Membership is Granted, Not Purchased

The Bible says, “For it is by grace you have been saved. . .not by works, so that no one can boast”

(Ephesians 2:8-9).

No other world religion offers such a message. Others say, “You do this, and God will give you that.” Christ’s kingdom is just the opposite. A kingdom where membership is granted, not purchased! You are placed into God’s kingdom! He gives you, not justice, but mercy!

From The Applause of Heaven

Here is God

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Here is God by Max Lucado from the new teen devotional One God, One Plan, One Life

I am with you always, even to the end of the age. — Matthew 28:20

When ancient sailors sketched maps of the oceans, they disclosed their fears. On the vast unexplored waters, cartographers wrote such words as “Here be dragons” and “Here be demons.”

If you drew a map of your world, would we read such phrases? Over the unknown waters of friendships and romance, “Here be dragons.” Near the sea of school and classes, “Here be demons.”

If so, take heart from the example of Sir John Franklin. He was a master mariner in the days of King Henry V. Distant waters were a mystery to him, just as they were to other navigators. Unlike his colleagues, however, Sir John was a man of faith. On his maps he had crossed out the phrases “Here be dragons” and “Here be demons.” In their place he wrote the phrase:

“Here is God.”

Mark it down. You will never go where God is not. You may be moved to another class, school, or city, but — brand this truth on your heart — you can never go where God is not. “I am with you always,” Jesus promised (Matthew 28:20).

Don’t be afraid; just believe.

2013 Our Year With The Bible

YouVersion the super popular bible app released their year end statistics recently.  I found this information extremely intriguing.  People are engaging in a powerful way no matter if it is a leather bound edition of the Bible or an app on your smart phone.

Below is a graphic provided by YouVersion.  What was your favorite verse of the year?  Mine was Nehemiah 6:3 

A Story About Love

Bow of Colorful Boat

Many years ago all feeling and emotions have gathered to spent their vacation on a coastal island. Each of them was having a good time, but one day there was announced a warning of a storm and everyone had to leave the island.

This caused a panic, all rushed to their boats and only Love did not wish to be in a hurry. There was so much to do, so Love was the last, who realized that it was time to leave. However, no free boats were left and Love looked around with hope.

As Prosperity was passing by in its classy boat, Love asked: „Please, take me in your boat“. But Prosperity replied: „My boat is full of gold and other precious possessions, there is no place for you“.

Then Vanity came by in a lovely boat. Love asked: „Vanity, could you take me in your boat? Please, help me.“ Vanity said: „No, your feet are muddy, and I don‘t want my boat get dirty.“

Some time later Sorrow was passing by and Love called for help. But Sorrow answered: „I am so sad, I want to be by myself“.

Then Happiness came by, Love asked for help, but Happiness was too happy, it hardly concerned about anyone.

Suddenly somebody called out: “Love, I will take you with me“. Love did not recognized its savior, just gratefully jumped on to the boat.

When everyone had reached safe place, Love get off the boat and met Knowledge. Love asked: „Knowledge, do you know who helped me when everyone else turned away?“ Knowledge smiled: „That was Time, because only Time knows Love‘s true value and what Love is capable of. Only Love can bring peace and happiness.“

“The messageof this story is that when we are prosperous, we underrate Love. When we feel important, we do not appreciate love. And even in happiness and sorrow we overlook love. Only with time we realize the true value of love. Why wait and not cherish and share Love every day of your life?”

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud

1 Corinthians 13:4