It is good that, despite all the variableness of life, there is One who cannot change. One whose heart can never alter, and on whose brow uncertainty can make no furrows.
Everything else has changed. All things are changing. The sun itself dims with age; the world is growing old; the folding up of the worn-out clothing has commenced. The heavens and earth must soon pass away. They will perish, growing old like a garment. But there is One who only has immortality, of whose years there is no end, and in whose person there is no change. The delight which the sailor feels when he steps upon the solid shore after having been tossed about for many a day, is the satisfaction of a Christian when amidst all the changes of this life, he rests the foot of his faith upon this truth “I the LORD do not change.”
The anchor gives a ship its stability. Likewise, the Christian’s hope gives him stability when he fixes on the glorious truth that with God, “who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17) Whatever His attributes were yesterday, they remain today: His power, His wisdom, His justice, and His truth, are all unchanged. He has always been the refuge of His people, their stronghold in their day of trouble, and He is still their reliable Helper.
He is unchanging in His love. He has loved His people with an everlasting love and He loves us now as much as ever He did. When all earthly things shall have melted away, His love will still wear the dew of its youth. Precious is the assurance that He never changes! The wheel of providence turns, but its axle is eternal love.
“Death and change are busy ever, Man decays, and ages move; But His mercy waneth never; God is wisdom, God is love.”
Question: How does God’s unchanging nature give you comfort in difficult times of instability?
When you place your faith in Christ, Christ places his Spirit before, behind, and within you. Not a strange spirit, but the same Spirit: the parakletos. Everything Jesus did for his followers, his Spirit does for you. Jesus taught; the Spirit teaches. Jesus healed; the Spirit heals. Jesus comforted; his Spirit comforts. As Jesus sends you into new seasons, he sends his counselor to go with you.
God treats you the way one mother treated her young son, Timmy. She didn’t like the thought of Timmy walking to his first-grade class unaccompanied. But he was too grown-up to be seen with his mother. “Besides,” he explained, “I can walk with a friend.” So she did her best to stay calm, quoting the Twenty-third Psalm to him every morning: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”
One school day she came up with an idea. She asked a neighbor to follow Timmy to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, lest he notice her. The neighbor was happy to oblige. She took her toddler on morning walks anyway.
After several days Timmy’s friend noticed the lady and the child.
“Do you know who that woman is who follows us to school?”
Timmy answered. “That’s Shirley Goodnest and her daughter Marcy.”
“My mom reads about them every day in the Twenty-third Psalm. She says, Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life. Guess I’ll have to get used to them.”
You will too. God never sends you out alone. Are you on the eve of change? Do you find yourself looking into a new chapter? Is the foliage of your world showing signs of a new season? Heaven’s message for you is clear: when everything else changes, God presence never does. You journey in the company of the Holy Spirit, who “will teach you and will remind you of everything I have told you.” John 14:26 (NLT).
By Max Lucado
Used by permission
I want to encourage those that are on the verge of giving up and throwing in the towel. Lately it seems as though nothing has changed. You have prayed fervently. Asking, seeking, and knocking, but no response. Don’t give up yet, God says look again.
Elijah prayed fervently for rain after a 3 year drought. He sent his servant to look for rain as he prayed. He saw nothing. Elijah said look again. The servant returned seven times, awaiting the expected rain. On the seventh time he reported seeing a cloud the shape of a man’s hand.
I say to you today, look again. If you don’t see anything immediately, keep looking; just as the servant did. Keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking. Do not allow what you see in the natural to overrule what the Lord is doing behind the scenes. The Lord will reward your persistence. If you do not faint, you shall see the manifestation of the Lord. Remain steadfast and unmovable. Do not stagger at the Lord’s promises. He is at work on your behalf, even now. Look again; your breakthrough is on the horizon!
Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open. – John Barrymore
In order to be happy in this world we have to really examine who we are at the core, and proceed to act accordingly. There is no way around this, because when we avoid this we find that we do nothing except continue to rattle and shake our foundation causing our own lives nothing but instability and pain.
You never know what life is going to put in front of you. Sometimes you will be faced with an abundance of opportunity and sometimes you will be faced with an even greater amount of heartache. Just because life presents things in your path that you may not wish to conquer, doesn’t mean that you should ever stop being happy. For when you know who you really are, and what you are placed to do on this Earth, absolutely nothing can stand in the way of your happiness.
By: Dave Branon
Are you getting what you want out of life? Or do you feel that circumstances, or other outside factors are robbing you of value joy?
Recently, a polling agency asked 1,000 people what they most desired in their lives. One fascinating result was that 90% of Bible-believing Christians said that they wanted these outcome:
• A close relationship with God
• A clear purpose in life
• A high degree of integrity
• And a deep commitment to the faith
Notice that these heartfelt desires are all things we as individuals can do something about without outside human help. No government program will assist here, and tough economic times cannot steal these ideals. These life goals are achieved as we allow God’s Word to rule in our hearts and as we receive the Spirit’s strength to build up “the inner man”, resulting in true joy.
In our complicated world, it’s tempting to put our quest for what we desire into the hands of others – to expect an outside entity to fulfil our desires. While we sometimes need help, and we cannot live in isolation, it’s not outside sources that provide true happiness. That comes from within – from letting Christ be at home in our hearts.
Holy Spirit, Light Divine
By: Andrew Reed
Holy Spirit, light divine,
Dawn upon this soul of mine;
Let your word dispel the night,
Wake my spirit, clear my sight.
Holy Spirit, grace divine,
Cleanse this sinful heart of mine;
In your mercy look on me,
From sin’s bondage set me free.
Holy Spirit, truth divine,
Shine upon these eyes of mine;
Send your radiance from above,
Let me know my Savior’s love.
Holy Spirit, power divine,
Fortify this will of mine;
Bend it to your own pure will,
All my life with graces fill.
Holy Spirit, peace divine,
Still this restless heart of mine;
Speak to calm the tossing sea,
Stayed in your tranquility.
Holy Spirit, all divine,
Dwell within this self of mine;
I your temple pure would be
Now and for eternity.
If a troubled world gets you down, look up to Jesus
I was inspired by this song a few months ago when I needed it most!
Singer, Pianist, Songwriter
December 7, 1979 (age 34)
University of California, Los Angeles
PLACE OF BIRTH
Sara Beth Bareilles
“I grew up a fat girl. I had to change schools at one point because the kids were so mean to me. I still often feel I just don’t want anyone to notice anything about me.”
Born on December 7, 1979, in Eureka, California, Sara Bareilles is a singer-songwriter and pianist known for the hit “Love Song,” off the album Little Voice (2007). The song sold more than 3 million copies and garnered two Grammy Award nominations for the artist. In 2010, Bareilles released Kaleidoscope Heart, featuring the single “King of Anything,” for which she received her third Grammy nod. In 2011, Bareilles was added as a celebrity judge to the third season of The Sing-Off. She left the show prior to its fourth season, and went on to release projects like Once Upon Another Time (2012) and The Blessed Unrest (2013).
Singer-songwriter Sara Beth Bareilles was born on December 7, 1979, in Eureka, California, to Paul Bareilles, an insurance adjuster and logger, and his wife, Bonnie. The youngest of three girls, childhood was not always easy for Bareilles. “I grew up a fat girl,” she later recalled. “I had to change schools at one point because the kids were so mean to me. I still often feel I just don’t want anyone to notice anything about me.”
Still, despite a preference to go unnoticed, Bareilles had an unmistakable passion for music and theater. She performed in her school choirs and played Audrey in a high school production of Little Shop of Horrors. Following high school, she attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she majored in communications. More importantly, she found her singing voice as a member of an a cappella group at the school.
After graduating in 2001, Bareilles, who remained in southern California, set out to pursue her dream of making it as a musician. Over the course of the next three years, she worked the club scene, performing at open-mic nights, landing a few paid gigs and eventually performing at festivals.
Writing ‘Love Song’
In 2003, Sara Bareilles recorded her first demo, Careful Confessions, which eventually got the attention of Epic Records, who signed her to a deal. The company set out to revamp the songs on her debut demo as well as incorporate newer material for her first album, Little Voice (2007).
Ironically, one of the anchors of the album was the hit single “Love Song,” a tune that was sparked by the singer’s own frustrations with Epic and the record-making process. “I was just turning in material and having people not like it,” Bareilles said. “It’s the first time I’d really collaborated with people and gotten their feedback on my material. So I think I got very stubborn and turned off by the whole idea.”
The song took off, however, and in turn, the album quickly gained momentum with consumers, who loved Bareille’s soulful voice and open-book lyrics about love and life. With some heavy promotion from iTunes and Rhapsody, “Love Song” sold more than 3 million copies. Little Voice, meanwhile, became a Top 10 album. The singer-songwriter’s success was punctuated that year by two Grammy Award nominations, for song of the year and best female pop vocal performance.
For Bareilles the sudden success, and the work that went into producing it, was a bit daunting at times. “I was so precious about every choice,” she said. “I was so guarded, and I don’t know that I enjoyed it as much as I could have. There were times where I was so fearful and so anxious about the process: ‘Am I doing too much? Am I selling out? Do I look all right?’ All those things swirl around in your brain. What I’m here to do is play my music, and I want to be able to enjoy the process this time.”
Marjorie grew up with with a sense of worthlessness. Again and again her father said she would never accomplish anything in life. He told her she was a loser and that anything she did try was sure to end in failure. With these words ringing in her ears she grew up looking for someone who would love her and see her as a person of worth. This led her into relationships that were disappointing to her, ending in pain and devastation with yet another proof that she was worthless and unlovable. Maybe you can identify with Marjorie and your story is much like hers. Where does our sense of self worth come from?
It is true that the foundation for a person’s self-worth is laid in the home. Words that we hear in our home can build or tear down our worth as a person. The Bible speaks of words of life and death in Prov.18:21 where it says,”Death and life are in the power of the tongue,…” As we hear words of affirmation and encouragement they are words of life to us while words of criticism and belittling are words of death. Other people like teachers, friends, employers and spouses add to the collection of life-giving or death words in a person’s heart. Over time a person begins to see themselves in the light of these words. Is this the final word or is there hope that one can develop a sense of worth as a person?
If we look in the Scriptures we see that God never meant it to be this way. He speaks words of life into the heart of every person. We read in Genesis that when God completed the creation of the world he made man in his likeness or image. This likeness gave man and later also the woman he made the capacity to think, to make decisions, to know right from wrong, to be creative and to have the ability to communicate and have a personal relationship. Not only did God put this potential in the heart of man and woman he also gave them an assignment to use these abilities. They were told to rule over the things he had created and give to each a name. Herein lies the potential to organize, care, and to be in charge.
Although the assignment to be fruitful is linked to increasing in number it could also indicate creativity in other areas. Fruitfulness can also speak of the outcome of our labour, of putting our God given creativity to work in a job, a home based business, our homes or in areas where God has given us a creative interest which every person possesses who is created in the image of God. Fruit speaks of a beautiful outcome of our labors.
One of the most beautiful aspects of the creation of man is God seeing the need for man to be in a relationship, to have a companion. God places this need and capacity into the heart of each person. Each has the potential to be a friend, a companion, a helper or a person of influence.
This is what God had in mind when he created you. He created you in his image so that you could think, make choices, use your creativity, build relationships, faithfully work at the tasks in your hand and be a person of influence in the lives of others.
But that’s not all. This was only the beginning. In Psalms 139 he says we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” and describes the creation of each person with words like “knit together” and “woven together” and “ordaining our days” all of which require a plan by a great creator. God had a plan for each of our lives and put together each person with abilities, personality and potential.
But the greatest evidence of our worth is that he loved us so much that he sent his son to die for us when we were sinners and totally unlovable. We were worth it to him. But there’s more to that as well. When we believe that Jesus died for us and we accept his forgiveness we become his child. A son and daughter of the King of Kings. As we live in that relationship with him we begin to reflect his godly character and we produce the fruit of the Spirit named in Galatians 5:22-23 as: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The beauty of this fruit in our lives makes each of us a person of impact and influence.
No matter what “words of death” others have spoken about you God’s view of you rises above those words and he speaks “words of life” into your heart today. He says, “I created you in my image, I gave you abilities to rule, organize, manage your area of life, I gave you a creativity that if followed will bring you joy, I made you to be a companion or friend to someone, to be a person of influence, you are precious to me, I loved you so much that I gave my son to die for you and now I want you to be my representative to share this love with others on earth. ”
God made you a person of worth. He decided when he planned your life what abilities he would give to you. We all have varying amounts of ability to organize, lead, create or influence but we have the choice as to what we want to do with that which God has entrusted to us. God also gives us opportunities where we can use these abilities. The fruitfulness depends on how we care for, cultivate and use each of these abilities which in turn results in the fruitfulness of influencing the lives of the people God has placed in our world whether they be children, spouses, employees, friends or neighbors. You are special to God and he wants to use you to speak “words of life” into the lives of those around you.
Have you ever opened up your heart to God and asked Him to enable you to become the person He created you to be? If you would like to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, you can say this prayer:
Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make the kind of person You want me to be.
If you prayed today and asked Jesus Christ to come into your life and take control, we would love to hear from you. Drop us a quick line using the form below and if you’re looking for a response, we’ll do that too.
God Bless you.