Tag Archives: ephesians

Encouragement from the Choral Festival

I’ve finally gotten to typing up some of what Guy Penrod (of the Gaither Vocal Band) spoke as he led in worship and ministered to thousands of worship leaders at Christian Supply’s Choral Festival this summer.

May this encourage you greatly:

  • “God loves you. God loves you. God loves you. God loves you. GOD. LOVES. YOU. He will NEVER hurt you. Your past is forgiven. You’re free. Don’t pick it up again!”
  • “Satan tries to affect you in your thoughts, tries to tell you that you aren’t worthy to lead people in worship. He’s right, BUT… the blood of Jesus covers it!
  • “We are spirit beings having human experiences.” (C.S. Lewis said: You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.)
  • “Thy Word — a lamp unto my feet (Psalm 119:105), not a floodlight, so put tomorrow down!” Let us live NOW.
  • On the song, Take My Life (Holiness): “For me, not from me. Holiness can only come from God, not us. He wants holiness for us, not from us.”

Have some of your own encouragements to share?

Faith Not Feeling and Other Thoughts

I think so often we search for feelings & experiences, forgetting that the truth of God’s Word needs to never be neglected. We can only gain the knowledge & discernment we need through studying His Word, not basing our relationship with God too greatly on feelings or experiences. Our own feelings cannot be trusted–they change faster than the weather at times & are often the result of missed perceptions of people, situations & experiences.

Truth can rarely be known based solely on our feelings. We must continue to be in His Word, being sanctified by Him & surrendering to His will each day so that we can share the Good News & God’s truth with those who do not know Him. Then we can share the Gospel while truly being examples of how God is changing & growing us to be more Christ-like, & also grow in discernment as we study His Word.

We should be being transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2), not giving only to get more, chasing after every feel-good speaker or anointing we hear about to gain artificial highs, or refusing to change from our pre-salvation selves thinking it doesn’t truly matter since we’ve been forgiven (see Romans 6). How can we be witnesses by our lives to the Gospel & how the truth of His Word renews our minds if we do not continually put off our old selves & actually renew our minds (Ephesians 4:21-32 & Colossians 3:1-10)?

Nonbelievers will see & hear us, but not care a bit when we share the Gospel if our lives look just like theirs. Instead they might say, “Well, I must be fine like I am because these Christians aren’t any different from before they became Christians.” If we are without joy and love, how will they want anything to do with what we have?

We should ache to share His love — because WOW! How He so loves us to have died for our sins — but a big part of being in a right relationship with Jesus Christ is making Him our Lord & Savior:  We must wholeheartedly repent of our sins in order to do so.

In turn, a desire should grow in us to do what God requires of us to grow this relationship through His Word & doing our part as He makes us more like Christ, also being obedient to share the Gospel with those we encounter in our lives as God leads us.

Something I heard spoken about recently was calling ourselves Christians & yet not living this label:

Christian. That’s our name — a word which has root in CHRIST. Instead let us change ourselves as we deliberately strive to become more like Christ Jesus, Who gave His life for us. Let us grow closer to God through studying His Word, & grow greater in love & unity each day of our lives on this earth, seeking to be witnesses for Christ in all of ourselves — word, deed, mind, heart, soul & strength.

Taking God at His Word

God has been teaching me how to ‘take Him at His Word’ no matter how I’m feeling. I am learning to remind myself that even when I’m feeling one way or another, it doesn’t mean that these emotions line up with reality.

I recently finished a book that a friend gave to me as a gift soon after I became a Christian: Faith is Not a Feeling: Choosing to Take God at His Word by Ney Bailey. I only wish I’d read it sooner! Here are some gleanings from what I have been learning:

Choosing to Take God at His Word

It is a matter of putting aside how I feel & choosing to trust in what His Word says instead of my own feelings. God & His Word are constant & will never perish. My feelings, however, are ever changing & often reflect my over-analysis or over-reaction to life.

One of the feelings I’ve dealt with lately is feeling worthless or unloved. But despite such feelings affecting me at times, I know that God loves me because His Word says so, & there are many verses to prove it!

As Psalm 119:76 states, God loves us unfailingly:

May Your unfailing love be my comfort,
according to Your promise to Your servant.

& in Psalm 36:7, for a second example:

How priceless is Your unfailing love!
Both high & low among men find refuge in the shadow of Your wings.

Like me, you may find yourself worrying about needless things, which reveals to us that we are not trusting in God & His Word as we should. During such moments, we can remind ourselves:

  1. God will take care of us & our concerns (1 Peter 5:7)
  2. God is faithful – always (1 Corinthians 1:8-9)
  3. His love for us is immeasurably wide & long & high & deep (Ephesians 3:18-19)
  4. God works in all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28)

Choosing to take God at His Word: An important new habit to put into practice. As we remind ourselves of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness, our emotions will have less power over us. As we speak forth His Word of truth, our thoughts will come into greater alignment with Christ’s, being renewed as we take Him at His Word and trust in His character and promises.