19. February 2019

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He Will Quiet You By His Love.

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”   (Zephaniah 3:17  ESV Bold added) 

It is possible that you have suffered a father wound from your past. You might not even know who your dad was. I am so sorry if this is true. I hurt with you. You might have experienced the blessing of having a great dad in the family you grew up in. For some, the accepting fellowship with dad didn’t come until later in adult life. That was my case.


The good hope we saved ones of the Lord have is that we have a Heavenly Father who knows us, formed us, saved us, and will always be there to love, guide, provide for, and cheer you on.

When you read the above verse, what comes to your mind? For me, right away, I see a loving, affirming dad cradling his young son or daughter tenderly in His arms almost cooing over his child. He is so proud, so caring, so thankful for such a gift! This, and much more, is how our Heavenly Father thinks of you, if you are His. Let’s pray for each other that we’d experience this afresh right now.

Please send comments to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

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14. February 2019

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Unashamed?

“You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame.” (Joel 2:26-27  ESV Bold added)

What a great and faithful God we serve! His love for us believers, His children, knows no bounds. If you look at the bold words especially, there is just no reason not to praise the Lord! Yes, the world may hurt and shame us, His disciplines for disobedience can be memorable, but shame?

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1  ESV Bold added)  The Apostle Paul reiterates this great promise to the ones who have been saved by Christ’s shed blood on the Cross. Whatever you have done, oh Saint of God, whatever has been done to you, right now, Jesus takes away all shame, all guilt, all stain, and all disdain. You are free! You are made clean. And He will care for you forever! Let us pray for each other today that we would grasp these truths and share them.


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12. February 2019

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Has The Swarming Locust Eaten?

“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…”  (Joel 2:25a ESV Bold added)

Just 2 days ago, it was Sunday morning and I had the privilege of helping to serve the elements in Communion. I had been struggling with a discouraged and heavy heart for several months. I was anxious, fearful, and despondent over some things some very ungodly, lying, and fraudulent people had done to my wife Barbara and me. The Communion servers serve the congregation row by row the small pieces of crackers on trays representing the bread.

No one, with the exception of Barbara, knew about my inner struggle. I was standing in the back of the church sanctuary waiting for the others to walk up to the altar together when the Lord clearly impressed upon my heart the verse shown above.

Being in the back, I don’t think anyone could see my eyes welling up with tears…tears of great relief! A peace came over me that I will never forget! Right then and there, I knew my Lord Jesus not only understood my pain but that He took this burden from me and assured me He would take care of things. This word restore means “to cause to be at peace”,  “to be complete, be finished, be ended”, “to make safe, whole or good.” His compensation His way will be made. Let us pray this wonderful verse over each other and over your loved ones this day!

Please send comments to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

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1. November 2018

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Pursuing Empty Things?

Samuel continues his farewell address to Israel. (1Samuel 12:20-21 ESV)

“20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.”  {Bold added}

Humans. What is it about us? God, the True King, wanted His Chosen People to love Him, follow Him, serve Him, and trust Him. What do they do? They offend their Almighty God and commit great evil by asking for a human king! What an insult! What a kick in the teeth!

Men and women who prefer the things of this world will always follow the path of sin and that which feels right to them.

As we pray today, and pray for each other, let us be reminded to pray for our hearts and minds that we would seek the things above and not the things of this earth. Our God, the Lord Jesus, is a far better King and Lord than any man or woman here on earth or the trinkets they promise us.

Please share. Send comments / prayer requests / feedback to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

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30. October 2018

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Old Samuel Might Ask: Will You Rebel or Obey?

Old Testament Prophet Samuel’s farewell address to all Israel is as good for us today as it was for those people back then.

“14 If you will fear the Lord and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well. 15 But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you and your king.” (1Samuel 12:14-15 ESV) {Bold and color added}

Here is a clear example of “choices have consequences”.

In Galatians 6:7, the Apostle Paul says it plainly: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (ESV)

Sadly, many times throughout their history, God's Chosen People rebelled and went their own way. If the truth is known, so have I…so have you.

As those of us who claim to follow the Lord Jesus Christ as born again Believers, we need to walk with and before the Lord with repentant hearts, pure minds, and humble dealings with others.

Most of us have strong convictions, but we must be gentle, respectful and kind in our deliberations with others. Where there is penitence and admission of brokenness, there is joy and the helping, affirming hand of God. Let us pray this for each other today.

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30. October 2018

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Be Still

“He said, ‘Be still, and know that I am God…’” (Psalm 46:10 ESV)

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;…” (Psalm 37:7 ESV)

“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” (Mark 4:39 ESV) {Bold added}

Have you ever found yourself spinning around from task to task, project to project, and conversation to conversation? My approach to life is to act first; think later, if required. Like many of you, I am a “Doer”, an “Achiever”, a “Get-er-done” kind of guy. Spending time in quiet solitude before the Lord or even just in the quiet is not my natural bent.

I’m like the Tasmanian Devil in the cartoons running around in a tizzy… hoping God is somehow ‘with’ me. However, having turned 67, I must tell you that my body and my energy levels are screaming at me to slow down. My Doctor said to me just a few weeks ago, “Jim…you’re not a Spring Chicken anymore.” Ah…encouraging words but I needed to hear them. I know a number of you can relate. 

My problem is not so much one of physical or emotional frenzy, but rather is of a spiritual nature. Notice in the verses above, the Lord is issuing a command. It is my role to simply obey whether I feel like it or not. Typically I don’t see immediate results from being still before the Lord. Pray that I change my mindset. I will pray the same for you. God bless!

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11. May 2018

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What Are You All About?

What is your passion? What drives you? Why do you wake up in the morning? What might you weep and pound the table over? Perhaps it is making money to pay bills and live comfortably. Perhaps it is to become somebody the world will remember. Could it be to avoid anxiety, have some fun, and be liked? For some, it may be to serve God faithfully with integrity and honor.

 

Lately, I’ve been discussing with Barbara, my wife, and our middle daughter, Anne, about spiritual gifts in light of what it says in 1 Corinthians 12 – 14:1. Consider reading this passage for yourself.

 

Remember these things. God's gifts are good. They are given to His children for His glory, for the building up of His Church, the Bride of Christ, and He will shine through you to reach souls for salvation, discipleship, and service. 

 

If you are a Believer (a saved, born again follower of Jesus) you have at least one gift of the Holy Spirit for He resides in you, His Temple.

 

Also remember that it is God who determines which gift(s) you receive. Yes, you can pray for and desire gifts, but no one determines the gift(s) except the Lord for His reasons alone.

 

I do want to zero in on one key verse, 1 Corinthians 14:1a.   (ESV) 

 

“Pursue love,”

 

Other versions say, “Follow ye charity”, “Make love your aim”, “Make love thy great quest”, etc. The idea here is actually beautiful and quite deep. If you have an out-building on the farm with 5 large sealed Bell jars (representing different spiritual gifts) on the shelf. This building is supposed to be your honey storage building. What good are the jars unless they are filled with honey? The honey is the love of God and, thus, His love for people…through you.

 

Let us pray for each other that we pursue God and sinful people with His love regardless of the spiritual gift.

“If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”   

(1Corinthians 13:3   ESV)

 

Please send us you comments or prayer requests to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

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