Archives For God


35224_european_bistroWhen I was about five years old I had my first encounter with the Holy Spirit, the spirit of God. I felt the incredible love of God as I walked through a forest with my Sunday school class. The teacher had talked to us about how much God loves us, and how we can see him in the things that he made, the trees and brooks, the wind and the leaves.

Today I was thinking about the incredible beauty of the love of God. Anyone who has felt it will always want it. Then I heard a sermon about it.

The sermon I heard tonight went something like this:

You might be in a low point in your life. You might be in the pit of despair. You might be feeling very depressed right now, or maybe you are doing fine, maybe you are going through a happy time in your life. But no matter what, God’s love is washing over you, taking care of you much more than you know.

Thousands of years ago, in fact even before anything existed, God already thought of you and decided to choose you and love you. God has been waiting your entire life for this moment, where he could get you to sit still for one minute and say this to you:

“You have no idea how much I love you. I have always loved you. There was never a moment of your existence when I didn’t love you. I planned that fertilization of the two cells that came together to make you. I planned your conception. I allowed that conception. I wanted you alive so I could love you because you are special to me. There is no one else like you, you are completely new and unique to me. I heard your first cry, there was no moment of your life that I didn’t love you. Through all your celebrations and difficulties, your sadness and happiness I loved and adored you even more than you loved yourself. I wanted good things for you even more than you did. Whether you realize it or not I have been gazing upon you in love because I made you to love you.”

How would your life change if you knew how much God loved you? Think about how it would feel if you got up in the morning and the first thing you felt was that you are deeply and unconditionally loved by God. What if you felt the love of God as you got out of bed to brush your teeth? And in the car on way to work or school you felt the love of God. What would it be like if you felt God’s love unconditionally, knowing that no matter what you do or don’t do, you know that God loves you? No matter what you do or don’t do, God will still love you the same amount.

Your first and most important calling in life is to let God love you. What happens if you accept this call?

You feel accepted rather than ashamed or condemned. You feel totally accepted, and that will change your life. Many avoid God because they feel ashamed or guilty. Maybe you feel guilty, criticized. God is perfect and I’m not. Why would I hang out with a perfect God to remind me of all the ways I’ve failed?

But God did not come to condemn the world but to save it. If you feel God is down on you, guess what? You are totally wrong. God is not down on you at all, he is totally for you, totally cheering you on, bragging to the angels and even the devil about you. He certainly did that about Job in the Old Testament.

You have spent your entire life in order to get peoples approval and love of other people. You dress the way you do to get approval. You wear your hair the way you do to get approval. You talk and act the way you do to get love and approval. You have been trying to get approval from some unpleasable people your entire life and you are not going to get it. Realize you don’t need the approval of other people. Most of your life you have been worried about what other people think because you don’t feel unconditionally loved by God. When you realize how much God loves you, criticism doesn’t bother you. You will no longer need other people’s approval to be happy. This idea will set you free.

The man who spoke these words is Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life.


281774_140105412736176_2166789_nThe Bible says to rejoice in all circumstances. Be joyful always. If your situation seems bad, realize it will work together for good (Romans 8:38) if you trust in God for good things. When the Bible talks about hope it doesn’t just mean hope for salvation. It means to trust God to do good things in every area of your life.

But if we worry and fret and feel sorry for ourselves when bad things happen it tends to make the very thing we fear come true. Example: a man gets moved to another group at work and doesn’t like it because he feels it is a demotion. He gets a bad attitude and starts to criticize and complain. Because of this his boss feels he is not doing a good job. Faith is more than just believing in God. It is trusting God to take care of everything in your life.

Romans 5:2 And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 2 Cor 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which come from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

In heaven we have a lot of glory. We will reflect God’s glory. It is like the moon. It doesn’t shine by its own power but reflects the light of the sun. But the moon is beautiful. That is how we will be in heaven. We will reflect God’s light, his glory. The Bible says that the whole creation is groaning with anticipation, longing to see us Christians.

Here on earth many people have dreamed of glory. Many a boy has dreamed of catching the game winning pass in the end zone to win the homecoming game. What a hero he would be, what glory! Everyone in school would be grateful to him. Another example is a fireman rescuing a little girl from a burning building while dozens of citizens stand watching. The high school girl dreams of becoming the homecoming queen. What glory she would have as she wears the crown and sash and stands beside the home coming king. Or the girl who dreams of winning a gold medal in Olympic swimming or a famous singer with thousands of adoring fans gathered to hear her sing.

But all these things are glories that last only a short time. Not many people can remember more than a few, if any, names of last Olympic gold medal winners.

Yet the glory we will have in heaven will last forever and ever. Ten thousand years after we arrive in heaven will be like we have just got there. All kinds of creation, from angels to other Christians to some of the heavenly beings mentioned in the book of Revelation will stand in awe when they see our glory, the reflection of God’s glory.

Hope and attitude

Brad Stanton —  February 21, 2014 — 3 Comments

200 (5)Step 5: Hope and attitude. These two are very important. Most big US companies realize that attitude is one of the most important qualities in a person. People with hope and a good attitude are the ones that do a great job.

Hebrews 3:6 NIV But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.

Hebrews 11:6 NIV And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Attitude
Chuck Swindoll
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude to me is more important than facts.
It’s more important than the past, than education, than money,
than circumstances, than failures, than successes,
than what other people think or do.
It’s more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.
It will make or break a company, a church, a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day
regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have,
and that is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me,
and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you.

Persistence
Author Unknown
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not…nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not…unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not…the world is full of educated derelicts.
The slogan “Press On” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

The Serenity Prayer
Reinhold Neibuhr-1926 (maybe)
God grant me
the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference;
Living one day at a time;
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it:
Trusting that you will make all things right
if I surrender to your will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with you forever in the next.

Goals. I write about this because after studying goals I found that people who have clear, definite, written goals are the ones who are successful. A study showed that the 5% of people who graduated from Harvard with clear, definite goals were more successful than the 95% who graduated without goals.

First, pray about your goals.

Second, write them down. A goal is not a goal unless you write it down and put it somewhere you will see it often. More in two days.

My book “Keys To Powerful Prayer” is now in paperback. https://www.createspace.com/4540174 Doing the research for this book really changed my life for the better. CreateSpace is an Amazon company.


Prayer Space.JPG

Prayer Space (Photo credit: bhsher)

Some summer sounds certainly seem sweet. What was the best sound you ever heard? For me it was more than one sound, it was like an orchestra being played every summer evening during that unforgettable time in my life when I had just recently lost half a dozen of the best friends I had ever had. Crickets chirped, cars occasionally whizzed by, dogs barked in the distance, a train honked a horn. They sounded more beautiful than at any other time because I had spent the whole month praying after work, a new thing for me. I spent time talking to God, not really asking for anything, just talking to Him.

I was in my mid-twenties, single and living in a little one bedroom apartment not far from a train track. The horn of that train always brought back happy memories for me and was very comforting. But about my friends….

It just so happened that during those years I had made friends with half a dozen of the most fun and interesting people I had ever met. We were very close, sort of like the TV show Friends, or Cheers, the little bar where everybody knows your name.

They were the kind of people who could drop by any time and we would have a wonderful time, with plenty of laughter, bantering and fun stories. But during a three or four month period, some of them got married and disappeared from our little gang, the others moved out of town. Suddenly I had no close friends at all.

I had to find something to do with my time, so I took walks at the nearby park. I began to pray and meditate on the good things in life that I still had, even though it was tough to lose my friends. At first it was hard to think of things to feel grateful for. But the more I thought and felt grateful for a few things, the more things came to mind that I could be grateful for.

I started out praying for 30 minutes because I had nothing to do, due to the fact that my friends were gone. Then as the days went on, the prayer stretched into an hour, then two hours. There were some days that I prayed for three hours at a time in the evening. That brought me close to God, and brought me a lot of joy. I wasn’t praying to seek anything from God, just to be close to Him.

Sometimes after an evening of prayer, the sounds of the night seemed like a beautiful orchestra being played for anyone who was willing to take the time to stop and enjoy the sounds.

Even nowadays when I hear the crickets chirping, the comforting sound of a fan or my neighbor’s air conditioner humming, these sounds bring back the feelings of that Kansas summer that I learned to be thankful no matter what, and that I really could be happy even in the toughest of times. But most of all, I learned the joy of the Holy Spirit, the incredible wonder of being close to God.

This is from my book The Amazing Power of Prayer  http://bradstanton.com/buy-ebook/



Angel screenshot from the opening credits. Tak...

A friend on facebook sent this. I believe it is true because things like this have happened to me.

A young man had been to Wednesday night chat group. The leader had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord’s voice. The young man couldn’t help but wonder, “Does God still speak to people?”

After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways. It was about ten o’clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, “God…If you still speak to people speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey.”

As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, “God is that you?” He didn’t get a reply and started on toward home. But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk.

The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn’t recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. “Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk.” It didn’t seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home.

As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, “Turn Down that street.” This is crazy he thought and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street. At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half-jokingly, he said out loud, “Okay, God, I will”.

He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in semi commercial area of town. It wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed.

Again, he sensed something, “Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street.” The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat.

“Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid.” Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened the door, “Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but if they don’t answer right away, I am out of here.”

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man’s voice yelled out, “Who is it? What do you want?” Then the door opened before the young man could get away.

The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn’t seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep. “What is it?” The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, “Here, I brought this to you.” The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face.

The man began speaking and half crying, “We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn’t have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk.”

His wife in the kitchen yelled out, “I ask him to send an Angel with some. Are you an Angel?” The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put in the man’s hand. He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face. He knew that God still answers prayers.

This is so true. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that God asks us to do that cause us, if we are obedient to what He’s asking, to be able to hear. Please listen, and obey! It will bless you (and the world). Phil 4:13