We use words to express ourselves and to communicate with each other. Words are valuable and powerful. They can leave lasting prints and memories in our lives. People do not reflect on the impact of words before they use them. They engage their tongues before engaging their minds. When words leave our tongues they are gone and can do untold damage. Let us think before we use words. Let us use encouraging and edifying words to build one another in the body of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4:18
Therefore encourage one another with these words.
I can gain advice from the world's wisest people about what direction to take my life, but it is all for nothing if I go in the wrong direction. I need to consider God's plan and follow His direction, and I can have assurance that my path is the right one. His ways and directions are always right.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Each day we wake to see the rising of the sun, we may face sunshine or storm clouds. If our day is one of storm clouds, let us not give up in despair. God may allow the stormy winds in our lives for a purpose. God is able to provide protection and hope in the stormy winds.
There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.
The cross has united and divided people. Devout religious people make the sign of the cross before and after they do things, wear the cross in chains and rosaries and erect crosses in places of worship. The cross reminds people of the place where Christ paid the sacrifice for our sins. Some call that place; Calvary, Golgotha's Hill or the place of the Skull. One song writer reminds us, " It is the emblem of suffering and shame." Whatever we think of the cross, our understanding, value and appreciation of the cross, it is a part of our christian belief, preaching and heritage. Paul preached the cross. One day, we will exchange the cross for a crown. What does the cross mean to you?
1 Corinthians 1:18
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Song - The Old Rugged Cross
2017 may have been disappointing, challenging and difficult for many people. Whatever the situation or circumstance we faced our lives, God may have allowed things to happen for a purpose. We may not always understand why, but God will never give us more than what we can handle. We need to go forward with our lives. Let us devote ourselves to prayer, look for open doors, new possibilities and hopes in 2018. Great is our God who is able to do marvelous things in our lives.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.
Roy Graneau is the full-time preacher for the South Edmonton Church of Christ.