Scriptures to Live By: Holy Spirit

There are so many scriptures found in God’s Word pertaining to His promises of the Holy Spirit and of the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives. Below are just a few that describe what the Holy Spirit means to us as Christians as we continue to walk in faith in our daily walk with Him.

John 14:26: “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Jesus promised His disciples that He would send a comforter to help them in their continuing ministry after He ascended into Heaven and that promise was definitely fulfilled.”

I Corinthians 2:13: “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.” Sometimes we do not know what or how to speak but because of the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in our lives, He will speak the truth through us.

Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” The Holy Spirit helps us to grow in all of the virtues as described here in Galatians.

I Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.” This passage clearly states that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit which we have received from God and that we are to honor God with our bodies. Let us examine ourselves and what we do with the body that God has entrusted us with.

Luke 11:13: “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Our Father is faithful and wants to give us good things. We just have to ask Him.

Ezekiel 36:26-27: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” When we follow God, He promises to “create in us a clean heart” and “to renew a right spirit within us” so that we willingly follow His teachings.

May you be blessed as you read the scriptures and take to heart all that the Holy Spirit can and will do in your heart and lives today.

Blessings,
Yvonne

A Hospitable Spirit: Showing Love and Charity As Christ Shows To Us

Have you ever tried to get a group of friends and/or family members together for a special occasion other than for a funeral and/or other tragic event? Somehow no matter how much planning you do in advance, it just doesn’t work out. One by one you receive a “no” or non-committal response from those who you had invited. Sadly, a decision has to be made and the event has to be cancelled.

A few months ago, we scheduled a family reunion to be held at our home in PA and it was to happen this weekend. We ended up cancelling it because many of my sisters and brothers could not attend. Those who lived closer could have driven in for the day, but most of them would have had to travel a long distance coming from GA, CA, TX, MO, and NC.

However, one of my sisters who I hadn’t seen in 3-4 years and who lives in GA decided to fly up anyway for a week, and we spent some quality time together just catching up. “Sweet Frog” Premium Yogurt got some of our business that week as we enjoyed going out and about and eating our lunches in various eateries. Despite her swollen ankles and physical limitations as well as having to use her cane for support, she never complained and went to bed each night exhausted.

I must admit that when I first arrived to pick her up at the airport and saw her worsened physical condition, I thought we would not be able to do much of anything but she proved me wrong. We had an enjoyable week together during the day, and spent time with my husband in the evenings. Overall, I was glad she came to visit and that I had opened up my home to her with a “hospitable spirit”.

In Hebrews 13:1-2 we are told to “Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Jesus teaches us that we should show love and charity the way He shows to us without grumbling and with a hospitable spirit.

Other scriptures that tell us more about Christian hospitality are as follows:

Romans 12:13: “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

I Peter 4:8-10: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

Matthew 25:40: “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”

Let us remember that whatever we do let us do it with our whole hearts for His Honor and glory, and we will be blessed beyond measure and our cups will overflow with love and compassion for others.

Blessings
Yvonne

Scriptures to Live by: Mercy

Internet Definition of Mercy: Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

Merriam Webster’s Definition of Mercy: Kind or forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly.

The scriptures are filled with verses on mercy and some of them are as follows:

Psalm 86:5: You are forgiving (merciful) and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.

Ephesians 2:4-5: But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.

Hebrews 4:16: Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

I Peter 1:3: Praise be to the god and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Luke 6:36: Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Matthew 5:7: Blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy.

Psalm 23:6: Surely goodness and mercy (love) shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

Because of God’s great mercy towards us, we are shown the forgiveness and love deserving to those who follow and serve Him.

May we always be quick to show mercy and love toward others and to forgive others because of God’s love toward us.

Blessings,
Yvonne

Scriptures to Live by: Gentleness

Merriam Webster’s definition of gentle(ness) is: “Someone who is kind, amicable, not harsh or stern.”

Several scriptures are found in the Word of God that give us a clearer picture of the characteristic of gentleness and of the Lord’s gentle spirit.

Psalm 15:1: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Philippians 4:5: “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”

I Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

Matthew 5:5: “Blessed are the meek (gentle), for they shall inherit the earth.”

In the book “A New Joy” by Colleen Townsend Evans, she states that “a meek (or gentle) person is someone who is bendable and adaptable to God and to life–someone who is willing to be flexible and to change.” May we examine our hearts as we desire to be adaptable, flexible, and willing to change our attitudes as we continue to grow in His Word and become a person with a gentle spirit.

Blessings,
Yvonne

A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed: Friendships

Proverbs 17:17: “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

Merriam Webster’s definition of friendship says that it is: “The state of being friends; the relationship between friends. A friendly feeling or attitude; kindness or help given to someone.”

Throughout my lifetime, I have been privileged with having met a number of wonderful men and women on the job(s) and/or at church through various activities such as choir, ladies Bible studies, home get-togethers, shopping, luncheons, etc. During those times, the Lord has always allowed me to make friends with those who seemed to have the same-like interests and/or uplifting and encouraging positive attitudes. Sadly, over the years of moving from one state to another, I have lost touch with some of them who have made a very profound impression on my life.

But what makes for a good friendship? How do we choose our friends? How do we treat friends? What is the importance of having friends? How do we become a “true” friend?

These are questions that I have asked myself from time to time and have even looked up friendship stories in the Word of God regarding those individuals who were friends during Biblical times and what characteristics drew them to one another.

The first of many friendships is that of Ruth and Naomi:

Ruth 1:16-17 tells us: But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”

In this passage, you truly get the impression that Ruth is very loyal, devoted, and a true friend. Although Naomi was her mother-in-law and even after the death of her husband, Ruth was freed from staying with Naomi. However, Ruth had developed such a strong bond with her mother-in-law that she wanted to remain by her side even until death. Because she remained loyal to Naomi, and wanted to follow her God, she later meets Boaz whom she marries and then is able to care for Naomi for the rest of her days.

The second friendship is that of David and Jonathan:

I Samuel 18:1-3 tells us: “After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father’s house. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.”

Did you ever meet someone that you just “clicked” with? You became instant friends and nothing could separate you from one another. Such was the friendship between David and Jonathan.

But how do we choose our friends? The scripture gives us guidelines in how to choose our friends beginning with Proverbs 13:20 which says, “He who walks with the wise grows wise; but a companion of fools suffers harm.” In Proverbs 22:24-15, it says, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man/woman, do not associate with one easily angered, for you may learns his ways and get yourself ensnared.” I Corinthians 15:33 further tells us that: “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.'” According to these scriptures, we are to choose friends who are wise and are not corrupt.

How are we supposed to treat our friends? Romans 12:10 says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Luke 6:31 says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” And in Colossians 3:12-14, it says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgives you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” These words are God’s instructions on how we are to treat one another, especially our friends.

How important is it to have friends? The Book of Proverbs gives us several answers to the importance of having friends. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 19:20 says, “Listen to advice and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise.” Proverbs 24:5 says, “A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength.” Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” We can truly learn from friends who are filled with wisdom.

What is a true friend? A true friend…

Accepts you as you are.
Acknowledges how important you are in their life.
Appreciates you.
Affirms who you are.
Assures you that they understand you.

John 15:12-15 reiterates God’s command to love one another. “My command is this: Love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” Here is Christ’s example in that He imparted what He learned from His Father to His disciples; that they are to love one another. We are to do the same with our friends and show compassion to those in need.

In James 4:7-10, we find that God is our greatest friend. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” We need to humble ourselves and seek His wisdom and He will lift us up.

May the Lord bless you and surround you with friends that encourage your walk with the Lord.

Blessings,
Yvonne

Scriptures to Live by: Grace

In Christian beliefs, the definition of grace means:

The free and unmerited favor of God as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. Grace is the kindness of God that we don’t deserve. There is nothing we have done, nor can ever do to earn this favor. It is a free gift.

The Word of God is filled with verses pertaining to grace. Here are just a few for you to think about today.

Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 4:7: “But to each one of us, grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

II Peter 1:2: “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”

Hebrews 4:16: “Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

James 4:6: “But he give us more grace. That is why Scripture says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'”

Titus 2:11: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.”

May the God of grace be with you and guide you through the remainder of your week.

Blessings,
Yvonne