IMAGINATION & AMAZING GRACE - Cordia Novell, Christian Writer
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I Prayed
Turn on the Light!
Conquer Evil With Good
The Rich Man
Continuous Praise

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I Prayed

I PRAYED
Cordia Novell

I prayed to bring You honor and
Give glory to Your name.
I prayed “Lord, let Your Kingdom come,”
And gave thanks that Jesus came. 

I prayed for those who hurt me
And forgiveness of my sin.
I prayed for strength to do Your will
And for help to try again. 

I prayed for healing of the sick
And healing for my own.
I prayed for those despairing
Because they feel alone. 

I prayed for daily sustenance
For You supply my bread.
I prayed for those still hungry
And waiting to be fed. 

I prayed for faith to conquer
Every fiery dart and trial.
I prayed to just keep moving
As I walk that extra mile. 

I prayed for You to guide me
And keep my mind on You.
I prayed Your constant presence
Would always see me through. 

I prayed for words to tell You
What I don’t know to say.
I prayed for You to keep me
When I lost my way. 

I prayed that my petitions
And all I’ve asked for there
Are lined up with Your will for me,
As I asked for them in prayer. 

Here I am still praying
For these things I’ve asked above.
I know well Your goodness
And Your everlasting love. 

I thank You now for listening
As I seek Your face.
I thank You now for blessing me
With Your amazing grace! 

I stand behind my Savior
Your Son who stays the same.
I pray this prayer today, Lord God
In Jesus’ holy name. 

Amen.

Turn on the Light!

This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.  So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth.  But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.  But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

1 John 1:5-10 New Living Translation (NLT)


When we enter a dark place, we look for the light switch or light a candle or find some way to illuminate the darkness because our sight is diminished.  We stumble in the dark because we need light to see where we're going.  This world gets very dark but God is light and He gave us His Son, Jesus, to show us the way and lead us to His light as we follow Him.  Even the blind can see through God's light because His light shines in our hearts.

We are all sinners saved only by the grace of God.  That grace provides our ability to be forgiven of sin.  God already knows our sins.  He sees clearly into the darkness.  He knows what we will do before we do because He created us in His image and loved us into being.  He wants us to confess our transgressions and our need for His help to come out of the darkness and live in His light.  God gave His Son to die on a cross to give us this freedom from sin.  By the blood of Christ we are reconciled to our Heavenly Father when we believe in what He did for us.  We just have to admit when we fall short and ask for the forgiveness that is available through believing and following Christ as we try to turn from our sinful ways.  He also gave us help to do that too.  The Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts to guide us through the darkness when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and invite Him to shine in our lives.

Let's walk in God's light.  No utility company can ever turn it off because it's free.








Conquer Evil With Good

Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

Romans 12:15-21 The Message (MSG)


It is so much easier to love than to hate because God is Love.  Being kind when someone is unkind only requires a smile.  That smile will often disarm those who come against us because they are looking for a fight.  And we all know it takes two to tango.

We are commanded to bless our enemies.  We are to feed them when they are hungry and provide them with a drink if they are thirsty.  This is what God expects from His children because it is how He treats His children.  No one has done anything that makes them worthy or deserving of God's grace, but He gives it freely out of His love for us.  None of us are righteous but we are covered by the righteousness of Christ Jesus as we follow Him.  God knows when someone needs checking and He will not be mocked.  There's no need to get in the dirt with anybody since our sovereign God can take care of any conflict with a mere blink of His eyes and His eyes see everything.

When we spend our time laughing and crying with friends we truly love and care about, we won't have any time to waste hating haters.  Bless them and leave them to God.  When we do this, those haters are left to examine themselves and who they really are.  They could even change because of our reaction to them.  After they finish wondering what is wrong with us, they may begin to see what is wrong with them.  And our bonus is this:  we have just overcome evil with good.

Smile and conquer evil with good. It works every time because it is what God has instructed us to do and gave us Jesus to show us how to do it.






The Rich Man

Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”

“Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied.  “There is only One who is good.  But to answer your question — if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.”

“Which ones?” the man asked.

And Jesus replied:  “You must not murder.  You must not commit adultery.  You must not steal.  You must not testify falsely.  Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.”

“I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied.  “What else must I do?”

Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”

But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  I’ll say it again — it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

Matthew 19:16-24 New Living Translation (NLT)


Someone once told me that a person who was rich was truly blessed by God.  Jesus tells me something different.  In the Beatitudes (specifically Matthew 5:3), Christ disputes this belief.  Having many possessions is not a bad thing.  It's what we do with our wealth that honors God since everything we have belongs to Him.  I've never seen a hearse pulling a trailer full of stuff to a grave.  Have you?

As Believers in Christ, we are joint-heirs to the Kingdom of God.  We are rich beyond our understanding because the Most High God is our Heavenly Father.  When people hold onto material possessions without concern for those who have little, God is not pleased.  He calls us to give and share what we have.  He promises to give us more to give and share when we follow Christ and show love through our selflessness. 

The man in this Scripture could not see beyond his earthly possessions enough to even gain what he asked Jesus for:  eternal life.  He had so much that he could not imagine selling it all and helping the poor.  Today, we live in a world where money and stuff are worshiped as gods with no thought given to what comes after this life.  It is the heart of those who do this that God sees.  Sometimes they talk a good game but God examines their hearts for motive and intent, and He always makes provision Himself for His children in need.

When we begin to covet the wealth of others or esteem those who have so much, we must remember we are already rich because our Father owns everything.  Our treasures are eternal and will last forever as we follow Christ.




Continuous Praise

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.  Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.

Psalm 34:1-7 New King James Version (NKJV)


The Creator of Heaven and earth does not need us.  He wants us.  He wants our praise, He wants our devotion, and He wants our trust.  He wants our love but He created us to love Him by choice.  It is we who need Him.  In spite of all we are not, we are loved by our sovereign God without condition.  Because of this great love, I will bless the Lord at all times! 

Continuous praise can be difficult as we live in a fallen world where troubles are many.  The enemy of our souls loves to see us miserable because, as the saying goes, "misery loves company."  Yet the attempts of our adversary are futile because even death lost its sting when Jesus died on that Cross and rose from that grave.  As we truly believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and follow Him, we have a blessed assurance that we will receive eternal life in God's Kingdom.  Our faith tells us we have nothing to fear.  We have deliverance from evil through our belief in His sacrifice and constant intercession.  Is this not worthy of continuance praise?

Magnify the Lord with me!  Let us exalt His name together!  Give Him praise for who He is.  Give Him glory for whose we are.  We are children of the Most High God.  Whatever our circumstances, God is still on the eternal Throne of Heaven, yet a very present help to all who call to Him in truth.  We can trust Him to complete to perfection the good work He began.

The Prayer of Saint Patrick

The Prayer of Saint Patrick - Anonymous

I arise today
Through a mighty strength.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven.

I arise today, through
God's strength to pilot me,
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Christ to shield me today
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.


Amen.






 

Fight for Faith!

Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  In the presence of God who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; and this will be made manifest at the proper time by the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion.  Amen.

1 Timothy 6:12-16 Revised Standard Version (RSV)


While the world seems to be going crazy, we who believe have an Anchor.  As we are tossed and thrown about by life, we have to take hold of what we confess that we believe.  One battle in which we must take part in is the "good fight of faith."  It takes faith to believe in God, whom no man has ever seen face-to-face.  So we must engage in this struggle to believe and trust that God is indeed in total control.  Jesus came to teach us this and left His Spirit to remind us of what He taught us.

History has revealed that Jesus walked the earth, declared that He was the Son of God and stated His purpose for being here.  Our Heavenly Father has given us the means to access instant information these days.  Yes, God gets the glory for our intelligence as well as our ability to use a computer.  He created everything!  All it takes is a bit of research to figure out that we have been provided with proof as a basis for our belief.  Our fight now is to keep believing in Christ and the promises He makes in His Word in spite of the trouble we are seeing in this world.  This fight is with our own hearts and minds.  This fight is with our doubt and fear and unbelief.  This fight is within ourselves.  We are fighting for our faith.

Let us honor God and hold fast to our confession of faith that He is our sovereign God and in full control.  In due time, we will reap a harvest from these seeds.  He who promised is faithful!





The Lord is Our Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23 New King James Version (NKJV)


Having been a shepherd boy, King David knew sheep.  When he penned this Psalm, he was very aware of the helpless state in which his flock existed because his job was to watch over them.  Yet, he described himself as one who required the same kind of guidance as the sheep did. And his Shepherd brought him a mighty long way.

We all "want" things - especially this time of year.  Children are encouraged to make a list of things they want for Santa to bring.  Adults declare what their special desires are to those who care enough to give them gifts they have not purchased for themselves.  Many of these acquisitions bring joy for a time in this season.  Some people are disappointed when they don't get what they "want."  David, who eventually had everything of material value he may have wanted, gave glory to God for shepherding him through life as he looked forward to dwelling in the Lord's house forever.

With God as our Shepherd, we have all that we need and even some of the things that we want.  God knows the desires of our hearts.  But He also knows that we fear and doubt.  He sees us as we worry and fret.  Yet, He watches over us with loving eyes that know and see everything.  He protects us.  He provides goodness and mercy, peace, restoration and comfort to us, His sheep.  He fills our cups to overflowing with hope and the promise of forever in His Kingdom.  This is where we will want for nothing. 

The Lord is our Shepherd.  Oh Great Jehovah, feed us till we want no more.












Confidence

If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  Who shall bring any charge against God's elect?  It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn?  Christ Jesus is the one who died — more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:31-35, 37-39 English Standard Version (ESV)



Confidence.  As we believe God's Word and trust in Him, we can be confident.  We are assured of our Savior's help and blessings because God is sovereign and it is He who gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to be our Savior.  Nothing in all creation can come against us if God is for us because He is the Creator.   Nothing exceeds this power and it is ours through Christ.  Nothing can change this or take it away.  I am convinced!

Yet, we often despair when we experience trial and tribulation.  The world is broken.  There is trouble everywhere in this fallen land!  So we must daily pick up our crosses and follow Christ.  Jesus' life was given to demonstrate God's love for us when we did not deserve it and because He did this, nothing can separate us from that love.  We only need look to Him and know without doubt that He gives it freely.  We must trust Him.  Nothing can keep us down as we follow our Savior.  We may stumble, but He keeps us from falling or picks us up if we do.

Jesus makes us winners no matter what our circumstances may be!  While believing and following Him, we are more than conquerors because of who He is.   Come boldly to His Throne of grace!  We can be confident of His love.  It does not fail!




Last Times

Dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ told you, that in the last times there would come these scoffers whose whole purpose in life is to enjoy themselves in every evil way imaginable. They stir up arguments; they love the evil things of the world; they do not have the Holy Spirit living in them.

But you, dear friends, must build up your lives ever more strongly upon the foundation of our holy faith, learning to pray in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit.  Stay always within the boundaries where God’s love can reach and bless you.  Wait patiently for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you.  Try to help those who argue against you.  Be merciful to those who doubt.

Jude 17-22 Living Bible (TLB)



When the Word of God refers to the "last times" that period is most commonly understood to be any time between the ascension of Jesus Christ to the Father's right hand and His second coming to earth to establish His Kingdom.  No one knows the hour or day but God the Father.  Jesus Himself said that He didn't even know when the Father would send Him back.  Yet in His Word, He did give us things to look for along with the Great Commission to share the Gospel so that as many as possible would be prepared.  The Holy Spirit was sent to live in the hearts all who believe in God's Son as a Helper to teach, guide, strengthen and comfort us until that time. 

There have been "scoffers" since Jesus was born.  Many do not believe in Christ.  The gate is indeed narrow because there is a war going on for our souls - a war that has been fought and won.  The victory is in believing Jesus already won that war.  We are promised in God's Word that everyone will see Christ when He returns.  There will be no need for "Breaking News" or someone else to tell us "He's back!" We who believe have been informed of what to look for and how to behave while we wait.  As for those who are uninformed, it is the job of those who do know Christ to lovingly share this information with them through the help of the Holy Spirit's power.

In the meantime, we must hold fast to our faith without wavering.  We must allow the Holy Spirit to use us to bring belief and understanding to those who doubt.  We must get ready because one day He is coming back and all this madness and mocking will come to a screeching halt.  BELIEVE IT!
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