. “The important thing is that I woke you up in time! Otherwise you would have missed your prayers for the first time in ten years!–And it IS very good to pray, isn’t it?”

“Yes, that is true!” replied the Sultan smugly. “I wouldn’t dream of missing my prayer time.–Not even ONCE!

“But wait a minute! I think I recognise you. Yes, I know your face. Of course, you are Satan, and no doubt you have some evil motive for your appearance.”

“I’m not really as bad as you think!” exclaimed the intruder. “After all, I was an angel once.”

“That is all very well,” replied the wise old Sultan, “but you are the Deceiver, THAT is your business! So I demand in the name of God to know WHY you, of all people, want me to get up and pray!”

“Well,” huffed the Devil, having grown impatient with the Sultan’s persistence, “if you must know, I’ll tell you. If you had slept and forgotten your prayers, you would have felt very SORRY for it afterward, and would have been quite PENITENT. But if you continue on as you have, without missing a single prayer for ten years, then you will become so SATISFIED with yourSELF that it will be worse for you than if you had missed one and had repented of it, asking God for forgiveness! God loves your FAULT mixed with PENITENCE much more than your VIRTUE seasoned with PRIDE!”

*

What an important lesson this old story imparts. Often it is actually GOOD for us to make mistakes! If we didn’t make some mistakes, we’d most likely become so proud of ourselves and self-confident, that we’d no longer feel we needed God nor the help of others. But in reality, when we feel so PROUD and SELF-satisfied, it is because we are NOT closer to GOD, but closer to OURSELVES!

Of course, in this modern World of today many people are taught to believe that pride is quite a virtue.–But in GOD’S eyes, pride and self-righteousness are recognised for what they really are–SINS of the heart! In fact, the Bible says that “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall!…and God RESISTS the PROUD, but He gives GRACE unto the HUMBLE” (Proverbs 16:5,18; James 4:6)

Quite frequently, the way God helps us keep our pride in check is through our MISTAKES, which serve to keep us humble and broken, more needy of the Lord’s help and more dependent on HIS strength and not our own. It may surprise you to know that the Lord even WANTS us to fail in some things so that we don’t get to thinking too highly of ourselves, thinking that we are so perfect!

Out of what seems like defeat come some of God’s greatest victories!–“Victories? But what kind of victory is that?” you may ask. Well, God very often uses humiliating experiences to make of you a better person, more compassionate and understanding of the errors of others, more loving and patient, when otherwise you might not have been so.

Isn’t it encouraging to realise that your failures can be looked on as something positive, to see them from a positive viewpoint?–Not as though the Lord were merely trying to crush you to the ground, but that He’s using your mistakes to teach you many important lessons that perhaps you would not learn otherwise WITHOUT such humbling!

Of course, in order to do this, we must be honest with ourselves and willing to confess our mistakes and attempt to rectify them. But as they say, the hardest words in any language are, “I was wrong!” And the hardest one to CONFESS our faults to is usually OURSELVES. This takes humility of the kind that only God can give, because it is the inborn sinful nature of man to want to appear perfect and faultless, and consequently he becomes unable to confess his mistakes.

But if we want the truth, and we desire God’s blessing, then we’ll honestly and humbly admit and confess our faults and failings, taking comfort in knowing that we are wiser today than we were yesterday. Contrary to what some folks think, an admission of error is a sign of strength rather than a confession of weakness!

Besides, God knows you’re anything but perfect. In fact, He knows you CAN’T be perfect and will NEVER be perfect. So the crux of the matter is NOT whether you are perfect or not, but if you depend on the LORD totally, trusting in HIM and HIS grace and His Love and mercy. Do you give HIM all the glory and credit for anything GOOD that you do? Whenever you accomplish something good, do you say, “Just thank JESUS, don’t thank me!–If I have done anything good, it’s only because of the Lord’s help!”

A good rule to follow is to give GOD all the glory for anything GOOD you do, and yourself the blame for anything BAD. And it will help keep you from falling into that horrible trap of self-righteous PRIDE, which is the BASIS of virtually ALL SIN!

So whenever you make a mistake and are tempted to get down and discouraged, just remember what was said to that Sultan: “God loves your FAULT mixed with PENITENCE, more than your VIRTUE seasoned with PRIDE!”

PRAYER: Lord, help us to realise that even our mistakes are good for us. Help us to be honest with ourselves and others about our faults and shortcomings. We confess that without You we are nothing (John 15:5). Help us not to fight Your breakings and remakings, which actually help us to become more yielded, more humble and most of all, more useful for Your service. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Anchor

Self-Control and Avoiding Temptation—Part 2

From the Roadmap series

free-bible-studies-online-anchorSome people are strongly affected by their emotions. That’s not altogether bad, unless the emotions are negative. If you have a tendency to get angry and blow off steam, speed when driving because you’re frustrated or upset, binge-drink when you’re sad or lonely, or other such actions, it’s important to learn to control your emotions. Managing your emotions doesn’t mean you stop feeling or expressing yourself.

 
 
Managing your emotions means:

You don’t overreact to situations.
You take a moment to put things in perspective.
You remain firmly in control, so that your emotions enhance your life, rather than ruin it.
You make your emotions work for you. Not against you.
—Burke Hedges, You, Inc.

Consider this true story.

When the athlete was only a boy, it was obvious to everybody that he was blessed with special physical gifts. He loved all sports, and excelled at every one he ever tried.

When he was nine years old, his father handed him a warped wooden tennis racquet. From the first swing of the racquet, the boy was hooked! It wasn’t long before he was beating all the kids his age throughout the country.

By the time he was 12 he was regularly beating the best adult players in his country, and he could give tennis pros a run for their money. Everyone predicted he would be a world champion one day; that is, if he could only learn how to control his temper.

You see, when something went wrong, like when he missed an easy shot or if an umpire made a bad call, the boy had a fit. His temper got so out of control that he began losing matches he should have won.

One day his father came out to watch him in the finals of a big tournament. Sure enough, the boy started losing his temper, shouting, cursing, throwing his racquet. After 10 minutes of witnessing this obnoxious behavior, the father walked onto the court, and announced to everyone present, “This match is over. My son defaults.” And with that he walked over to his son and said in a stern voice, “Come with me.”

When they got home the father placed the racquet in a closet and said, “You are not to touch this racquet or any other racquet for six months, end of discussion.”

At the end of the six months, his father handed the racquet to his son with these words: “If I hear so much as one curse word, or see so much as one toss of your racquet in anger, I’ll take it from you for good. Either you control your temper or I will control it for you.”

The boy was so overjoyed to be able to play that he took to the sport with more passion than ever before. By the time he was 16, he was winning professional tournaments all over Europe.

With each tournament, the young man was getting better and better, and the press started calling him “teen angel”! You see, after his father’s suspension, the boy learned to manage his emotions even under the most stressful conditions.

Whether it was the first point of an easy match or the last nerve-racking point of a hard-fought final, his expression and demeanor remained the same. He was in complete control of his emotions.

He went on to become what many experts consider the greatest player ever. He won 14 major championships in all, including six French Open titles, the first when he was only 18 years old, and five straight Wimbledon titles. The one-time tennis brat, later known as “Teen-Angel,” was Bjorn Borg.

Borg would be the first to admit that learning to manage his emotions was the turning point in his tennis career,if not his life.Whether you are five years old or 55 years old, managing your emotions means understanding that you can’t always control what happens to you. But as Bjorn Borg learned, you CAN control your emotional response.

—Burke Hedges, You, Inc. (adapted)

Bjorn Borg learned to control his emotions as a teenager, and the results were tremendous success and excellent character. Borg’s father stepped in and brought the lessons home for him. Our heavenly Father may, in some cases, do the same, if necessary, in order to teach us self-restraint and self-control. At other times, however, He may allow us to continue in the wrong direction we’ve chosen until eventually we see for ourselves where our lack of self-restraint has taken us, which is usually not where we had originally intended to go. If we want to be “quick studies,” we won’t wait for the Lord to intervene, or expect that He always will. Sometimes—often, in fact—the Lord is willing to let us learn the hard way. So it’s important that we learn to be responsible for our actions and emotions, personally.

Acting on runaway emotions will have consequences. To not think things through can have life-altering repercussions. And unfortunately, often those consequences can never be undone, nor those repercussions reversed.

Today’s society offers more freedom and more choices. We also face more temptations, more distractions, and more permissiveness. Therefore, it’s crucial that we fully understand and respect the power of our emotions, and that we learn to take responsibility for them and manage them well.

It’s never too late to learn to control your temper or manage your emotions. There are many practical tips on this, which can be effective, but the most effective way to grow in this area is through communion with the Lord, in prayer, reading God’s Word, and committing our lives and emotions to Him.

 
Live without regrets

Another part of self-control is related to discipline. For example, do you have enough self-control to walk away from something appealing or “fun” when it’s not the right thing to do? Or to resist doing something crazy, like accepting a dangerous dare from a friend? Do you have enough self-control to keep from overdrinking so as to avoid making a fool of yourself, or worse yet, causing some serious damage? Maybe your drunken antics hurt your relationship with your significant other. Or maybe you wrecked your car, hurt someone, or lost your job. Perhaps you flunked out of school or caused people to question your character.

Taking charge of your life requires discipline. Yes, tons of it. But discipline is neither readily attained nor easily maintained. It demands the mental stamina to overcome empty passions and faulty habits. It also requires the fortitude to resist the pull of so many temptations that otherwise might lure us toward meaningless sideshows. But more than anything, it demands a relentless focus on what matters most.
—Stephen Covey

Researchers have found twenty things that people do when they are young that they will likely regret when they are forty. Some of the things noted include smoking, posting risqué photos on the Internet, unwise social networking, getting tattoos in visible places, body piercings and plugs, overspending and getting into debt, random unprotected sex, dropping out of school, and being too busy or disinterested to spend time with the people they love.

There is a wide range of opinions on the validity of these actions, and some people might not agree with these points being a risk or something to avoid. But the point is this: You will not always have the mindsets, attitudes, or approach to life that you have today, and one day you might look back on what you’re doing now, on certain actions that you can’t take back or undo, and say, “What in the world was I thinking?!”

Leaders ought not to worry greatly about occasional mistakes, but they must vigilantly guard against those things that will make them feel ashamed.
—Jon Huntsman

We are making choices now that will affect the course of the rest of our life. Undoubtedly, we want that course to be a good one. That is why it’s important that we first of all know what the Lord wants, as well as where we’re headed and why, in order to then develop the right habits and the proper disciplines needed to help us follow that path. We each hold our future in our hands; we determine what it will be by our daily choices.

God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. But what I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it! When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something that I have traded for it. I want it to be gain, and not loss; good, and not evil; success, and not failure; in order that I shall not regret the price that I have paid for it.
—Attributed to W. Heartsill Wilson

 
 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

The Spirit of Love!

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He knew the joys of Earth
Would pass away and soon depart,
For he’d tasted HEAVEN’S Love,
The Saviour dwelt within his heart!

Yet he stumbled down life’s road
And seemed to wander aimlessly,
Torn between the World and Christ,
Who had beckoned, “Follow Me!”

He wanted to obey,
To heed the Shepherd’s call,
But he didn’t have the strength,
When e’er he’d try, he’d fall!

Till late one night he found Her,
And like a Goddess from above,
She took his hand and sweetly whispered,
“I am the SPIRIT of GOD’S LOVE!

“Through the Son, you know the Father,
But you need to receive ME.
For I am the loving MOTHER
Of the Holy Trinity!

“Let Me thrill you, let Me fill you
With My power in your soul!”
“I am YOURS!” the pilgrim answered,
“Take my life, take FULL control!”

Empowered by Her kisses,
Transformed by Her loving hands,
Renewed by Her caresses,
He became ANOTHER man!

He cared less about himself,
And more for OTHERS, and was bold
To tell them of his Saviour
And lead scores into His Fold!

So many christians today are like this!–Even though they have come to know Jesus, “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6), they have received Him and His wonderful Love into their hearts, their relationship with Him is somehow INCOMPLETE, something is MISSING, they are somehow lacking the life and love and joy that He has promised to all who love and follow Him!

Such Christians often become so weak, so unmotivated, so powerless, that they settle for a cold, lifeless, TRADITIONAL Christianity which has very little or nothing to do with the THRILLING and CHALLENGING kind of life that Jesus offered to His disciples, as we read about in the Gospels of the New Testament! This dry, almost lifeless counterfeit Christianity has so little to do with Christ and His teachings that it would more aptly be called CHURCHianity, as the foundation and basis for much of such religion today is church buildings & the church services and churchy rules and taboos which have “made the commandment of GOD of NONE EFFECT by their traditions!” (Mark 7:6-13)

It is so sad, so pitiful, that so many Christians are ignorant of the fact that God could fill their lives with His Love and joy and power in such a way that would THRILL and FULFIL and SATISFY them beyond their wildest dreams! Jesus promised this power to His disciples when He told them that after His resurrection they would “be endued with POWER from on High”, that He would send a special COMFORTER to comfort, lead and give them the power and strength to “GO into all the World and preach the Gospel to EVERY creature!” (Luke 24:49; John 14:26; Mark 16:15)

This wonderful power that God has provided for His children is the HOLY SPIRIT, Who, to many people’s surprise, is pictured in the Bible as a beautiful WOMAN!–She is the COMFORTER, the SPIRIT of LOVE, the MOTHER FIGURE of the Trinity! In the beginning when God created Man, the Bible tells us that He said, “Let US make Man in OUR image, after OUR likeness–male AND female created He them!” (Genesis 1:26,27)–So God’s Trinity is male AND female!

In the Bible’s Book of Proverbs, King Solomon describes God’s Spirit of Love and Wisdom as a “SHE” that was with God “from the beginning when He had not yet made the Earth and when He prepared the heavens.” (Proverbs 8:1-35) God’s precious Holy Spirit is His Own Heavenly Mate, the spiritual Mother of His Son, Jesus, and the Mother of us ALL in SPIRIT!

Of course, everyone who has ever received Jesus into his heart has received a MEASURE of the Holy Spirit, “being born again of the SPIRIT”. (John 3:8) But to receive the FULL anointing or infilling, or what the Bible calls “BAPTISM” of the Holy Spirit, is usually a SEPARATE experience that happens AFTER you have received Jesus.

A glass of water makes a good illustration. A glass may not be a FULL glass of water but if it has SOME water in it at least it’s not completely empty, it IS a glass of WATER. Well, that’s how a lot of Christians are. They have just a LITTLE bit of water, a little BIT of God’s Spirit, just enough to SAVE them.

But being BAPTISED with the Holy Spirit is as if the water was poured in till the glass was FILLED UP and RUNNING OVER! It is such an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that you fill up and run over! Jesus said, “He that believes on Me, out of his innermost parts shall flow RIVERS of LIVING WATER!”–This spake He of the SPIRIT which they that believe on Him SHOULD receive! (John 7:38,39)

This baptism or infilling of the Holy Spirit is a baptism of LOVE!–Love for God and love for others!–Love enough to REACH them with the Gospel, to WIN them to the Lord, such a Love that you just love EVERYBODY! In fact, the Holy Spirit of God IS Love because “GOD is LOVE”! (1 John 4:8)

So to be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be filled with the LOVE of God! Of course, at the same time it is also a baptism of the POWER of God, the power that enables you to tell other people about Jesus, to share His Love with others.

Just before leaving this World and ascending to be with His Father, Jesus told His disciples, “You shall receive POWER, AFTER the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and you shall be WITNESSES unto Me in ALL the World!” (Acts 1:8) Receiving the power of His Holy Spirit will make you want to be a WITNESS and OBEY His command and tell OTHERS about Jesus, and show them that He loves them!

Receiving God’s wonderful Spirit of Love not only fills us with His Love and power, but also gives us what the Bible calls “GIFTS of the Spirit”! (1 Corinthians 12) These gifts include supernatural WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE, gifts of HEALING, working of MIRACLES, the ability to PROPHESY, and speak in new TONGUES and LANGUAGES, etc! (1Corinthians 12:4-10) These marvellous gifts of which we read so much about in the New Testament are still as real and available TODAY as they were in the days of the Apostles, for “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever!” (Hebrews 13:8)

So if you want to be a lively, active Christian who OBEYS the Lord, preaches the Gospel and wins OTHERS into His Kingdom, thereby laying up for yourself an ETERNAL CROWN and reward because of your faithfulness to Him, you certainly need to be filled with His precious Holy Spirit!–You cannot do the Master’s WORK without the Master’s POWER!

“Have YOU received the Holy Ghost since you believed?” (Acts 19:2) Have you received this overflowing power of God’s Love in your own life since you received Jesus? Do you have any of the beautiful “gifts of the Spirit”, God the Father’s wonderful gifts for His children to enjoy, and tools for your work for Him? You can have them right NOW! All you have to do is ASK!

Jesus promised, “Ask and it SHALL be given you, seek and ye SHALL find, knock and it SHALL be opened unto you!” (Matthew 7:7) When you ask God for the Holy Spirit, you’ll KNOW that you’ve received Her because He’s PROMISED Her!–Just like when you received JESUS into your heart, you knew He came in because the Bible SAID He would! (Revelation 3:20)

She’s calling YOU, to come and follow and serve Jesus, to live for ETERNITY, to know such JOY and THRILLS and FULFILMENT beyond anything you’ve ever imagined! Heed Her loving call and ask God to fill you with His precious Holy Spirit right NOW! Why wait? He is more willing to give than you are to receive!

Receive God’s Spirit of Love and power now by simply praying this little prayer:

“Dear Jesus, I love You, and know that I need more of Your Love and Power in my life. So I ask You to please fill me with Your Holy Spirit right now, to give me the strength to truly follow You and tell others about You and Your Love! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen!”

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Activated

Points to Ponder: The Peace of God

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Inner peace

 
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
—Philippians 4:7

 
If we have not quiet in our minds, outward comfort will do no more for us than a golden slipper on a gouty foot.
—John Bunyan (1628–1688)

 
Peace comes not from the absence of trouble, but from the presence of God.
—Unknown

 
Our daily lives can easily become filled with stress, pressure, and confusion. But we can stop at any moment and slip away into the presence of God’s Spirit through prayer and meditation, and there find peace and refreshing.
—Mottos for Success

 

Dear restless heart, be still, for peace is God’s own smile,
His love can every wrong and sorrow reconcile;
Just love, and love, and love, and calmly wait awhile.
—Edith Willis Linn Forbes (1865–1945)

 
Jesus lay in the boat sleeping. The waves rose, the wind blew and the storm battered the small vessel about. His disciples were afraid: afraid of the wind, afraid of the waves and fearful for their lives. They came to Jesus, woke Him up, begging for His help. The answer lay in His power. He said, “Peace, be still,” and there was peace. The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (See Mark 4:35–41) No matter the turmoil of our life, we too can find peace if we turn to Jesus for His help.
—Marge Banks

 
Let My Spirit rest upon you and fill you with peace. Let My Spirit flow through your thoughts, mingle with your spirit, and give you strength.
—Jesus

 
Peace with those around us

 
Live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
—2 Corinthians 13:11

 
All men desire peace, but very few desire those things that make for peace.
—Thomas à Kempis (1380–1471)

 
All works of love are works of peace. … Peace begins with a smile.
—Mother Teresa (1910–1997)

 
Jesus gave us the key to happiness and harmony when He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) And remember, “neighbor” doesn’t only mean the one who lives next door; your neighbor is anyone He brings across your path.

When people don’t treat others with much love, of course they’re going to have problems. In fact, many of the evils in the world today can be traced back to people’s lack of love for God and one another. The simple love of God and one’s neighbors is still God’s solution, even in such a highly complex and confused society as ours. If we love God, we can love others, and follow His rules of life, liberty, and the possession of happiness.

—David Brandt Berg (1919–1994)

 
Sometimes it can be difficult to do the right thing, especially when the person you’re dealing with hasn’t done right to you, but I didn’t say, “Do to others as they do to you.” My code for living is far above that normal perception of fairness. I want you to live on a higher plane. Anyone can be nice to those who are nice, but the person who can be nice to those who aren’t is the bigger person and more blessed by Me.
—Jesus

 
Peace in a world of conflict

 
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
—Matthew 5:9 KJV

 
We look forward to the time when the power of love will replace the love of power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.
—William E. Gladstone (1809–1898)

 
Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely an absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.
—Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964)

 
Pray for those who are touched by war at this very moment. They need your prayers, and each one needs Me, the Prince of Peace.
—Jesus

 
Peace with God

 
Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
—Romans 5:1

 
“In the fear [reverence] of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.” (Proverbs 14:26) This place of refuge is promised to all believers, yet so few venture therein. I say unto you, come aside, My dear one. Come under My wings, into My place of refuge, that you may experience My love and My peace.
—Jesus

*

You can have God’s peace in your own heart by inviting His Son, Jesus, to come in. He says, “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.” (Revelation 3:20 NIV)

Dear Jesus, please come into my life and give me Your peace. Forgive me for the wrong things I’ve done, and help me get to know You better and share You with others. Amen.

 
 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

Activated

Stressed Out

By Marie Story

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I have a six-year-old nephew who loves video games. The other day I was sitting with him while he was playing a racing game on his Wii. The levels were getting progressively more difficult, the speed was faster, and the courses were more hazardous. I could see him becoming more and more stressed—his face was turning red, his hands were getting sweaty, and he couldn’t stay in his seat.

Finally, it got to be too much for him. He burst into tears and yelled, “I can’t take it anymore! I’m just too stressed out!” All of a sudden, this game that he had been enjoying became sheer misery. I had a little chuckle at his dramatic outburst, then turned off the TV for a bit so he could take a break.

The very next day, I felt like yelling too. Several big projects came in at once, and deadlines were tight. I usually enjoy my work, but I felt the pressure building up and I wanted to yell, “I just can’t take it anymore!” I didn’t burst into tears, and I didn’t throw a tantrum, but I sure did feel like it.

Stress is the body’s reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental, or emotional response. Life is a delicate balance, and while some stress is natural and can be healthy, too much pressure in any area can produce negative effects, such as trouble sleeping, withdrawal, emotional instability, and health issues. The longer you wait and allow it to build, the more hazardous it can be.

So what are some ways to deal with stress? Well, stress isn’t a new development—it’s a problem that’s been around for ages. Because of that, the Bible is full of solutions. Here are some important ones:

 
Talk with someone

The apostle Paul tells us to “Bear one another’s burdens.” (Galatians 6:2 ESV) Others may not be able to solve your problem, but often just being able to unload your troubles to a listening ear can be a tremendous relief. And many times, once you’ve talked it out, your problems don’t seem so formidable anymore and you can tackle them without feeling stressed or overloaded.

 
Break down goals into smaller chunks

If we’re under too much pressure, it could be because we’re trying to tackle too much at once. Jesus tells us that His yoke (or workload) is easy, and His burden is light. (See Matthew 11:28–30) So if your burden is too heavy, maybe you need to set some of it down for a while.

 
Set realistic goals

If you or others can’t meet your expectations, maybe you haven’t thought them through enough. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. What is the first thing you will do? Won’t you sit down and figure out how much it will cost and if you have enough money to pay for it?” (Luke 14:28 CEV)

 
Focus on things you can control

Jesus tells us, “Don’t worry about tomorrow.” (Matthew 6:34 NLT) There’s enough to think about today without stressing over stuff in the future. And “tomorrow” isn’t just talking about the day after today—it means anything you don’t have control over. If you can’t do anything about it, just trust that God will help you handle it when the time comes.

 
Take care of yourself physically

Often when everything’s piling up, personal care is the first thing you cut out. But that’s the opposite of what you should be doing. If you’re eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising, you’ll feel better physically, which will help you to face challenges with more confidence and energy. Paul explained: “You surely know that your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives. The Spirit is in you and is a gift from God. You are no longer your own. … So use your body to honor God.” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20 CEV)

 
Take breaks

Proverbs 17:22 tells us that “a cheerful heart is good medicine.” Sometimes all you need when you’re stressed is a little break. Taking time to rest and relax will help to clear your head, and you’ll come back to your task refreshed, happier, and more focused.

 
Take time with Jesus each day

Jesus says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV)

King David, who faced extreme stress in his life, advises us: “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you.” (Psalm 55:22 NIV) Peter also tells us to “cast all your anxiety on [God], because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV) Talk to Jesus about your troubles and ask Him for His solutions and advice. He has promised an easy yoke, so if yours is too heavy, He can show you how to lighten it.

Remember that Jesus understands the pressures you’re facing. “We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are.” (Hebrews 4:15 NASB) As you take your cares and concerns to Jesus, He’ll give you the strength to handle each task and responsibility—without getting stressed.

 
 

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