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June 6, 2018, 12:00 AM

God's Free Gift to You

It's fun to receive gifts from friends and family for Christmas or birthdays. Sometimes we receive gifts when we shop for cosmetics, but those gifts often require that we spend $50. 

God gives us the gift of eternal life. He gave all He had, His only Son. He did this out of a great love for us (John 3:16). "For by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not from yourselves; it is the  gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). This gift has two benefits. First, Jesus died on the cross to save us from sin, death and hell, and second, He gave us everlasting life with Him. 

Have you ever felt empty and unfulfilled? What do you do when you have these feelings? Many look for love and acceptance in the wrong places. The good news is that Jesus accepts us. He loves us so much He wants to spend eternity with us. Along with this eternal life, our lives have purpose. If we begin to feel anxious or restless as we did before, we can take those feelings to Jesus in prayer, and experience His peace and love.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your free gift of eternal life. Help us to receive it and day by day grow to be more like Jesus. Amen.

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May 26, 2018, 12:00 AM

Let Freedom Ring

American families celebrate freedom on Memorial Weekend with special events like ball games, vacations or barbeques. However, the reason for the holiday is to recognize the men who gave their lives so we could be free. Our freedom came at the sacrifice of men who loved their country and served in harm's way to prove it. 

Jesus said in John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." Jesus did this to save us from our sin and the American soldier did it save us from the chaos of war. 

Who of us would die for an good and honorable purpose or person? "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). 

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for Jesus who died for our salvation and eternal life with you. Thank you for the American soldier who died for our freedom. We enjoy living in a country where it is safe to pray and worship you. We love you, in Jesus' name, Amen.

May 19, 2018, 12:50 PM

Building Character

Babies grow into toddlers and then preschoolers. All too soon they are teenagers and then off to college. We begin early in children's lives to build character by telling them right from wrong. We teach them how to love and share and show compassion. We want them to make good choices at school, church and at home.

God wants the same for us. He created us in His image and for His pleasure. But how can we please God? He has given us the Bible, which is good for teaching, counseling and comforting. God is our Heavenly Father, and He cares for us. "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy" (Psalm 145.8). God's word teaches us how to live in relationship with Him. One way is by giving us ten rules He calls commandments. We could never keep all these rules because we are so prone to sin. Yet, when we confess our sin to God, He will forgive us and help us be more like Jesus.

It would be tempting to follow the commandments and do good things to please God. However, without love and relationship, our selfish pride might make us believe that we are good enough. Good works without love are worthless to God. With God's help we can learn how to live for Him and build character in ourselves and our children.

Prayer: Father God, we love you and we love our children. Help us to teach them right from wrong, and how to live for you. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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