Strangers are only friends we’ve never met.

"It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even …

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Do you doubt that the Lord can bring you safely into his eternal kingdom?

"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. …

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When it seems like life is dragging you down

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the …

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God is making us the kind of people he wants us to become.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4). Are you going through a hard time? Do you need some encouragement, from the Lord? …

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Beyond the suffering, there’s the triumph.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its …

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We receive love from the Lord, and we share his love with one another.

"Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people" (Philemon, verse 7). Love is not for keeping to ourselves. It's for sharing. When we show love to others, we bring them "great joy," We encourage them. We refresh their hearts. Receive love from the Lord. Receive …

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There are two things going on.

"We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring" (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4). …

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Looking forward to being with Christ, forever

"Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). From "Christ for you", we move on to "Christ in you." Christ was crucified for us. Beyond his crucifixion, there is his resurrection. And, beyond his resurrection, there's his return "in great power and glory."* We do not only remember a past event: He died for …

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Our past, God’s future

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14). Is our life being controlled by our past? Or, is God preparing us for his future? We look back on our past. What are we to say about …

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Change me, today. Change me, every day.

"God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14).  "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). This is more than a statement of our intention: …

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Our weakness – and the Lord’s strength

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). When I think of my weakness, I, also, think of something else; I think of the strength of the Lord. Let us not think too highly of ourselves. If we think too highly of ourselves, we will not think highly …

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Believing in Jesus and following him.

“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ 18 At once they left their nets and followed him. 19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son …

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Where does the power come from – the power to do the work of the Lord?

"This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty" (Zechariah 4:6). Where does the power come from - the power to do the work of the Lord? Does it come from deep within ourselves? Do we look deep within ourselves - and find inner strength? …

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Has God forgotten all about us? or Does he still remember us?

"Though the fig-tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the sheepfold and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour" (Habakkuk 3:17-18). Everything's …

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The Lord reaches us when nothing else can reach us.

‘In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me... you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit... I will say, “Salvation comes from the Lord”... Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time... " (Jonah 2:1,6,9; 3:1). Jonah ran away from God, but God didn't give up on Jonah. …

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You can’t change the message, if you’re just the message boy…

"We have heard a message from the Lord" (Obadiah, verse 1). What are we to do with the message we've received from the Lord ? Are we to change it, saying what we want to say to the people? No! We're to pass on the message he's given to us. Remember - the message is his, …

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When the Lord says to us, “Return”, what will we say to him?

"Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate,slow to anger and abounding in love" (Joel 2:13). The Lord is speaking through his faithful prophet. He was speaking to the people - a long, long time ago. He's speaking to the people - in today's world. He'll keep on speaking to the people - …

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Love is calling out to us, love is calling us to come.

"Come, let us return to the Lord" (Hosea 6:1). Something for the world, something for the church; The prophet says, "Come", the Lord says, "Come." It is love that is calling out to us. It is love that calls us to "come." There is no place from which we cannot come. There is no place from …

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It was the genesis of my life.

Genesis When I was writing these words, I was thinking of some of the stories in the book of Genesis (the book of beginnings). I was thinking about Adam, Abraham and Joseph – and I was thinking about Jesus!___________________________________________ It was the genesis of my life.Things were looking so good.Then, it all went badly wrong.What …

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What an exodus it was!

Exodus What an exodus it was!Was it really a deliverance?Was it more than a departure?Departure? – Yes. it was.It involved the peoples’ choice.They had to follow God’s direction.Deliverance? – That’s what it was.It required the power of God.The people made their choice.The power came from God.God said, “I will do this.”God said, “Will you follow?”It …

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It happened by chance – or was there something more?

Ruth “She happened to come … ” (Ruth 2:3). It happened by chance – Or was there something more? Was it just coincidence – Or was the hand of God in it? Sometimes, we wonder, Why has this happened to me? Why has it turned out this way? Who are we to say, “It’s just …

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When the song of thanksgiving seems to be so hard to find

1 and 2 Chronicles These thoughts are based on the words of 1 Chronicles 16:34 and 2 Chronicles 7:3. "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His faithful love endures forever." "They worshipped and praised the Lord: For He is good, for His faithful love endures forever." _____ From far away and long …

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When the storms are raging all around us …

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6). There are times when we don't understand - Times when we wonder what's going on. We wonder what it's all about. These are the times when we …

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Waiting on the Lord isn’t easy …

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.30 Even youths grow tired and weary,     and young men stumble and fall; 31 but …

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Wholehearted followers of Jesus

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:11-13).  …

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