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New Strength

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (KJV) ( Isaiah 40:31 ) 

Come one, come all, everyone who is tired. If you are exhausted and feel heavy like you’ve been hit by a truck, there is hope. You will once again soar. It is time to look to the Lord and trust Him to rejuvenate you. Give rest to your body and He will give you the endurance you need to continue. 


When I was sick this past month, I often felt like I’d been hit by a truck. I knew though that there was hope. With the right medicine and rest, I was able to come though my illness. Faith in the Great Physician can help heal all wounds.

Being Quietness

And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. (KJV) ( Isaiah 32:17 ) 

There will be a day when the Lord will bring everlasting peace. Though that time hasn’t come, yet, we can still have temporary peace. Call on the Holy Spirit to bring quietness to your soul. Take time to meditate on an uplifting scripture. Get some fresh air to ease your body. Be at rest with the Lord. 

Second Chances

Bless the LORD, O my soul,

     and all that is within me,

     bless his holy name!

Bless the LORD, O my soul,

     and forget not all his benefits,

who forgives all your iniquity,

     who heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from the pit,

     who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

who satisfies you with good

     so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The LORD works righteousness

     and justice for all who are oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,

     his acts to the people of Israel.

The LORD is merciful and gracious,

     slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

He will not always chide,

     nor will he keep his anger forever.

He does not deal with us according to our sins,

     nor repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

     so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west,

     so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

As a father shows compassion to his children,

     so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

For he knows our frame;

     he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass;

     he flourishes like a flower of the field;

for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

     and its place knows it no more.

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,

     and his righteousness to children’s children,

to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.

The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,

     and his kingdom rules over all.

Bless the LORD, O you his angels,

     you mighty ones who do his word,

     obeying the voice of his word!

Bless the LORD, all his hosts,

     his ministers, who do his will!

Bless the LORD, all his works,

     in all places of his dominion.

Bless the LORD, O my soul!

Psalms 103

With the new year, we often think back on the old.  We attempt to think of resolutions to help us correct our flaws, and hopefully, give ourselves a second chance in the new year. We are blessed to have a God who grants second chances.  In fact, He grants an infinite number of chances.  This is good news because most of us mess up the second chance fairly quickly. One of the amazing facets of God’s character is His incredible patience with us. Psalm 86:15 says it well: “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”

How many times have any of us done something really stupid, and realize it right after, or right in the middle of it?  Do you ever feel like you can’t do anything right, wondering why you bother trying as you’re going to fail anyway?  I’ve had instances when I really didn’t mean to hurt someone, yet I did, and I didn’t know how to set it right.  I must admit, I’ve experienced this on more days than I want to admit. It just seems like no matter how hard I try, things just don’t seem to work out, or not that often anyway.  Yet, in each instance I look to God for guidance, and he shows me the way.

Just as God is patient and forgiving, He wants His children to be patient with and forgiving of others. “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12). He gives us second chances, and we must give the same to others. Jesus gives a stern warning to those who refuse to forgive, saying that if we will not forgive others, God will not forgive us. If someone is truly repentant, then we are obligated to forgive.  Matthew 18:21-22 says  “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Forgiveness, however, is not the same thing as reconciliation. Many people struggle to find the balance between showing mercy and enabling a harmful person to continue harming. We should forgive everyone who wrongs us, just as Jesus forgives us. Forgiveness is between our heart and God’s, removing any barriers that non-forgiveness brings. When someone continues to unrepentantly violate another person’s boundaries, a wise person learns to set firmer boundaries.

Giving someone a second chance means we give him another chance to earn our trust. But that does not mean we instantly forget what experience has taught us. Trust must be earned over time, and we are foolish if we give trust prematurely. We can have a loving and forgiving heart that also practices wise guardianship over our lives.

When we have wronged someone, we have no right to demand another chance. But we should work to earn another chance by continued demonstration of repentance and change.

God does everything possible to draw us to repentance, offering forgiveness and second chances (2 Peter 3:9). But if we continue to reject Him, the offer is withdrawn and, at death, there are no more chances (Hebrews 9:27). God’s grace is our model. We can offer second chances to others until a healthy relationship is no longer possible.

In this new year, we should try to emulate God more.  Just as he gives us second chances, give others a second chance as well.  Maybe that someone deserves even more than a single second chance, then offer them more chances as long as they are attempting to do what is right.  However, if that person is continuously hurting you, then forgive them and walk away.  Just because someone has hurt you, it does not mean that it was intentional.  Give them that second chance, just as God would give you a second chance.  Yet, when it is intentional hurting, sometimes it is best to just cut ties.  It is often difficult to do so, but it is occasionally what is best for both.  Sometimes, it’s easy to just cut ties, but evaluate the situation.  Could you help that person more by giving them a second chance?  If so, then that is what god asks us to do.

Let God give you a second chance in the new year, and resolve to be a better person. Also, try to give someone in your life a second chance, maybe they truly deserve it.  I hope each of you has a blessed and happy 2017!

Seasons Greetings

The Birth of Jesus

(Isaiah 7:10-16; Micah 5:1-6; Matthew 1:18-25)

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and Angels

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

In Spite of Sickness

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.“—Revelation 21:4


God can work in spite of sickness. He still answers prayer and heals people today, and He still does miracles. In sickness and in hardships, He can work in a person’s life. Even if a person still has the sickness or problem, God can work in spite of it and give them a special strength. God says He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, nor sorrows, nor crying, and no more pain (see Revelation 21:4). They can have the promise that they will be in Heaven one day.


That promise is the great hope for the Christian: that there is more than just this life on earth. Whatever our limitations are, whatever our problems are, God promises us that beyond this life we will receive a new body that will not have the shortcomings that we have today.


And God can also use sickness to bring a person to Himself, can’t He? I know a lot of people who have come to the Lord in the hospital. A lot of people who have come to the Lord when they are facing death. Suddenly they reevaluate their lives. They wonder, What am I living for? What is really important in my life? What is going to happen to me when I die? And they begin to think about eternity.


As the psalmist says, “Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I have kept your word” (Psalm 119:67). God can work in spite of sickness, and He can work through sickness. Nothing is impossible for Him.

The Names of Jesus

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (KJV) ( Isaiah 9:6 ) 

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace! What do the names for the Messiah mean to you? Write them down and prayerfully meditate on them.  Let God reveal more of His nature through the glorious names of Jesus! 

Remain

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (KJV) ( John 15:4 ) 

Where does the good fruit of our lives come from?  Only from the Lord! When we rest in Him our lives produce good things. Remain in Him and watch new goodness grow out of your life.