Wednesday, May 27, 2015

God's Grace is Divine Comfort

When I called, you answered me;
you made me bold and stouthearted.
                    Psalm 138:3 NIV  

     On winter evenings, I find comfort wrapped in a warm blanket given to me by a precious friend. It is light weight, soft and quickly warms me on cold winter nights.

     God’s divine comfort is much like that blanket. He wraps it around me in the midst of heartache and trials, a busy day or an exhausting schedule. When life throws adversity my way, divine comfort comes as I remember that God works out His plans for my life and will bring me through the difficulties I face.

     I am encouraged when I remember in the midst of a broken heart or wounded spirit God’s divine comfort heals our brokenness and binds our wounds. The LORD is good. He is our refuge in time of trouble as He cares for those who trust in Him. (Nahum 1:7 NIV) When we mourn, He is our comfort. When we are weary and burdened, He is our rest. When we are faint of heart, He is our courage. When we do not know what to do or which way to turn, He is our Counselor.

     When turmoil rushes in to ruin our day, He is our peace. When we are weak, He is strong. When we make mistakes, He is our sufficient grace. When we need energy to take the next step, He is our strength to put one foot in front of the other. When we think we cannot accomplish the task He places before us, He is our power to achieve.

     God is Truth so He cannot lie. Therefore, we are secure in His promises—anchored in God through Jesus Christ. And, because He cares for us, we can cast all our care on Him. (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)

     Remembering the bountiful, generous, plentiful, abundant, lavish, luxurious grace of the LORD God Jehovah brings divine comfort. Today, as you face the struggles the world will throw your way, I pray you take the time to stop and feel the soft warm comfort of our Holy God lovingly wrapped around you. 

© Joyce Powell


Monday, May 25, 2015

Joy in Serving

Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus.
           Philippians 2:5 KJV 

Your attitude should be the
same as that of Christ Jesus.
           Philippians 2:5 NIV

This spring our normally dry south Texas soil has been inundated with rain; the draught of the past few years practically erased as our aquifer level has continued to rise and our dry dusty ranch lands shine bright green. Wildflowers cover the landscape in thick bouquets as if to praise their heavenly Master Gardener for the refreshing cleansing rains. And, as for all things longed for, hoped for, and prayed for, we received the rain with grateful hearts.
Recently, however, as the rain continued to fall, our creeks and rivers continued to swell until they overflowed their banks and began washing away everything resisting their encroachment; homes and people swept away by the rushing waters.
Some will undoubtedly wring their hands and blame God. But those who truly know God will find the strength and energy to roll up their sleeves and get to work helping neighbors who now have no resources to help themselves. Those who truly know God will live out the joy of serving; giving of themselves when there is no hope of repayment from those being helped. 
Those who truly know God will put into action the mindset of Christ Jesus who emptied Himself, left His royal diadem, robe, and throne and stepped into the role of servant to extend God’s grace and mercy to those who could not help themselves—you and me.
Today, I invite you to roll up your shirtsleeves and find someone to help as you are reminded by the writing of the Apostle Paul to have the mind and attitude of Christ Jesus and as you discover the joy in serving to the Glory of God.

© Joyce Powell

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Grace Infusion

But He said unto me, “My grace is
sufficient for you, for my power is
made perfect in weakness…”
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV 

     In every human heart, there is a longing or desire to be loved, accepted and cared for. That longing seems to grow exponentially during times of distress, grief or tragedy for it is then that we most desire the comfort of another’s touch or a gentle whisper reminding us that we are loved. 

     When we have emptied ourselves of our emotional resources and have chosen to walk through life in a state of numbness—afraid to feel because the pain is too great—we might long for an injection of supernatural energy to help us make it through our day.
     When we have blown it with a friend, made a mistake, broken a promise or ignored a warning to think before we act, we wait for just one person to exhibit mercy rather than judgment. We hunger for, yet often refuse to reach out and accept, the one thing that is immediately available—God’s grace.

     God’s grace is His undeserved favor, unearned blessing and the unmerited outpouring of His tender care. God’s grace lived before the foundation of the world was laid. Before Adam was scooped from the earth, before Eve succumbed to satan’s temptation and before the perfection of the Garden of Eden was lost to sin God’s grace abounded.

     God does His best work in us when we have depleted ourselves of all our resources, physically, mentally and emotionally. When we have exhausted our energy and our strength to fight our battle, it is then that God’s grace can best work in our situation.

     Remember, when we are at our worst it is the perfect time to recognize God at His best. When we are weak, He is strong. When we have no answers, He has all the answers. When we are sick, He is the Great Physician. When we are financially broke, He is the Great Provider. When we are broken hearted, He is the Great Comforter.

     His grace is sufficient. It is not only sufficient, but it is abundant. It is not only sufficient, but it is overflowing. It is not only sufficient, but it is abounding and beyond any reasonable expectation. It is not only sufficient, but it is available right now. Are you weak? He is strong, and He is willing and ready to give you a grace infusion.

© Joyce Powell

Thursday, May 21, 2015

God and the Gecko

Cast all your anxiety on him
because he cares for you.
               1 Peter 5:7 NIV

                Recently, my husband and I had lunch with friends at a local restaurant. The twenty minute wait to be seated took us outside in the fresh spring air, and via modern technology we spent our waiting time searching homes for sale using our realtor friend’s cell phone.

            Finally we were seated by a window with a hummingbird feeder hung at eye level allowing us to enjoy watching God’s tiny creatures zip in and out of view. As we chatted and delighted ourselves with the hummingbirds we were surprised by a gecko making his way across the outside bottom of the window.
            Our realtor friend wanted a photo so she reached into her purse to grab her cell phone. It was not there. She began pulling items from her purse; searching the bottom brought no results. As she continued to search, another member of our group went to look outside. Finally, the phone was located and we all rejoiced as smiles replaced furrowed brows and relief replaced anxiety.

            Like me, I am sure you have noticed that life is filled with such moments. Opportunities for anxiousness. Situations for stress. Places for panic.

            But God’s Word tells us that when we have opportunity to be anxious, we should throw all our worries and concerns onto Him because He is already thinking about us. He knows our need. He travels with us through our trials. He cares! Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything…” just tell our Father, God.

            The result of putting it in our Father’s hands, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” God’s peace is different than the world’s peace. It is not peace found by positive thinking or determining within ourselves to be at peace. It is not peace found by absence of conflict or by resolving to refrain from argument with others.

            It is perfect peace that is only found in knowing, trusting, and believing that God is in control. He cares for and thinks about His children. The earth is at His disposal to do His will to bring about His results. He can even use a gecko to begin the search for a lost phone. So today, why not cast all your anxiety on Him?

© Joyce Powell

Monday, May 18, 2015

Grace Changes Everything

They have washed their robes and made
them white in the blood of the lamb.
                      Revelation 7:14 NIV

     I find it fascinating that God can take a heart made black by sin, dip it in the crimson blood of Jesus, and it becomes as white as snow. His grace, unmerited favor, loving kindness, His outward expression of love for mankind—for you and for me—changes everything!

     The Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well came in her sin and left with eternal salvation. The leper, one among ten, came to Jesus crying unclean and left in purity of body and soul. The woman with the issue of blood came to Jesus as a last resort after years of suffering, and with one touch of the hem of the garment of Jesus—whole! Throughout the Bible we read accounts of how God’s grace changed life after life. God’s grace changes everything.

     God’s grace continues to change lives. Some years ago my husband and I sang in a Southern Gospel quartet. During a revival for a small church in our hometown, our group was asked to provide the music. One night we noticed a man seated near the back—alone. He appeared troubled but attentive to the songs. After the service, the men in our group made their way to the man on the pew. His story—chilling!

     Life had not been kind to him. On that particular evening, he planned to kill himself. While sitting with his loaded gun, he noticed the newspaper that told about a revival and the Southern Gospel music—his favorite. He decided to attend the revival to hear the music and then return home and pull the trigger. After the music, however, he was drawn to remain for the preaching.

     As the men spoke with him, heard his story, and ministered to his heart, God’s grace intervened, and he walked out of that little church a changed man. Hope replaced hopelessness. Mercy replaced despair. God’s grace changed everything.

     There is no pit so deep that God’s grace cannot pull you out. There is no sin so black that God’s grace cannot save you. There is no hurt so bad that God’s grace cannot heal it. God’s grace changes everything.

     Today, I pray for an opportunity to reach out and tell someone about God’s grace.

Grace is a river that flows from Calvary
Grace is a fountain of life for you and me
In the presence of Jehovah, grace makes paupers royalty
Sinners are made holy

For grace changes everything


©Joyce Powell

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Only One Way

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way,
the truth, and the life; no man
cometh unto the Father, but by me.
                               John 14:16 KJV

Today we are bombarded with messages of the many paths to God. It seems that new religions and churches pop up faster than corn kernels in hot oil. Some religions are passive and peaceful; some are hostile and murderous. Others lead people to their death as they focus on one man; the cult leader.
What is the truth about the way to God? Thomas asked Jesus that question in John 14:5, "Lord we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way"
Jesus responded, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Jesus is the complete revelation of God; who He is and what He is like. To know Jesus is to know God. Jesus is the One and Only path to God. He is the reality of every promise of God. His life joins ours to the Father. To know Jesus is to know God!
While some see this fact as narrow minded and hateful, I am relieved and filled with joy to know that I do not have to search the world over and try every religion in order to find the path to God. I am relieved to know that religion is not the path to God. Belief in Jesus Christ as the One and Only begotten Son of God and inviting Him to be Savior and Lord of my life as I repent of my sin and obey His Word is the direct path to Jehovah God Almighty.
So today if you are searching for that one right path to God, if you are confused by all the alternatives the world offers, if you are seeking the truth, believe the words of Jesus Christ as he revealed the one and only way to God, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Only One Way!
© Joyce Powell