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Monday Morning Encouragement -- The Spiritual Battle for America's Soul

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12


Two days ago millions of people witnessed a live failed assassination attempt on former president Donald J. Trump at a televised rally in Pennsylvania. It is shocking. But what is just as shocking is the number of vile comments on social media that followed, expressing regret that the shooter "missed." No matter what ones political affiliation, this kind of reaction is detestable. It's horrible, and it must be condemned in the strongest terms. 

Monday Morning Encouragement -- Authentic Sacrifice

 

"For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills." Psalm 50:10


God is in need of nothing. He is the Creator of all things, and everything on the earth belongs to Him. Everything we lay claim to originated from Him. If we are blessed with much, it is because the Lord graciously has given to us from His storehouse.

Monday Morning Encouragement -- Praise Him Forever!

 

"Every day I will bless you, and praise Your name forever and ever." Psalm 145:2


After many years of walking with the Lord, I have come to realize how important it is to praise Him. Not just on Sundays, but on every day of the week. I used to feel as though Sunday worship was dessert. Now I feel it's more like an appetizer. It whets my appetite for more of God, for a closer relationship with Him. Joining together with other believers to sing, pray, and absorb the teaching of the word by our pastors is wonderful, and the best part is that the joy I get from that hour never has to end. When I walk to my car at the end of the service, I take that joy with me and praise overflows throughout the week.

Monday Morning Encouragement -- Nail Scarred Hands

 

"The right hand of the LORD is exalted; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly." Psalm 118;16


The Bible speaks often of the right hand of the Lord:

He defends with His powerful right hand (Ex 15:6). 

Lightning flashes from His right hand (Deut 33:2). 

Eternal pleasures are in His right hand (Ps 16:11). 

There is refuge in His right hand (Ps 17:7).

Monday Morning Encouragement -- God of All Comfort

 

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort," 2 Corinthians 1:3


Lately I've been binge watching YouTube videos of soldiers coming home from deployment, especially fathers surprising their children. There's just something about the reaction of the little ones that tugs at my heart; watching them scream, "Daddy!" and running with their arms wide open, to then be scooped up into the strong arms of their father, and weep as their father comforts them. It's such a beautiful and emotional time.

Monday Morning Encouragement -- True Knowledge

 

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence." 2 Peter 1:2-3


We come to Christ because God calls us. If He didn't do so, we would never come on our own. Jesus said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:44). 

Monday Morning Encouragement -- Memorial Day 2024 No Greater Love

 

"Greater love has no one than this, than someone lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13


Today I want to honor first and foremost the Lord Jesus for His tremendous sacrifice on the cross. Here's an excellent excerpt from Barnes Notes on The Bible:

"Greater love hath ... - No higher expression of love could be given. Life is the most valuable object we possess; and when a man is willing to lay that down for his friends or his country, it shows the utmost extent of love. Even this love for friends has been rarely witnessed. A very few cases like that of Damon and Pythias have occurred where a man was willing to save the life of his friend by giving his own. It greatly enhances the love of Christ, that while the instances of those who have been willing to die for friends have been so rare, he was willing to die for enemies - bitter foes, who rejected his reign, persecuted him, reviled him, scorned him, and sought his life, 1 John 4:10; Romans 5:6, Romans 5:10. It also shows us the extent of his love that he gave himself up, not to common sufferings, but to the most bitter, painful, and protracted sorrows, not for himself, not for friends, but for a thoughtless and unbelieving world. 'O Lamb of God, was ever pain was ever love like thine!'"


I also want to honor and recognize all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. We must never forget them.


Today's beautiful music video The Last Goodbye, a Memorial Day Tribute - Life in 3D is a tribute to our country's heroes. Warning: You may need a box of tissues!



I love you, I'm thinking of you, and I'm praying for you.





Monday Morning Encouragement -- God's Quiet Whisper

 

"And He said, 'Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.' And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?'" 1 Kings 19:11-13

The Lord has handed over a great victory to Elijah in his battle against Jezebel's false prophets. For a short time Elijah celebrates, but then he becomes fearful and depressed when he sees no spiritual conversion, and Jezebel threatens his life. He runs away, wishing to die. 

Monday Morning Encouragement -- My Redeemer Lives

 

"As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,

And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. 

Even after my skin is destroyed,

Yet from my flesh I shall see God;"

Job 19:25-26


Here Job tells his friends of the hope he has in his "Redeemer". In the original Hebrew the word for "Redeemer" is "Goel".  A Goel frees someone by either of two particular methods: the Goel may pay a debt for that person, or the Goel may fight to free the person. 

Monday Morning Encouragement -- The Great I Am

 

"God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Say this to the people of Israel: "I am has sent me to you." Exodus 3:14


At the time God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses had just spent 40 years in the desert tending sheep. Gone was the self-confidence he once possessed as a prince of Egypt. 

Monday Morning Encouragement -- A Joyful Heart

"A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22


I've often thought that Christians should be the merriest people on earth. We have a relationship with the Creator, the God of the universe! His Holy Spirit lives within us! We have the abundant life in Christ now, as well as all of eternity with Him to which we can look forward. Of course there is a proper time for grief, and we should mourn over sin, but scriptures such as Proverbs 17:22 seem to support my theory that God approves of laughter.