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May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of UNITY among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (emphasis mine, Romans 15:5-7)
The one star on the flag pictured here suggests UNITY–Fifty individual states that come together to form ONE nation under GOD. In a week of divided discontent and the protests of a nation against the man elected by its people to serve as the next leader of the free world, it would behoove us to consider the Scripture above.
As followers of Christ, we are called to a spirit of unity, so that with one heart and mouth we may glorify God. Therefore, we MUST ACCEPT one another, just as Christ accepted us, in order to bring praise to God.
If you find yourself wanting to protest the most recent leadership choice of the nation, should you instead channel your energy into glorifying God by accepting one another? Remember the words of Paul in Romans 8:28 & 31, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose…What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
UNITY–“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
Since Jesus Christ graciously accepted me, a sinner, shouldn’t I imitate and obey Him by accepting others? With man (or woman), this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Paul is the perfect example of how God can use even the worst of sinners for the good of those who love Him. I think God can handle the latest election results. Yes, God can use even Donald Trump for the good of those who love God. Let this be your testimony to your friends who are eager to sign their name to a petition and march with a sign in their hands. Imitate God and encourage a spirit of unity. Accept one another in order to bring praise to God.
And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)
Pray for Donald Trump as he prepares to lead the Not-United States of America.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7).
Planning a wedding ceremony and reception is a monumental task. The bride and groom spend months scheduling, organizing, and formulating all the details—the attendants, the pastor, the church, the reception venue, the DJ, the photographer, the wedding music, the colors, the decorations, the meal, and so on.
A year in advance, the bride shops for the wedding dress of her dreams. Next, it’s the veil, shoes, jewelry, and lingerie. Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.
As the big day draws near, the bride begins to prepare herself personally. She tans her body, so her skin tone makes that beautiful dress come alive. She cuts and colors or highlights her hair the week before so it’s at that perfect stage on the day of. She enjoys a manicure and pedicure the day before with her bridal party. A “run through” of the wedding ceremony is practiced that evening so the attendants know what’s expected of them, and the wedding affair will be executed perfectly the next day. The groom’s parents host a rehearsal dinner, where the bride and groom relay their gratitude for the presence and support of their close family and friends who participate in the wedding.
Finally, the special day arrives. The exciting event the bride and groom so carefully planned comes to a culmination. The bride wakes up early and starts her day with a warm, relaxing shower or a soak in the tub. Her nerves surge and her mind races going over all the details of the day. The entire day is devoted to preparing herself for her groom. A professional artist styles her hair and applies her makeup with great perfection. At her side, her attendants help her get ready, physically and emotionally. The bride’s mother holds her daughter’s dress as she steps into it. The groom’s mother assists her with her veil. The maid of honor fastens a necklace around the bride’s neck. At last, she is ready to join the bridegroom for the long-awaited wedding—a union of their hearts, minds, and bodies. The two shall become one. *******
Are we as diligent about getting ourselves ready for our Bridegroom? Do we spend months and years preparing for our marriage to the Lamb? Will we be ready when that special day arrives?
When we accept that Jesus Christ died for our sins, believe that God raised Him from the dead, and confess Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we become a child of the King. He washes us whiter than snow and clothes us in His righteousness, so that we may be reconciled to God. Then, He sends His Holy Spirit, our Best Man, to make ready our spirits. He dwells in us and prepares us for the day we will meet our Bridegroom. This begins our sanctification process where the Spirit counsels us, encourages us, teaches us, and guides us to become more Christ-like.
It is such a blessing that Jesus receives us just as we are. We need no special hairstyles or manicures to prepare ourselves for Him. We don’t have to shed bad habits and sinful behavior before coming to Christ. By His amazing grace, He accepts us in whatever condition we approach Him. And then, He begins His transforming work in us, making us a new creation in Christ. The old fades away, the new life is here. Rejoice and be glad. Give Him all the glory!
Becoming more like Jesus is the “getting ready” process. We need to get to know God better by reading His Word daily, allowing the Scriptures to permeate our hearts and minds. Tuning in to the voice of the Holy Spirit within us is vital in developing a mind and heart like Christ. We need to make time to walk in close relationship with Jesus by talking to Him, listening to Him, and obeying Him. Loving and serving others, by laying down our lives for our friends, will provide opportunities to share with them the goodness of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. These efforts describe some of our preparation work for our special event. This life is our rehearsal to get us ready for the big day when we will meet our Bridegroom, become united in marriage, and live happily ever after in eternity with Him.
Are you ready for your Bridegroom? How will you prepare for your big day—the wedding of the Lamb?
Thank you for listening to my podcast interview with Nancy Lucas. (link to: Sindy’s podcast interview by Nancy Lucas)
Just want to encourage all you moms to seek God for patience, peace, and joy in your childrearing endeavors. It’s so important that we take care of ourselves (body, mind, and soul) before we can take care of our families. It’s difficult to make time to do that when all of our time is demanded from those we love and take care of. I made the mistake of not taking care of my spirit when my children were young, and wound up clinically depressed.
I encourage you to get up early, stay up late, or use your lunch time to spend a few minutes alone with God. He will fill you to all the fullness of Jesus Christ. He will refresh your soul, strengthen your resolve, and guide you through the difficult times, even carry you. Lay all your cares at His feet and listen to His voice. He has so much love and wisdom to pass along to you. I wish I had learned this skill before I had children.
Get your free copy of my e-Book for three days only, April 6-8, and connect or re-connect with the Holy Spirit inside you. 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice – eBook
Do you think it’s a coincidence that the verse I posted this morning was from Hebrews 12:28-29? “Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”—Today the earth shook in Kalamazoo with a 4.2 earthquake, but the eternal kingdom we are receiving cannot be shaken. Let’s be thankful and worship God in awe and reverence!
Sheepishly I sat with the Lord this morning admitting that I had not made him a priority lately. He did not shame me or rebuke me. With a few poignant words from Him and lyrics from songs on Christian radio, He turned it into a beautiful, uplifting time of worshipping Him. His mercies are new every morning. This is Day 1 of forever! Make good use of your time and spend it with the One who created you for a purpose. It’ll be the best use of your time all day. Worship His holy name and live into His perfect will. Even when you can’t feel him, I promise He’s still there. He doesn’t require large blocks of your time. He’ll take whatever time you give him and make good use of it. Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:23)
God, thank you for creating me,
The heavens, earth, and deep blue sea.
Lord, thank you for the sun above.
Thank you for your endless love.
I’m grateful for your perfect peace,
And provision for my sin release.
Thank you for my Savior’s birth.
For sending Jesus to the earth,
To pay the debt for all my sin,
And give me new life to begin.
The old has gone, the new is here.
His perfect love casts out my fear.
Lord, thank you for the Holy Spirit
Who speaks to me so I can hear it.
Who tells me of your love for me
And convicts me of iniquity.
He counsels me, He is my guide.
Through trials He walks close beside.
Amazing God, the Three-in-One,
The Father, Spirit, and the Son,
I give you the glory you are due
You are the One God who is true.
My heart belongs to you alone.
My body is your earthly home.
You heal my hurts, you restore my soul.
You rebuild me, and you make me whole.
You turn my sorrows into laughter,
And give me new life ever after.
I’m sealed for your redemption day.
When you return and take me away.
Until that day, I’ll walk with you,
Read your Word, and obey it too.
I’ll listen to your voice within,
And try to live life without sin.
I’ll follow where you choose to lead.
You are my God and Lord indeed.
I love you, Lord, with all my soul.
My life I give you, take control.
Do with me what you have planned.
I submit to you and take your hand.
Lead me down paths that are straight,
And use me for the work you create.
I have been invited to deliver the Mother’s Day message at Trenches Community Church on Gayle St. off East Main St. in Kalamazoo, on Sunday, May 12, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. The topic will be: How to know God more intimately by listening to His voice. Please pray for me that the Holy Spirit will unleash his power at that event. This is open to the public. Thanks for your support.
Sindy’s book Manna for Today is available for purchase at Kazoo Books and Michigan News Agency in Kalamazoo. In the Grand Rapids area, Sindy’s book is available at Baker Book House on East Paris. Books can be ordered directly from Sindy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, order the book from your favorite on-line retailer. Thanks for supporting local businesses!