Depressed, Hurting, Experiencing Loss and Conflict? Be encouraged today….

The Christmas Holidays are not always filled with laughter and cheer.  For many, it is a great time of loneliness and depression as many are experiencing the loss of a loved one, or have never found that true love of their life they have been searching after.  For others, this time of year comes down to profit margins and losses for the businesses throughout the year thus preventing them the opportunity to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ…the Hope of Glory!

Regardless of your situation, I want to offer a word of encouragement from God’s word found in Isaiah 41 verses 10-13.  It simply reads:

Fear not…there is nothing to fear, for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My victorious right hand of rightness and justice.

Behold, all they who are enraged and inflamed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; they who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish.

You shall seek those who contend with you but shall not find them; they who war against you shall be as nothing, as nothing at all.

For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; I am the Lord, Who says to you, Fear not; I will Help You! (Amplified)

Today, whatever you may be facing (depression, anxiety, conflict, job situation, loss, or simply searching for your purpose in life), God says He has a plan for your life.  He says to you today, Fear Not because He will help you!  Simply ask for His help and allow Him the opportunity to work in your situation today.

This is our prayer for you during this Christmas Season.  God bless you and Merry Christmas!

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The Greatest Gift….YOU!

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We all are faced with the commercialization of the Christmas Holiday Season.  We have seen the Facebook posts and emails arguing over the political correct verbiage vendors use to market their goods.  This season set aside to celebrate the Birth of Jesus the Christ has now become simply a paid holiday vacation for many.  The season of Glad Tidings and cheer is choked out by Black Friday, Cyber Monday and a barrage of commercials focusing on all the latest “must –have” gadgets and toys.  But the greatest gift is not something that can be purchased or acquired online.  It is not found in department stores or even wish lists.

The Greatest Gift is found within you.  To be more specific, the Greatest Gift is YOU!

Contrary to popular belief, it is not he who has the most toys or “stuff” who is successful.  Rather, it is he who has emptied himself on others who is truly successful and happiest of all.  Deep within, people are not satisfied with material possessions.  Well, they are for a while…until the newest upgrade comes out and then they chase after the upgraded model.

It has been said that the wealthiest place on planet Earth is not the stock market and banks.  Rather, the wealthiest place on Earth is found in the Cemetery.  A cemetery is filled with books that were never written, songs never sang and inventions never created.  These individuals never released their gifts and talents entrusted to them.  Many never pursued these efforts because they felt that what they had to offer was not good enough or too small for anyone to appreciate.  And because their fear was greater than their faith, they never attempted to pursue the possibilities.

We have become the product of our environment.  We have been taught that you will spend a lot of money on a gift if you truly want someone to feel special.  Because we listen and are influenced by our environment, we often give good gifts not always for the right motive.  Sometimes we give a good gift because we want to receive a good gift.  Of course you and I know that the Ultimate Gift is that of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ which produces a transformation in our individual life.  Yet within you is resides the Greatest Gift that can be given.  You posses a great wealth of knowledge gained from life experiences.  Within you are also spiritual gifts that have been deposited to be released into the lives of others as well.  Your gifts and talents are needed not only within the Body of Christ, but also within your community and circle of influence.

Perhaps you have convinced yourself that you have nothing to offer anyone.  I tell you that is a LIE from Satan to keep you silenced and trapped within yourself.  Satan would love nothing more than for you to die having all these gifts bottled within you.  That MUST BE BROKEN!

You posses three valuable gifts that I want to call to your attention.  These three gifts are valuable and needed within the Kingdom of Heaven, but also serve as a threat to Satan.

TIME

There are many latchkey children growing up within the United States who come home from school to an empty house- just the way it was when they left earlier that morning.  They are not orphans but home because both of their parents are away at work trying to make ends meet for their family.  In the midst of all the stress trying to pay the bills and survive within the economic climate of the current day, we must not loose sight of our greatest and most valuable commodity….our TIME.

Our families need us to find times to step away from our work mode.  Sometimes we need to step away from our ministry mode, get unplugged from FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube and Pintrest and simply spend time with them.

This will not be another “cost” that will show up on your credit card bill or bank statement, but rather an investment into a healthier family relationship.  Your time IS your greatest investment.

TALENT

You also possess talents that need to be released.  I do not mean to suggest that everyone can sing or play an instrument.  But your talent may be sports, or crafts, woodworking, hunting, fishing or maybe even Scrabble.  When you share your talent with others, you find a release while others are able to enjoy the talent you share with them.

There is something mutually special when I am blessed to lead worship.  I experience the presence of God in powerful proportions, yet people are blessed and their lives impacted while they receive from my talent being released to the Lord.  The really cool thing is that many of them experience a divine download while in that atmosphere of worship.  Thus, every is blessed and impacted because I release my talent.  This is how God wants to work in your life when you release your talent.

TREASURE

Immediately, when we hear this word TREASURE, we think of money.  And although this is the case for some, not everyone thinks that way.

Michele loves to shop at Thrift Stores like Goodwill, Disabled American Vets, etc).  We have often heard it said, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”  Based upon some of the amazing discoveries she has found, I believe it.  Many of you have seen some of these great treasures when she wears them at Throne Zone.

As a side note:  The next time you clean out your closet or garage or attic, please entertain the thought of gifting it to others….provided that it is still in workable and proper functioning condition.

But your treasure also includes your wisdom and learning.  You have gone through life experiences that others have never journeyed before.  Your wisdom shared can help ensure they will complete their journey and not fall as a casualty of the trip.

You are the Sum Total of all your life experiences.  You hold a piece of the equation that can help someone who is desperately searching for that particular piece of the puzzle.

Many were in search of the Messiah who would come to overthrow the Roman Empire and fix all the mess the government had created.  Because they were searching for the wrong thing, they missed their appointed time with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Jesus gave of his time by learning the craft/trade of Joseph, attending Temple and Jewish Holidays and Feasts.  Yet, when He was launched into His ministry, he still gave his time to others.  He shared this in the parable of the Good Samaritan, in talking with the woman at the well, with the woman caught in the very act of adultery, and with spending time with Mary, Martha and Lazarus.

Jesus flowed with His talent as a teacher and prophet illustrating the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven.  He worked signs, wonders and miracles while at the same time using his talent to teach so others could discern and learn how to become citizens of this Kingdom of Heaven.

But the treasure that Jesus was the sum total of His very being. His treasure was life everlasting.  His treasure was becoming sinful man, paying the ultimate price for our sin so that we could walk in the forgiveness of our sins and experience eternal life.  His treasure is and will always be, free to all who receive Him as their Lord and Savior!

In this busy Holiday Season of Christmas and New Years, be sure to keep Christ in Christmas.  Remember Christ is the Ultimate Gift, but YOU possess within you the Greatest Gift you can give…..YOUR TIME, YOUR TALENT AND YOUR TREASURE.

Merry Christmas!