Good News Daily – May 2

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Dear friend, 
Please find below today’s FIVE messages. Wow, that’s a lot, you might think. I think so too! But I don’t live for me anymore and answer to myself. I live for the Lord Jesus Christ and answer to Him! So when the Lord tells me five messages, I trust He has a plan and purpose in this. He knows whom He wants to reach, help, challenge, convict, encourage, change, etc. through these messages. Oh, how I am learning day by day to trust the Lord!

Thank you for reading today’s Good News Daily – and be blessed, encouraged, and helped in the process!

love & blessings,

lara

A Good Way to Pray for Yourself

Sometimes I talk to people who say they don’t pray for themselves. I sure do. A lot. But my prayers have changed over the years. They used to be centered around me, me, me, and my lusts and self-gratification and getting what I wanted to fulfill my personal plans and dreams for my life.

Now my prayers for myself center around the Lord Jesus Christ. Examples? In essence, that I may be healthy and whole and free for Him, that He would make me more like Himself, and that He would help me to be the woman, daughter, and servant of God He wants me to be. Also, that He would help me to walk in His ways and fulfill His will, that He would use me to bring glory to Himself, and that He would help me to please and honor Him and love Him the way He desires to be loved.

More? That He would help me to help build His Kingdom of followers, that He would bless and grow me and my ministry so more people will believe in and faithfully follow Him, and that He would provide for me financially and in all ways so I can best love and serve and glorify Him and do my ministry work for Him. Also so importantly, that He would help me to do right instead of wrong and that He would tell me His will for my life and ministry day by day.

There are plenty more, but you get the point, don’t you? All of these prayers are not to love and please self but to love and live for Christ!

I hope sharing this with you is an encouragement to you both to live for the Lord Jesus Christ and to pray for the Lord to help you to best do so!

Father, help our prayers to be in line with your Word! Help our prayers to be in accordance with your will for us! Then you hear our petitions and answer, don’t you? May our prayers reflect our love for you and our love for others. And where we may be selfish and self-centered and self-seeking in any way, teach us and help us and give us the strength to deny self, to die to self, and instead to live utterly for you! Thank you, dear Father, AMEN!

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15

Be Patient, Be Gentle, & Honor – All!

The Lord in the Bible makes clear we are to BE PATIENT, BE GENTLE, and HONOR people. Who? How many? When? Note the scriptures below. We are to be patient with, be gentle be, and honor ALL. The word ALL is in all three verses taken from different parts of the Bible! Yes, ALL!

We are not to merely do this when we feel like it, when we want to, when we’re in a good mood, when people treat us like we want them to, when we think people are deserving of this, for those we love and not for others, for some co-workers and not others, are we? Well, what does the Bible say? ALL.

Certainly the Lord at times will lead us to be firm, to be stern, to rebuke someone, to reprimand, to confront, to walk away from someone, to leave a relationship, to compel someone to move ahead in life not because of our impatience but because of His will, to be tough in love, etc. This we are to do WHEN IT IS HIS WILL. But as for patience, gentleness, and honor, the Lord makes Himself clear in His Word. With ALL.

I most assuredly have room for improvement with ALL this – no pun intended. I fully trust the Lord will continue to refine me and to help me to learn to be patient, gentle, and honoring with ALL.

Where do you stand with this?

Father, thank you that though your Word, your ways, yes, can be so incredibly tough and even seemingly impossible, that you enable us to walk in them. To walk according to them. To obey you, yes. Please, dear Lord, don’t let this message go in one ear and out the other. Let it be rooted deep in our hearts, and may your Holy Spirit remind us when we need to practice this because truth is, Lord, as you so well, now, this doesn’t come naturally to us in certain situations with certain people. Help us to want to obey you, and help us to obey you. And may you get all the glory when we walk in obedience to you, Lord. By the way, Father, please let our acting with patience, gentleness, and honor show others your love, and may you draw people to yourself through our doing what is right in this. Thank you for answering my prayer, dear Father. AMEN!

“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.” 1 Thess. 5:14

“Let your gentleness be known to all men.” Phil. 4:5

”Honor all… 1 Peter 5:17

You May Do This, BUT –

“You may do this, but…”

Sometimes the Holy Spirit speaks these words to my heart – followed by a warning. He proceeds to tell me that what I am about to do or have started to do or am thinking of doing is NOT HIS WILL. He is clearly telling me that I will be OUT OF HIS WILL rather than IN HIS WILL.

Sometimes what I’m about to do isn’t a bad thing. There is nothing necessarily wrong with it. It may even be good. There may be nothing ungodly about it. It may even be a wonderful opportunity that in and of itself would be honoring to the Lord and may involve helping others. But He is telling me that though I MAY do it, it is NOT WHAT HE WANTS AT LEAST AT THIS TIME IF NOT EVER. He has a different plan for me. So I stand at a crossroads.

The crossroads of being IN THE WILL OF GOD or being OUT OF THE WILL OF GOD. Will I do what I MAY do and am ALLOWED to do because I have the free will to choose my way? Or will I do what I SHOULD DO because JESUS CHRIST IS LORD and we should ALWAYS choose HIS WILL AND HIS WAYS rather than our own?

When you stand at the crossroads, friend, as you might be even right now as you read this, which way will you go? CHOOSE THE WILL OF JESUS. CHOOSE THE WAY OF JESUS. FOR HE IS LORD AND GOD AND WILL REIGN FOREVERMORE!

““Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21

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A Warning About Church & Fellowship

The Lord makes clear in the Bible that His greatest commands are to love Him with all our hearts and to love others as ourselves, that all who repent and turn to Jesus Christ as Lord enter into a forever relationship (forever fellowship) with Him and enter into the worldwide fellowship of all believers in Him as Lord, and that we are not to forsake assembling together as believers. We were created to have fellowship with Him AND fellowship with our fellow Christ followers. Ready for the warning?

No matter how much Christ’s followers LOVE and ENJOY fellowship with our fellow Christ followers in churches, house churches, Bible studies, small groups, prayer meetings, special events, outdoor worship services, one-on-one time, telephone calls, serving the Lord together, on missions trips, etc., OUR FIRST LOVE MUST BE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF AND OUR MOST IMPORTANT FELLOWSHIP MUST BE WITH HIM. JESUS IS TO BE NUMBER ONE! It is NOT to be the other way around. JESUS MUST BE OUR HIGHEST PRIORITY!

But if we’re not careful, fellowship with others may become more important in our hearts and lives than personal and intimate fellowship with Christ.

I fell prey years ago to making fellowship with others more important than the Lord and fellowship with Him. He set me straight. I have since made a commitment to spend alone time with the Lord daily loving Him, worshiping Him, praising Him, praying to Him, reading His Word, listening to Him, being changed by Him, experiencing His presence, enjoying His fellowship, and receiving wisdom and instructions from Him.

While I have dedicated time alone with Him, I also stay in contact with Him day and night as I go about my everyday life praying to Him, seeking Him, listening, obeying, serving Him, and repenting when I need to repent. The Lord and my fellowship with Him and devotion to Him are the foundation and fabric of my very life. I love fellowship with others who follow Jesus, but my number one commitment is to the Lord Himself.

Please be careful. May the Lord be your number one love not just in words but in action. In how you live each and every day. The Lord and fellowship with Him – number one!

“not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” Rev. 2:4-5

“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” Revelation 1:18

“…declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:2-3

My Meticulous Mom

I can’t imagine anyone in the world is more meticulous and fastidious when it comes to keeping a household clean. Now meticulous and fastidious are words I NEVER use, but they sure came to my mind when I consider my Mom. That’s how extreme she is with keeping things clean. When I was growing up, she would tell me and my brother to bend down and pick up every single “fluff ball” left on the floor by our family dog Bingo. The kitchen floor was swept clean constantly probably even when there wasn’t a speck of dust on it! Decades later now, my Mom keeps my parents’ house cleaner than I’ve just about seen any house.

Now my Mom has not yet repented and surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ for the promise of everlasting life with Him which is my heart’s cry for all my family and all the world, but her meticulousness and fastidiousness sure is an awesome example when it comes to cleaning and keeping clean our hearts, mouths, and lives for the Lord Jesus Christ!

There should be nothing more important in the world when it comes to keeping something clean than keeping ourselves clean for Jesus. That means striving to keep our thoughts, words, and actions pure in the eyes of the Lord and repenting when we think, say, or do something displeasing to Him.

Sad to say some of us are more concerned with keeping our cars, houses, pocketbooks, physical appearance, offices, fingernails, etc. clean than we are keeping ourselves clean and pure for Christ.

Friend, let us keep ourselves clean for Jesus, yes! Let us purify ourselves continually for the Lord God almighty, absolutely, yes!

Father, forgive us our wrongdoing. Father, help us to do right. Father, help us to keep ourselves spick and span for you. Father, help us to purify ourselves daily. Father, bring us to repentance swiftly when we have allowed dirt and filth into our hearts, mouths, and lives. Let us please you, Lord, help us to please you, dear Lord, AMEN!

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Cor. 7:1

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