One little sin, what harm can it do?

Give it free reign and soon there are two.

Then sinful deeds and habits ensue

Guard well your thoughts, lest they control you...

The garden of our heart needs constant weeding and care...

Along with the practical instruction about diligence in work, I find an application for the care of my soul. The thistles of self-interest grow naturally within me, while the fruit that pleases God requires constant weeding and watering through prayer, confession, and obedience to the Lord. Without these, the soil of my heart will become choked with the thorns of trivial pursuits and greed.
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Do a deed of simple kindness;

Though its end you may not see,

It will reach like widening ripples

Down a long eternity

Kindness is the oil that takes the friction our of life.

In the same way, the people whose lives we touch need to experience God's love through our compassion and generosity. That's why we should ask God to make us aware of opportunities.
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Then in fellowship sweet, we will sit at His feet

Or we'll walk by His side in the way;

What He says we will do, where He sends we will go

Never fear, only trust and obey...

You can trust God in the dark as well in the light...

We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead....Though we may not choose our circumstances, we do choose whether to trust God. Through the fellowship of the Son and the enablement of the Spirit, we can carry out our mission for God. Trust him to guide you along the way. He offers wise counsel...
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Moses Eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished

I give my life to You, O Lord,

and live for You each day;

Grant me contentment as I strive

To follow and obey.

Living in the past paralyzes the present and bankrupts the future

In the song "With One Look"
With one look I can break your heart;
With one look I play every part....
With one look I'll ignite a blaze;
I'll return to my glory days...

It's been said that each life is like a book, lived one chapter at a time. If you think your most fruitful years are behind you, remember you're writing a new chapter now. Learn to live each day with contentment in the present.
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When irritated and upset

Do you complain and gripe and fret?

Or is your life controlled inside

Because in Jesus you confide?

When tempted to lose patience with others,

remember God's patience with you...

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not

envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up

Life can be frustrating, even exasperating. Yet, many times impatience centeredness in response to life's disappointments. Real love is pictured in the Bible as self sacrifice, and one demonstration of that love is patience towards other.

Sound impossible? It is, if we attempt it in our own strength. But as we pray for help, God provides us with patience that reflects His love even during frustrating circumstances.
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Why worry when you can pray?

Trust Jesus, He'll be your stay;

Don't be a "doubting Thomas," rest fully on His promise

Why worry when you can pray?

Worry is the interest you pay on borrowed trouble

In her down to earth book More than sparrows, Mary Welch tells of her discussion about worry with a group of teenagers. Although they were Christians, they were as worried as unbelievers about the common things in life. As she lovingly listened to them, an unusual idea came to her for a game they could play.

Instead of saying "I'm worried," stop and say, "The Lord is my Shepherd" Then add "So I'm worried to death!" The students laughed at the absurdity of the idea, but they all promised to play this new "peace of mind" game.
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We shrink from this life's challenges we plead
For watered pastures never touched by pain;
But God will often let us sense our need
Before He sends His cool, refreshing rain.
The more bitter the desert experience, the sweeter the water of the oasis..

If you are being led into a wilderness of disappointment and bitterness right now, trust God, for He knows exactly where you are and what you need. As you obey His commands, He will lead you out of the desert and into a place of spiritual abundance, healing, and refreshment.
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Burdened people everywhere

Need to know what Christ has done;

They need to feel God's love and care

It was for them He sent His Son.

Love people and not things, use things and not people....

It's important that Christians acknowledge others as people with value. Brennan Manning writes, "A christian who doesn't merely see but looks at another communicates to that person that he is being recognized as a human being in an impersonal world of objects.

Do the people we interact with know that we view them as valuable to us and God.
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If we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.

Thank you, Jesus, for your willingness

to surrender to Your Father's will.

For if You had chosen to save Yourself,

You could not have save me, Amen.

Salvation isn't turning over a new leaf, it's receiving a new life...

Inside, music was playing, Outside, leaves were falling. Catching a gust of wind, one of the last leaves of autumn blew briefly upward as I heard the phrase, He is risen!. By the end of the song, however, the leaf had reached the ground. Gravity had overcome the breeze.

The forces of sin outside cannot defeat the life of Christ inside.
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Sometimes it's hard to trust the Lord

When we don't understand;

But fight the urge to run from Him

Reach out and take His hand.

He pleases God best who trusts Him most.

Why do people run away from God? Is it because of anger, disappointment, despair, disobedience, or a web of rebellion woven from our own desires?
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Walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him

Living for Jesus a life that is true,

Striving to please Him in all that I do;

Yielding allegiance, glad hearted and free,

This is the pathway of blessing for me

Life is a gift from God to be lived for God.

A story is told about a vendor who sold bagels for 50 cents each at a street corner food stand. A jogger ran past and threw a couple of quarters into the bucket but didn't take a bagel. He did the same thing every day for the months. One day, as the jogger was passing by, the vendor stopped him. The jogger asked, You probably want to know why i always put money in but never take a bagel, don't you? No, said the vendor. I just wanted to tell you that the bagels have gone up....

To often, as believers, we treat God with that same kind of attitude. Not only are we grateful for what He's given us but we want more. Somehow we feel that God owes us good health, a comfortable life, material blessings. God doesn't owe us anything, yet He gives us everything...

Each day, whether good or bad, is one more gift from our God. Our grateful response should be to live to please Him.
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We're far from perfection, yet perfect forever,

For Christ is our righteousness, Lord, and our Savior;

Not justification for sin can we offer,

Yet sanctified fully, we're now His forever.

God is the perfect Judge, and He can declare the guilty perfect

The continual sacrifices made by the priests since the time of Moses could never change any one's sinful standing before God. But the onetime sacrifice of Christ on the cross the sinless One dying for the sinful perfected us forever in the eyes of God. Jesus once for all payment for our sins was sufficient. We are perfected forever to stand before God because of the perfect work accomplished by Jesus on the cross. This is the assurance of our salvation.
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I've got a river of life flowing out of me:

Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see,

Opens prison doors, sets the captives free;

I've got a river of life flowing out of me.

No righteousness, no freedom...

Like Isaiah, we have been sent to let freedom ring. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we must proclaim that the captives can be released, that the downtrodden can be freed from their oppressors, and that the time of the Lord's favor has come...
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Take time to be holy,

Speak oft with thy Lord;

Abide in Him always

and feed on His Word.

Prayer and obedience to God will cultivate the soil of a hard heart.

Jesus told a story of a sower, a seed, and four kinds of soil. The soil among the thorns represented those who permit the Word of God in their hearts to be choked by the cares and pleasure of the alluring world.

That's a dangerous possibility of anyone who thoughtlessly responds to God's Word. The world may induce a forgetfulness of spiritual reality and responsibility.

When the sun sets tonight, let it not be said that we have forgotten God..
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The riches of this world are vain,

They vanish in a day;

But sweet the treasures of God's love

They never pass away!

To be rich in God is better than to be rich in goods!

The greatest danger in becoming too closely identified with our possessions lieds in the spiritual area of life. An unhealthy attachment to material things can keep an unsaved person from turning to Christ and prevent a believer from living for Him.

Keep a wide gulf between yourself and your possessions. It will spare you many heartaches. If you are not a believer in Christ, don't make the mistake of the rich young ruler. It will lost your soul.
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Which way will you take? The question is clear,

The choice you must make with a heart sincere,

To Jesus the Lord you now are inclined

Today is the day to make up your mind.

To choose Christ now is a choice for eternity

The message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing
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When willingly you keep your promise true,
To live for Christ, the One who died for you,
Your words and actions are for all to see
They speak aloud of your integrity.

No legacy is as rich as integrity

In his word, God gave us an example of integrity in the life of Joseph. Potiphar had put him in charge of overseeing his house and all that he had. When he was propositioned by his master's wife, Joseph refused, saying, How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? He knew what God's standards were, and he chose to stand for the right at the cost of his freedom.
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Give us, O Lord, a strong desire

To look in Your Word each day;

Help us to hide its truths in our heart,

Lest from His path our feet would stray.

Without a heart for God, we cannot hear his word.

In the novel No Blade of Grass, a destructive virus attacks the grasses of the world. Not just the grass in lawns but all grasses, including wheat, barley, rye, oats, and rice. In a matter of months, the world is plunged into famine and its brutal companion, violence. People begin by fighting, then killing, for food. The novel depicts a scene that has been lived out in the real world in recent famines and is terrifying when seen on TV news networks.

The world is starving for the knowledge of the God who can satisfy the needs of the human heart. Let's help fill their hearts by sharing His Word.
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I do not ask for mighty words

To leave the crowd impressed,

But grant my life my ring so true

My neighbor may be blessed.

The best witness for Christ shows God's grace and shares His love.

We may feel a tension between living a holy, separate life and the great commandment to love our neighbor as much as ourselves. But these tow concepts don't really conflict. A central part of a life of obedience to God is to show concern and love for the lost.

Share this gift of grace with others!
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If God has made this world so fair,

Where sin and death abound,

How beautiful beyond compare

Will paradise be found!

When God wipes our tears, sorrow gives way to eternal song...

Revelation's witness to the future chorus "They sang as it were a new song before the throne". One day, "God will wipe away every tear from our eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying"
Our worship here is a mere prelude to the great praise service in the future when we stand in God's presence. But sometimes when we join with others in vibrant worship, we experience an echo of paradise on this earth.
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Though oceans roar and mountains quake,

and enemies deride,

We do not have to be afraid

The Lord is by our side.

God's help is only a prayer away!

Psalm 46 describes times of great calamity, including war and natural disasters. Yet it is a song of tust that begins and ends with the same affirmation "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

The Lord is always at work accomplishing His purposes even when the world seems to be falling apart. He tell us, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will exalted the earth!"
We don't have to fear, when we call for help, we know that He hears and will come near.
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Happiness is to know the Savior,

Living a life within His favor,

Having a change in my behavior,

Happiness is the Lord.

Trusting and obeying the Lord brings true happiness

Everyone wants to be happy. But many fail in their quest to find that elusive prize because they are looking in the wrong places.

The foundation for happiness is a proper relationship with the Lord. But to fully experience that happiness, we must build on that foundation in practical ways. I found this list in Ten Rules for Happier Living:

1. Give someting away.
2. Do a kindness.
3. Give thanks always.
4. Visit the elderly and learn from their experience.
5. Work with vim and vigor.
6. Look intently into the face of a baby and marvel.
7. Laugh often it's life's lubricant.
8. Pray to know God's way.
9. Plan as though you will live forever, you will.
10. Live as though today is your last day on earth.

These are excellent ideas for living a happy life. Undergird each of these rules with praise, and your happiness wil be complete.
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We are with Him and He with us,

Great confidence this gives

To face life's trials and even death

Because our Savior lives.

Facing death with confidence

comes from trusting Christ.

On the day Jesus died, three crosses were raised. Jesus hung on the center one between two criminals. One of the men mocked Jesus, but the other said to Him, "Remember me when you come to your kingdom." Imagine the man's thoughts as he took his last breath. He had paid a horrible penalty for his crimes. But now, because he put his faith in Jesus, he was welcomed into heaven as a child of God.

Like the thief on the cross, we all face a choice. Have you made the decision to trust Jesus? Can you say with confidence, "I'm with Him"?
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All mornings are like paintings

You need a little inspiration to get going,

a little smile to brighten it,

and a message to someone who cares

to color your day
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It is wonderful to get answers to our prayers,

but it is even more wonderful to let God

mold us into an answer to prayers.
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We are all driving in our own street called life,

and every intersection, God is there

Don't forget to stop, look and listen to His signal
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