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Inspiration

Your “benefits package”

“You have said, ‘What’s the use of serving God?’” Mal 3:14 NLT

In the last book in the Old Testament, Malachi, the Israelites asked, “What’s the use in serving God?” It’s a question nonbelievers and sometimes even believers ask, particularly when times are hard and our faith is sorely tested. The psalmist gives us the answer: “Praise the Lord! For all who fear God and trust in him are blessed beyond expression…happy is the man who delights in doing his commands. His children shall be honored everywhere, for good men’s sons have a special heritage. He himself shall be wealthy, and his good deeds will never be forgotten. When darkness overtakes him, light will come bursting in. He is kind and merciful—and all goes well for the generous man who conducts his business fairly. Such a man will not be overthrown by evil circumstances. God’s constant care of him will make a deep impression on all who see it. He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him. That is why he is not afraid, but can calmly face his foes. He gives generously to those in need. His deeds will never be forgotten. He shall have influence and honor” (Ps 112:1-9 TLB). Notice that the benefits of serving God include happiness, children you can be proud of, success, influence, and honor. Note in particular the words: “He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him.” These blessings are all part of your “benefits package.”

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Answers Inspiration

Padre Pio says God is “obliged” to answer this type of prayer

With these, he will grant us his graces and help in everything.

When we are physically near someone we love, we naturally speak with them. Not all the time, of course, as people who love each other can also be in silence together. But it would be strange if we spent a whole day or even several hours saying nothing to a loved one sitting beside us.The saints apply that same principle to God. He is near us, speaking to our hearts, and we should speak back. Our words can be as simple as any greeting we’d make to a parent, child, spouse, or sibling in the same room as us.

“Jesus, I trust in you,” is one example. Or simply, “Abba.” “Jesus, be Jesus in my life” can be a beautiful prayer, or “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you. Save souls.”

These short prayers will spring naturally to our hearts if we live in the awareness that we are constantly, unfailingly in the presence of God. While it is not possible to have that awareness at the forefront of our minds all the time, with practice, we can become aware of God’s closeness many, many times throughout the day.

“We’ve got to be convinced that God is always near us. We live as though he were far away, in the heavens high above, and we forget that he is also continually by our side,” said St. Josemaria Escriva.

We’ve got to be convinced that God is always near us.

In the long tradition of the Church, various names have been given to these short prayers — our little hellos — that we speak to Our Lord throughout the day. They are called aspirations, or ejaculatory prayers (from the Latin for bursting forth), or as well, “arrow” prayers.

This last title was used by Padre Pio when he described these short, spontaneous prayers. He said they are like “arrows that wound God’s heart.”

What’s more, the beloved Italian saint said that arrow prayers have a special power in bringing down God’s grace upon us.

Writing in December of 1914, he said that it was not exaggerated to affirm that God is obliged to answer these prayers. He wrote:

… this word is not at all exaggerated in this case …

I urge you continually to renew the right intention you had at the beginning and to recite ejaculatory prayers from time to time. Those prayers are like arrows that wound God’s heart and oblige him — and this word is not at all exaggerated in this case — oblige him, I tell you, to grant you his graces and his help in everything.

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Inspiration

These verses will help you worship Jesus Christ fully and rightly

  • John 1:1 – The Word is eternal and the Word is God. This Word is identified later as the one who became human flesh; i.e. Jesus Christ (John 1:14).
  • John 1:18 – Jesus Christ is equal with God the Father and has made Him known.
  • John 20:28 – Thomas recognized the resurrected Jesus Christ as Lord and God.
  • Romans 9:5 – Jesus Christ is God over all.
  • Titus 2:13 – Jesus Christ is not only Savior, but also the great God.
  • Hebrews 1:8-9 – The Son of God is equated with God who sits on the throne of heaven.
  • 2 Peter 1:1 – Jesus Christ is both Savior and God.
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Inspiration

Spiritual tips on how to avoid being lazy

Laziness is a habit that is not always easy to break.

All of us would rather avoid doing what we need to do, and sit down and watch TV or surf the internet, putting off our obligations for another time.

Unfortunately when we give into this temptation, too often our obligations get put off indefinitely, and work at home or at the office never gets done.

The good news is that with God’s grace, we can overcome our laziness and be a good steward of the time God has given us.

Italian priest Fr. Lorenzo Scupoli gave his advice in his spiritual classic The Spiritual Combat, published in 1589. He explains how laziness and sloth need to be addressed immediately, otherwise the person will find themselves on a slippery slope.

1. Respond immediately to a request

Endeavor earnestly to respond immediately to every inspiration from above, and to every command of your superiors; doing everything at the time and in the manner which is pleasing to them.

Endeavor earnestly to respond immediately to every inspiration from above, and to every command of your superiors; doing everything at the time and in the manner which is pleasing to them.

2. Do not delay one moment

Never allow yourself in one moment's delay; for that one little delay will soon be followed by another, and that by a third, and this again by others; and to the last the senses will yield and give way more easily than to the first, having been already fascinated and enslaved by the pleasure they have tasted therein.Getty Images

Never allow yourself in one moment’s delay; for that one little delay will soon be followed by another, and that by a third, and this again by others; and to the last the senses will yield and give way more easily than to the first, having been already fascinated and enslaved by the pleasure they have tasted therein.

3. Perform a task right away, done well

Nor is it enough that we perform our appointed work quickly; we must, in order to bring it to its highest possible perfection, do it at the very time required by its nature and quality, and with all suitable diligence.For that is not diligence, but the subtlest form of sloth, which leads us to do our work before its time; not seeking to do it well, but dispatching it hastily, that we may afterwards indulge in the sluggish repose on which our thoughts have been dwelling while we were hurrying over our business.Getty Images

Nor is it enough that we perform our appointed work quickly; we must, in order to bring it to its highest possible perfection, do it at the very time required by its nature and quality, and with all suitable diligence.

For that is not diligence, but the subtlest form of sloth, which leads us to do our work before its time; not seeking to do it well, but dispatching it hastily, that we may afterwards indulge in the sluggish repose on which our thoughts have been dwelling while we were hurrying over our business.

4. Break-up a task into smaller tasks if it seems overwhelming

When you are called upon to do things which to sloth appear many in number and difficult of performance, and so cause you much disturbance of mind, begin, therefore, quietly and courageously with one, as if you had no more to do; and when you have diligently accomplished this, you will be able to perform all the others with far less labor than sloth would have you believe possible.I would say the same of prayer. An hour-prayer perhaps is needful for you; and this seems a hard matter to sloth; but apply yourself to it, as if intending to pray but for the eighth part of an hour, you will then easily pass on to another eighth; and so on to the whole.

When you are called upon to do things which to sloth appear many in number and difficult of performance, and so cause you much disturbance of mind, begin, therefore, quietly and courageously with one, as if you had no more to do; and when you have diligently accomplished this, you will be able to perform all the others with far less labor than sloth would have you believe possible.

I would say the same of prayer. An hour-prayer perhaps is needful for you; and this seems a hard matter to sloth; but apply yourself to it, as if intending to pray but for the eighth part of an hour, you will then easily pass on to another eighth; and so on to the whole.

Source: aleteia.org

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Inspiration

5 Bible Verses – Encouragement From God

Looking for encouragement?

Facing tough times at work, at home, in your faith life?

Where better to turn for encouragement than God?

Where better to find God’s words of encouragement than the Bible?

Read the 5 verses below…

The top 5 verses offering encouragement from God…

Jeremiah 29:11-14

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Psalm 121:7-8

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

John 16:33

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Do you have favorite Bible verses about encouragement from God?
Did we leave your favorite verses about finding encouragement from God off our list?
Share them with everyone…

Add your favourite verses about encouragement to the comments…

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Inspiration

10 Christian Movies to watch

1. God’s not dead 2

Riding high on the accomplishment of its predecessor God’s Not Dead, the continuation is similarly as arresting, as secondary teacher Grace Wesley finds the price she should pay for openly talking about Jesus and biblical expressions in her history class. The movie is a true reflection of what happens in the world today. Incredible story, awesome acting; this is certainly a justified watch.

 

2. Hacksaw Ridge 

An incredible movie for those who love action, suspense and savagery, Hacksaw Ridge follows the true life story of Desmond Doss, a warrior, who despite his work, still manages to stand by his faith. His actions, beliefs and convictions eventually lead to him winning the Congressional Medal of Honor. Walk with him full length through the fights, the fire and the tension, and realize just what strong faith can do.

 

3. The Case for Christ

One of the best Christian movies 2017, the Case for Christ follows the actions of one successful Lawyer Lee Patrick Strobel. As an unashamed skeptic he took the transformation of his better half to Christianity with a squeeze of salt. To disapprove his wife’s beating new confidence that was stressing their marriage he gets out to examine the trustworthiness of Jesus Christ. Using his academic capability, journalism background and law information, Lee, in his venture comes out as one of the most passionate Christian faith apologist since C. S. Lewis.

 

4. Silence

This Martin Scorsese-coordinated movie takes after the tale of Jesuit teachers to Japan and the horrendous mistreatment they and the main Japanese Christians endured. It is tragic and hard to watch, however in the event that ever there were a motion picture to put our own sufferings for the Lord into point of view, this is it.

 

5. The Resurrection Of Gavin Stone

Now, if comedy is your thing, here is the movie for you. In fact it’s one of the bestselling Christian movies of all times. A previous kid star whose better days are behind him returns home, junks an inn and gets a discipline of 200 hours of group service in the place where he grew up. He later volunteers to act in his local church and is given to act Jesus Christ. He then finds himself attracted to the beautiful director, who is the pastor’s daughter. If you need a good hard laugh, look for this movie.

 

6. All Saints

All Saints highlights that time of your life when you are just a young minster and you are given a congregation of a dozen people to lead in a church build on land that is destined to be sold. That’s where John Corbett finds himself. Rather than just leading his Sunday Sermons and little follow ups, God instructs him to use the land and revive the group. The story addresses everything from confidence to migration and presents an extreme good decision for groups of onlookers to consider. Highlighting supporting parts for Barry Corbin, David Keith, and Chonda Pierce, it’s an inspirational film that everybody will appreciate

 

7. Same Kind of Different As Me

When we have an effect on somebody’s life, it regularly brings about a change being made in our own particular life. That is the situation for Ron Hall, a craftsmanship merchant who appreciates a vagrant at the demand of his better half. After a progression of dreams disclose to her that she will meet a man who will change individuals’ lives, Deborah sees the same man at the destitute safe house where she is serving. What occurs next changes the tale of everybody who comes into contact with the outsider.

 

8. God Bless The Broken Road

The movie recounts the story of a broken-hearted widowed mother who lost her husband in the Afghanistan War and has to raise her daughter alone. The film unites topics of confidence and down home music while in the meantime offering tribute to the individuals who serve in the Unites States Military.

 

9. I’m Not Ashamed

Rachel Joy Scott was an ardent Christian youth who adored Jesus and was prepared to give her for Him. She was likewise the first student murdered in the Columbine slaughter. This excellent movie recounts the narrative of her confidence and the distinction we as a whole can make when we surrender everything over to God

 

10. Risen

Perhaps on the best bible movies ever, Risen follows the bible story of Jesus and the Pontiuos Pilate. A Roman centurion on the request of Pontius Pilate is advised to research the vanishing of Jesus’ body. His pursuit drives him crosswise over Jerusalem, meeting Christ’s pupils en route. Demonstrated undeniable verification that Jesus is the Messiah, the centurion has an individual emergency in the matter of how his life has been paved the way to that point.

Categories
Inspiration

Bible Reading in 2019 – The One New Year’s Resolution That Will Improve Your Whole Life

Getting closer to God is the best resolution ever.

Fewer than half of those who make New Year’s resolutions are successful at keeping them for at least six months. The high failure rate has prompted a slew of columns and articles on New Year’s resolutions, with advice on whether or not to make them and how to keep them if you do.

There’s little downside in resolving to improve your health, or improve your life, or improve your behavior. And it’s hard to argue against resolving to get closer to God. But there’s one resolution that, when you keep it – even imperfectly – helps you in all four areas.

It’s reading your Bible.

Regular Bible reading improves your health, improves your life, improves your behavior, and gets you closer to God.

1. Reading the Bible improves your health

It’s pretty obvious that reading the Bible improves your spiritual health. But what about your physical health? Your emotional health?

According to the Mayo Clinic website, many physical and emotional health issues are the result of stress, which “can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior.” In fact, unchecked stress “can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.” Common effects of stress on your body include chest pain, muscle pain, fatigue, and sleep problems. Stress can lead to emotional issues such as anger, depression, and anxiety. When you are stressed out, you may overeat (or undereat), smoke, abuse drugs or alcohol, and exercise less often.

How does reading the Bible help you manage stress? Sometimes called “God’s love letter to us”, the Bible reminds you throughout that God created you in His image and loves you deeply, even when you wander away from Him. The Bible offers encouragement. Comfort. Reassurance. Strength. Peace. Hope.

In Luke 12, Jesus tells his disciples, and us, not to worry. The Apostle Paul echoes that sentiment in Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV): “[D]o not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

2. Reading the Bible improves your life

David describes God’s Word as “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105, ESV). Whatever path you’re on, the Bible can show you the right steps to take. It’s the perfect how-to guide for living, for reasons that include:

Wisdom: The Bible is loaded with wisdom. Solomon, who prayed for wisdom and used it to lead Israel, provides a wealth of sage advice in several Old Testament books. The Gospels records the teachings of Jesus, whom even critics consider a teacher without equal.

Commandments: The Old Testament includes the Law, much of which is commandments on living a life that is pleasing to God. Many of Jesus’s parables gave a fresh perspective on these commandments to counter false interpretations that had arisen over time.

Rationale: In addition to providing sound rules for living, the Bible explains why God gave us these rules.

Consequences: Why should you follow God’s instructions? The Bible is loaded with stories of people who did or didn’t and the consequences of their actions.

In his second letter to Timothy, Paul writes that the entire Bible “is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV). Speaking of being equipped for good work…

3. Reading the Bible improves your behavior

Regular Bible reading improves your behavior. In fact, scripture engagement – or the frequency with which you read your Bible – is a more reliable prediction of moral behavior than traditional measures of spirituality, such as church attendance and prayer.

Reading your Bible more often not only makes you less likely to engage in risky behavior but also increases the likelihood that you will share your faith and disciple others. Christians who read their Bibles at least four days a week are more than two times (230%) more likely to share their faith and disciple others than Christians who read their Bibles less frequently.

4. Reading the Bible gets you closer to God

God reveals Himself to us in many ways, including the world around us. As Paul wrote, God’s “invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20, ESV).

But the primary way that God reveals Himself to us is through the Bible. The Old Testament shows us that God created us in His image, loves us, and, even though we rebelled – and continue to rebel – against Him, wants us to be reconciled to Him. Time and time again in the Old Testament, God demonstrates that he is patient with us and faithful in keeping His many promises to us.

The New Testament tells the story of Jesus and the early days of the Christian church. At the beginning and end of his gospel, the disciple John explains why the New Testament was written. He describes Jesus as the Word of God, who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14, ESV). John and the other New Testament writers recorded some of what Jesus said and did so that, in reading it, “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31, ESV).

The more you read the Bible, the better you get to know God. The better you know God, the more you want to communicate with Him and follow Him.

It’s the best resolution…any time.
The fact that reading the Bible regularly can have such a positive impact on us shouldn’t surprise us. After all, God’s Word is described as “living and active” and sharp enough to “divid[e] soul and spirit, joints and marrow” (Hebrews 4:12, NIV). James says that “the implanted word” can “save your souls” (James 1:21, NIV), and God says in Isaiah that His Word “will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11, NIV).

As you head into 2019, resolve to read your Bible more often. It’s the best resolution to make, any time of year. And it’s never too late to start a resolution.