Well, we have reached the end of the month. This sharing together has been a blessing. Thank you all for being willing to share with us your favorite verse/passage of Scripture.
I will end the month by sharing one of mine.
I Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (NIV)
Life brings blessings, along with good and bad times, troubles, pain, disappointments etc., etc. We all face these things sometime. What do we do? We have choices. We can have a “pity party” or become revengeful. We can moan and groan to others or we can cast everything on God. He is the one who really loves us. He is the one who provides comfort, direction and encouragement. He is the one who takes away the pain and sees us though the bad times. There are 3 little words that I like. Live, Love and Laugh. Live for God (humble ourselves and do the right thing). Love others (put others ahead of ourselves). Laugh at ourselves (so we made a mistake). Humbling ourselves before God and completely trusting Him through EVERYTHING. I am learning that it is a lifelong process putting this into practice, but it is a command from God. Cast it on Him. No one cares like Jesus!!
Camilla Soule has a very familiar favorite verse. One we should all memorize and use it in witnessing.
John 3:16 “For GOD so loved the world that He (even) gave up His only begotten Son so that whosoever believed (trust) in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
As a mother I cannot understand how God could have given up His Son to save a sinner like us. When you think about what Jesus went through on the cross, the pain, suffering and humiliation. He did it for all mankind, but He would have done it for just you or just me.
We get upset if our child gets hurt at play or if someone at school was to make fun of him. We have a son that is almost blind. Before he went to the blind school, children in public school would poke fun at him and I would be very upset. It did not seem to bother him at all.
What a sacrifice when we think of the pain He suffered at our expense, the nails in His hands and feet, the beating and whipping, and His hair ripped out. We scream and jump at just a small sliver. If the weather is not good, we make excuses as to why we are not at church. Or we do not speak to a neighbor because he did not wave when we saw him last. We did not and do not deserve the gift He gave us. If we just believe in Him, we will and do have eternal, everlasting life.
Carol Hotchkiss is sharing her favorite verse today.
Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.”
I grew up in a Methodist church, had Christian parents and grandparents. At 9 years old I knelt at the altar and gave my heart to Jesus. My grandmother was kneeling right by me. I learned the usual Bible verses, like John 3:16 and the Lord’s prayer. But one Scripture stuck with me through the years and that is Psalm 19:14.
My prayer is to always try and live by it.
(What would our society be like if we all lived and practiced this verse?)
Our Hospitality Director, Barbara Emery, shares her thoughts with us today.
I Peter 4:9-10 “Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
Scripture teaches us that “whenever you fed, clothed, visited, welcomed others and comforted the sick, no matter how unimportant it seemed, you did it for me.” Matt. 25:34-40. Christ equated hospitable treatment of others with treatment of Himself.
My family often invited people from church to our home either for Sunday dinner or after evening services for fellowship. While too young to attend these evening gatherings, the laughter, warmth and love I felt left me with wonderful memories. Looking back I realize these events were a major sacrifice for my parents. We were very poor and my only sister was severely mentally and physically ill.
So, while I learned to love Biblical Hospitality at my parent’s knee, it was when I read the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” that I began to realize there are very practical principals to Biblical Hospitality. As a preteen I began to realize God’s idea of hospitality=love in action. Must I feel hospitable? But…How? Who? When? Where? Is it a gift? Is it a command? Or is it an opportunity?
The Greek word for hospitality means “love to strangers”. Are you aware that the word “hospitality” is located between Hospice, and Hospital in the dictionary? Hospice offers a caring environment by supplying physical and emotional needs while the hospital provided medical and or surgical care. To be hospitable is to give a generous and/or cordial welcome to all, especially the needy. It is said the church is often a spiritual hospital. Certainly these words from the Bible tell us how hospitality is critical for us to practice.
Love is an action verb!
Jeff Lucas has his turn today to share with us.
Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
The Lord truly is the most powerful and wonderful blessing in my life. These words let me know that no matter what might happen in my days, He is here to not only be a comfort in my sorrows and sad times, but also to be a beacon, a light to my path, that as I stumble, He will be here to pick me up and show me the way out of my turmoil. In my trials, my sadness, and my joy He is with me, my closest friend.
After I was saved, my being was overcome with the most wonderful happiness, joy, and rejoicing I had ever known. But as with most of us, there came that time that I slid back into the old ways and habits of the world, forgetting my new found victory. (I took my salvation as one more thing to take in stride.) For the next 20 or so years I became more bored, disinterested, despondent and becoming someone I no longer recognized. I was simply going through the motions of living, without any real substance, blinded by the world.
Something was missing. Me! The real me! Then I met my wife, who reminded me that the Lord truly was my shepherd and that no matter where I was, or what I was doing, He was also there – waiting patiently for me to return to Him. My joy and happiness has returned and He has led me beside still waters and has wondrously restored my soul.
We must see that we are His children and He is our very loving Father, and no matter what comes our way, we only need to believe, have faith and trust in Him in all things and that we really shall not want.
Linda Lucas has submitted her favorite verse today.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
According to the notes in The New Spirit Filled Life Bible, it says that it’s often overlooked that the words are being spoken to people being punished by God. He does indeed punish His people in order to restore them to a proper relationship with Him. This verse spoke to me because I haven’t always walked in the way I should. I chose a different path for many years and because of it, I went through much sadness and agony, knowing all along that I was not in God’s will. There was much repentance, and, thank God, forgiveness from the Lord. This verse is a comfort to me that God loves us even when we don’t love ourselves. It’s purely amazing that He opens His arms of love and offers us a future and a hope when we come back to Him.
We get the blessing of a husband and wife team today.
Donna Sundrla has her favorite verse.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
In the valleys of life or on the mountains I thank the LORD, that he is only a prayer away. He is patient and I praise Him for His Word. His ways are much higher than our ways, he has been the light that guided me in my time of need.
Jim Sundrla has his favorite verse.
Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
I am thankful to GOD that I do not have to work for my salvation. It is a free gift that I only need to accept by faith.
Jane Smith tells us about her great grandson and a special verse.
Jeremiah 18:4 “And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again, another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.”
Our grandson, Cory and his wife, Karen, were having fertility problems. Finally, after years of going to fertility doctors, they were expecting their first child. In December, Karen had a hematoma and they thought the baby had come out. The nurses at the hospital told them they were going to lose that baby. But the doctors came in and said the baby was fine. Under the doctor’s care, Clay Jeremiah Smith was born on August 4. They are very grateful to God.
Jane has a personal testimony concerning another verse.
Psalm 91:11-12 “For He shall give His angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear up up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”
A paralyzed man I visit has the gift of healing. One day as I was leaving, he communicated with his caregiver that he wanted to pray for me. I had 4 back surgeries and was scheduling a fifth one. He had me lay across his chest and the caregiver placed his hand on the hurting spot as he prayed. Then he said I should read Psalm 91 every day. As I did that, every day the pain lessened. These 2 verses are my favorites. I couldn’t walk but a few feet. Now I walk 3 miles. That was 2 ½ years ago. I am so grateful to God and I still pray that Psalm every day.
Robby Spivey shares today what God is doing in His life.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”
Before I came to Christ, I was weak. The world said I had a low self-esteem problem. I suffered from depression. When I first came to New Hope, I was lost. I had no purpose. I was angry at anyone and everyone I crossed paths with. Then something amazing happened. About 6 months into attending services, I decided it was time I came forward and gave my life to Christ. I was baptized in November of 2011. I started working in the church. First, in the sound booth so I could work for Jesus but remain hidden. Next I became prayer leader in my Sunday school class. I was not comfortable with public prayer and doubted the impact that Jesus could have on others through me. People in the class responded favorably. Then I was asked to help in VBS. I was supposed to be the 3rd person in the room but one teacher became ill and couldn’t participate at all. The other one left each night after the lesson, leaving me to take the kids around to the different activities. I don’t know who was more scared, me or the kids. Then I was asked to help in AWANA. The first couple of weeks I was wondering what I was even doing there but I saw how much fun the kids were having so I prayed that God would allow me to enjoy the experience. To be honest, I learned more from those kids than they ever learned from me. I taught children’s Sunday School and helped in children’s church. Then earlier this year, I did not feel called to continue with the kids. But Jesus wasn’t done with me yet. My Sunday School teacher asked me to teach his class while he was away. I agreed, was very nervous but Jesus gave me the lesson and helped me to present it. Jesus wasn’t done with me yet as He gave me another opportunity to teach. I am learning that “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. I owe everything to Him, but you know what? You guessed it. HE IS NOT DONE WITH ME YET.
Regina Perkins has a testimony about her favorite verse.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Many years ago, our daughter who was a single mother, was living with us when an issue came about involving her. I began to pray about the situation and with the passing of time, I thought God had answered my prayer and I had the assurance that the matter would be resolved. (In the way I thought it should be!) Sometime later, we received a piece of mail that was contrary to the answer I thought God had assured me of.
We lived in the country and had a big garden. One day while kneeling in the garden picking green beans, I began to pray about the situation. Actually, I was complaining to the Lord. “Lord, this isn’t the way it is supposed to be, you gave me assurance of how it would work out.”
And suddenly, God spoke to me! (I could almost hear Him audibly.) BE STILL AND KNOW I AM GOD! I could see in my mind’s eye these words coming down from Heaven in the form of gold letters chained together. I no doubt heard this Scripture in a sermon in the past but didn’t know the reference until I searched for it. I repented of my complaining spirit and let go and let God work out this problem in His own way. And in time it worked out for the best for all who were involved.
I have never experienced such an encounter since, but this I learned that God is sovereign and if we allow Him to work without our interference, He works all things together for our good and His glory! Amen!