Manger to the Cross

“For God so gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life”

We are often reminded of the attributes of our Almighty God.  He is the Great “I AM”.  He is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving, always present and all-giving.  He created, sustains and controls everything we see, everything we don’t see is all within His control.

2 Corinthians 9: 6-15  Paul speaking “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifullyEach one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed as it is written, “HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.” Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.  Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Are you a follower of Jesus Christ and adopted into the Heavenly family by a Father  who gives without condition?  We are instructed to do so in the Word. Giving is a heart condition!  A heart that has received the “gift of God” should desire to serve by giving always.  First, giving ourselves to Him in full surrender living according to His will as presented to us in the Holy Word. Secondly, giving to others with “cheerful hearts” brings joy; so much joy.

Manger (1)
Photo Courtesy Acts 1:8 Ministry

Give of your heart

Give of your time

Give of your substance

Give of your love

Give freely to all

Give like our Savior

or

Give nothing at all.

♥ Streim

 

Streim’s Saturday Sharing (repost with edits) Wake Up and Realize “there is no afterlife”

Wake Up and Realize “there is no afterlife”

OK… I know before you read any further that you may be thinking, has Streim lost her faith?  Or maybe that I’m a tad off my “spiritual” balance.  Well, neither is true.  I will tell you why I make the statement ” There is no afterlife” and the purpose for writing this post.

First, here are a few verses that describe how God Almighty views our life here on earth:

1 Peter 1:24 “… because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away”

Psalm 103:14-16 ”  For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more” 

Isaiah 40:6-8 ”  The voice said, “Cry out!” And he  said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.  The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the Word of our God stands forever.”

According to the United Nations data for 2010, the average life expectancy is 67.2 years.  This is an average based on all nations of the world.  I am fully aware here in the US some folks live well into their 90’s;  I have a dear friend who just celebrated her 92nd birthday.  However in third world countries, for example Zimbabwe the average is 31.8.

definition of eternity according to onlinefreedictionary.com  :

1. Time without beginning or end; infinite time… (time lasting forever)
2. The state or quality of being eternal.
3. a. The timeless state following death.

     b. The afterlife; immortality.

What does Almighty God say about eternity?

John 6:40 ” And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:27 “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

Romans 6:22 ” But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.”

 We all know that at some time in our life here in earth we will die.  Old age, accidents, disease… whatever, for the most  part (*)    everyone; man, woman or child will die.  Whether we live to be 30 years or 100 years… it’s a mere “blip” in time compared to eternity.  So, technically the years we spend here on earth is “PRE-LIFE”  and when this body dies… there’s eternity.  Eternity is “LIFE”.  The real deal.  And… what we do in this pre-life determines where we spend LIFE!!!   There’s only two places, according to the Word of God, where we will spend LIFE eternal.  1)  WITH ALMIGHTY GOD AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST  or 2)  WITHOUT GOD— in a place of outer darkness filled with pain, suffering, sadness, being alone. (2 Thessalonians 1:5-9 NASB)  Forever and ever and ever and ever…..

  “…where will you spend eternity ?”

Romans 3:18-28 “THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.” Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to Godbecause by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophetseven the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesuswhom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in JesusWhere then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faithFor we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. ” NASB

The Almighty LORD God created mankind out of love; wanting a personal relationship with him.  Adam (the first man) and Eve chose to disobey a simple command by the LORD. (Genesis 2-3).  Their disobedience was passed on to all, part of our DNA.  But, the LORD God provided a way to restore that loving, personal relationship through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ; the only begotten of the Father.  Jesus death paid the required price for our sin-filled heart/life to be cleansed. With that cleansing, the Heavenly Father erases our sin.  Now, one thing to note:  This atoning and cleansing IS available for “…WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”  Romans 10:13   ♥  Streim

Turn around Tuesday! “Are We Throwing Away Our Joy?”

1 Cor. 1:21  But God chose what is simple in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

The Bug
Oh how sweet the smile of a little child…it comes from such a tender place within, an innocence we all lose as we grow older.

What could be simpler and weaker than the innocence of  small children?  Little children are totally reliant upon their parents, parent or someone older (depending upon the situation) for their needs to be met. Incapable of providing food, shelter and clothing for themselves—they simply trust, without thinking or worrying.  They have have no idea where the next meal is coming from, but they trust it will be there.  The same is true of shelter or clothing.  I am more than aware that the number of children worldwide who live in circumstances without these basic needs is growing into the billions, which is beyond sad.  However, even under the most impoverished conditions, a “little child” is content with whatever is provided as they rely on someone to care for them.  Am I being a tad redundant here, yes I am!  You see, our Lord Jesus Christ spoke many, many times of “little children”. 

Matthew 18: 1-5 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying , Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?  And Jesus called a little child unto him , and set him in the midst of them,  And said , Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted , and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receives me.”

Matthew 11:25  At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;

Matthew 19:14  but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Luke 10:21  In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will

John 13:33 ” Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ “

I believe we often lose the inner awareness of who our God is and the beauty of His character as our Great Creator and Redeemer.  His love, tenderness, mercy, goodness and patience become  overly “theologized” (I know that’s not a word,until now) which causes the hope, peace and joy of knowing Him to get lost amidst a plethora of translations, versions, lexicons, dictionaries, study helps, books, books and more books. (** Ink Slinger if you read this I am downplaying reading materials, just the overuse of them in the areas of God’s character listed above**)

Simply and yet profoundly GOD showed His immeasurable love and mercy when He provided the sacrifice needed to reconnect ourselves to Him by giving of His only Son to die in our place upon that cross at Calvary. 

When will we surrender ourselves to our Almighty God and Lord Jesus KNOWING He is caring for us continually…morning through evening… day after day? 

When will we begin rejoicing in the knowledge that we have a BIG GOD who is our Father, Redeemer, Lord, Friend, Comforter, Care-giver…slow to anger and with tender mercies?

When will we become to trust like “little children” in our Abba Father and bask in the joy of His love?

The Shepherd knows what pastures are best for His sheep, and they must not question or doubt, but trustingly follow Him. H.W.Smith

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I posted this originally in June 2012.  I believe we need to be reminded of the Sovereignty of our loving GOD!  This is a simple post; nothing theologically fancy (I couldn’t really write like that anyway).   I pray the Lord Jesus is carrying your heavy burdens.  It is impossible for us — praise Him!!!  ♥ Streim

At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.  Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.  All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Matthew 11:25-30  NKJV