Bible Notes Witness Acts 1:8 Our witness for Christ should reflect a grateful heart a sincere desire to share

salvation's blessings with others. If we shrink from giving a word of testimony, let's ask God to give us the desire to speak out for Him. Then we’ll witness because we want to. Our lips and our lives often preach a mixed message. In Matthew 23:1-12, Jesus described the hypocritical teachers of the law and warned His disciples, "Do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do" (v.3). God forbid that some opponent of Christ would be influenced by careless hypocrisy in our lives. Lord, help us to be "careful preachers." Luke 10:36, 37 As we move through life, we are challenged to respond to the needs of people. We will either show them Christ's love or be indifferent. How will we respond to those God chooses to put in our way? Luke 15:7 “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent". Let's bring more joy to heaven by spreading the good news: Jesus loves us this we know! Romans 1:14-17 We can’t earn God’s gift of love, but we have an obligation to share it with others who need Him. God’s Love Revelations 3:5,6 Pretending to be what we aren’t is a heavy burden to bear. Our Lord calls us to lay it down, repent, come back to Him, and live. Psalm 94:18 God knows we need His soothing care. In times of trouble, His mercy holds us up. We may trust Him to carry us through that dark night of the soul and on into the dawning light. Revelation 21:4 In our times of loss and grief, of tears and sorrow, isn't it comforting to know that Christ has purchased for us a heavenly home where there will be no more tears! Psalm 94:19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. Mark 3:13-19 When our Lord chose His apostles, He selected imperfect men. One had a history of shady business practices, others had violent tempers. Yet Jesus looked not at their imperfections but at their potential. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 Jesus uses the same approach with us. He loves us so much that He chose us despite our imperfections. Through the Holy Spirit's work in our lives, He nurtures and transforms us into His glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18 Next time you are with family, friends, and co-workers, don't focus on imperfections. Instead, look for rosebud potential. 2 Corinthians 12:9 God knows our limits and will never permit more than we can bear. Joel 2:13 God will fight against us for our good. He permits us to experience defeat so that we will listen to Him when He says, "Rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness". If my own heart wanders away from God, I can count on Him to fight to bring me back. If I become proud and self-assured, if reading God’s Word and spending time in prayer seem like a waste of time, God will step in and deal with me. Isaiah 61:11 As He shines His face upon us and rains His love into our lives, we will grow. Then righteousness will begin to spring forth. Don’t be discouraged if growth comes slowly. Soon you will have a garden. Psalm 17:8 God continues to offer refuge to the hurting hearts if we will but seek His care and trust His heart. We need not fear life’s dark shadows when we rest under the shadow of God’s wings. 1

Bible Notes God’s Love John 14:3 He told His disciples, If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. Christ’s followers live in the assurance that when the sun has burned its last and the stars have tumbled from the sky, we shall be alive. We anticipate a life greater than anything we could imagine in our wildest dreams. Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble”. God is not one-sided. He provides refuge, help, and comfort for those who trust Him, and He also sends judgment against those who disobey His standards. The message for us is the same as it was for Judah. Through trust and obedience, we can enjoy the comfort of God’s refuge even in times of trouble. Jesus said of the Spirit of truth: John 16:13-14 "He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you". Luke 19:41 Heartache for the wayward, the suffering, the lost, and the broken tends to mirror the heart and compassion of Jesus, who wept over wayward Jerusalem. Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, 'Destroy him!' Isaiah 40:10-11, 28-31 Understand you can always find strength in Christ; God has a plan for every single part of your lives.That might be hard to understand in your troubled times, but anywhere you go, He's there with arms open wide. If we've been hurt badly, we may wonder how we can live with a painful past. God could take away our pain instantly and forever if He chose to. Often, though, He heals us slowly and scars remain. He carries us and gently leads us as a shepherd cares for His flock (Isaiah 40:11). We may not be healed completely in this life, but we can count on God's promises. He gives "power to the weak" and increases their strength (v. 29). The most important example of empathy is the Lord Himself. He became one of us (John 1:14). Because He did, He understands our struggles and weaknesses (Heb. 4:15). Jesus knows what we are going through, for He endured this life Himself. As we receive His grace in our time of need, we are better able to come alongside others. Psalm 34, Psalm 33:18 “The eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy”. One of the wonderful joys of being a believer in Jesus is knowing that our Father in heaven is always watching over us. The promise expressed by David in today’s psalm applies to us wherever we go. Whatever confronts us, the “eyes of the Lord” are on us and His ears “are open to [our] cry" (Psalm 34:15). Think of what this means to us in our difficulties. When we face unexpected grief and ask “Who?” we get this answer: “The Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3). When we face a period of weakness, we discover that “the Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer” (Psalm 18:2). When the ungodliness of this world seems overwhelming, we can know that the “God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Roman 16:20). Psalm 93 The storm will not last forever. Yet, while it rages, you can cling to the Lord’s promises of love and faithfulness, for His “testimonies are very sure” (Psalm 93:5). Waves of trouble and grief may sweep over you, but you will not be swept away. He “is able to keep you from stumbling” (Jude 24). Our Father in heaven is holding your hand. When adversity is ready to strike us, then God is most ready to strengthen us. 2

Bible Notes God’s Forgiveness 1 John 1:9 Do you have any “junk” in your life? Sin’s consequences have a way of accumulating. When we confess our sins to God, He promises to forgive and cleanse us. For those we have hurt, we can seek ways of righting wrongs through restitution (Luke 19:1-8). The God of grace will give us wisdom in dealing with bad decisions from our past and help us to make good ones in the future. God’s Children 1 Peter 2:10 Instead of focusing on others, we can find hope in the truth that we are one of God's very own children through faith in Jesus. He has chosen us and made us His own special people (v.9). The Lord has brought us into His family, and we can be sure that our relationship with Him will never be severed. He'll never treat us as an enemy; when others let us down, instead of giving in to discouragement let's change our focus and remind ourselves that we who have put our faith in Jesus are God's children cherished and cared for by Him. Christian Action Galations 6:10 Like Philip in Acts 8, let's honor the Lord by responding with action. Let's seize each opportunity God gives us to serve others in His name. Being Godlike 1 Samuel 16:6-8 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." When we begin to see people through God's eyes, our focus will change from looks to life. Romans 8:28; Philippians 1:12 Somehow, in God's way of making things work out, our troubles can advance His kingdom and purposes. Our task is to glorify God, no matter what the circumstances. If we do, our struggle can direct others to the Savior as we make our way toward our ultimate goal of rest and reward in heaven. God allows trials in our lives not to impair us but to improve us. Proverbs 30:8 When we invite the Lord to place His mark of ownership on our lives, we acknowledge His wise and loving provision for all our needs. Joshua 22:5 “God will help us when we cannot walk, and He will help us when we find it hard to walk, but He cannot help us if we will not walk”. Even though you fall, you must try again. Your Father holds you by the hand. 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 Are you ready for that ultimate change of address? No matter where you live on this earth, make sure your final home will be heaven. Matthew 6:18 Your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Here is a test for our gifts, our prayers, our fasts: Are they done for God’s eyes only? If so, though overlooked and unnoticed by others, we have our Father’s acknowledgment and reward. Just as Jesus grew in both wisdom and stature, we as believers are to continue to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). We are no longer to be children, but to "grow up in all things into Him who is the head Christ" (Eph. 4:14-15). Have you measured yourself lately? Salvation is the miracle of a moment; growth is the labor of a lifetime. Philippians 3:7-16 Make sure that your goal is to know Christ and to become more like Him. Then slowly but surely, under blue skies and stormy, He will bring you to maturity. Psalm 126 As you recall God's blessings today, express your words of praise to Him. Let no thought linger in your mind that you would be ashamed to let out of your mouth. 3

Bible Notes Being Godlike Glorifying God means putting His character, His will, and His ways into action in all that we do. The apostle Paul reminded us that we “are being transformed into [Christ’s] image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18). The purpose of our lives is to let others see what God is like as they watch and experience His love through us. What a profound privilege it is to mirror God’s love, mercy, grace, justice, and righteousness to a world whose heart is “veiled” to God’s truth! (4:3-4). Our purpose is to show others less of us and more of Him. That’s living on purpose with a purpose! Christian Life Colossians 3:1-4 It is important for us to be reminded that though we are living on this side of heaven for now, our eternal home is the place where our loyalty should lie. We need to set our mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Hebrews 11:8 It is still the duty of all believers to sever connections with anything that hinders our spiritual progress and effectiveness. We must forsake all sin, all self-will, and every worldly pleasure that draws our heart away from God. Luke 12:48 We are given much by the Lord and He requires much more from us who are saved. We who know Christ have received something much greater the salvation and forgiveness that Jesus gives. Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times. Who needs you to be a friend today? 1 Timothy 1:15 We can show mercy to others because God has shown mercy to us. Philippians 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 6:20 You were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's Jeremiah 32:27 The Lord above has kept you safe,Yes, all throughout the night; Why, then, should you awake to fear the things beyond your sight? All we've seen of God's provision teaches us to trust Him for what is unseen. Psalm 69:30,32; 32:1,11 When we stop defending our own sinful ways and humbly acknowledge that God's ways are right, true gladness will spring forth in songs of glorious praise. If you are feeling poor and powerless today, you can still be glad. You can have something of far more value: a debt-free relationship with God. John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease. Jesus the Savior is onstage. We must be behind the scenes. Ephesians 3:8 The trials that imprison you need not limit God's work in you. 1 John 3:18 The apostle John wrote, "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth". A simple act of caring is a powerful expression of God's compassion in our troubled world. Hebrews 11:39 Those closest to us are watching our response to God through times of testing and blessing. Are you living in faith and obedience to Him? What will be the legacy of your life? 1 Peter 2:21 Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. Work is vital. But we should not be so obsessed with it that it crowds out worship and spiritual instruction. Work hard, but keep first things first. 4

Bible Notes Christian Life Colossians 3:23 View your daily work, whatever it is, as an extension of God’s work in the world. As we do so, we’ll find there is no better place to spread the good news of salvation than right where God has placed us. Revelation 14:14-20 Talk honestly to God about how you feel about judgement. Ask him to help you to leave behind your ideas and grasp his. Isaiah 55:1-3 When God questioned His people through the prophet Isaiah, He asked why they spent their money for things that neither nourished nor satisfied them. The Lord invited those who had no resources to come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. . . . And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me". Romans 2:14-15 The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. You have power over your mind, not outside events. Your life is what your thoughts make it. James 4:13-17 When faced with the choice between doing good and failing to do anything at all, we must always choose to do what’s right. Deuteronomy 15:11 When God gave His people guidelines for living, He included instructions on ways to care for the needy. He told His people, “You shall not harden your heart, nor shut your hand, from your poor brother, but open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need” (vv.7-8). God gives us all we need so we can give to those in need. Psalm 31:24 “The Lord shall strengthen your heart” To those who trust in the Lord, David wrote these hopefilled words. When we place our times in His hand, we can exchange the fear of terror for peace and praise. Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Romans 7:24-25 If we are to have a measure of victory over the power of sin, it will come only as we lean on the strength and wisdom of Christ. As His grace strengthens our hearts and minds, we can overcome our own worst inclination to make foolish choices. Hebrews 12:1 Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us. Galations 3:28-29, Revelation 5:9 Prejudice and racism remain with us today, even in the church. Such attitudes do damage to our witness of Christ’s love for all people. Jesus laid down His life to redeem people from every tribe and nation. We must not only accept them, we must love them as our brothers and sisters in Christ. Ephesians 4:2 “Walk with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love”. We should always remember to be humble and gentle in everything we do. We must reflect the characteristics of a Christlike life. 1 Corinthians 3:8 "He who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward". Listen to the words of a Salvadoran clergyman who was murdered for his fearless denunciation of violence and injustice. He wrote: "We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. . . . We cannot do everything, and there's a sense of liberation in realizing that." This attitude helps us to do small things and to leave "an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest." That agrees with the apostle Paul's encouragement to be faithful in our tasks and to wait on God who "gives the increase" (1 Cor. 3:6-7). Don't allow discouragement to cause you to quit. In God's own time our work will bear fruit. Job 16:6-17 When trouble hits, let our first reaction be to trust the Lord and care for the needs of others. 5

Bible Notes Christian Life Jesus never forgot the importance of individuals. He invested His time in 12 men (Mark 3:14). Paul discipled Timothy who in turn discipled others (2 Tim. 2:2). God's kingdom grows when we invest in people. Isaiah 26:4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. Do you feel overwhelmed by your troubles? Learn a lesson from that old sailor. Fix your mind on the Lord. Ask for His help. Then trust Him to give you peace in your storm (Philippians 4:6-7). 1 Timothy 4:12 “Be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity”. We don't know when our actions might become an example to others. But if we live each day to honor Jesus, our behavior will model His righteousness, no matter who is watching. 2 Corinthians 9:6 “It's a rule of life: God blesses those who give of their lives and resources”. Give out the truth you know, and He'll give you more to give away. Give your time, and you'll have more time to give. Set no limit on your love, and you'll have more love for others than before. 2 Chronicles 20:12 In stressful, confusing situations, we might ask a worried "What now?" But if we look to the Lord and trust in His care, our fear will be replaced with peace. Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith”. The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry (Psalm 34:15). Because Jesus has provided the way by His death and resurrection, you can have boldness and confidence as you draw near to your Father (Hebrew 4:16). John 21:14 “Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead”. Has belief in Jesus’ resurrection changed your life? Are your goals and priorities different than they were? Are you kinder, more patient, more forgiving? Ask God what He wants to do in you, and then cooperate with Him in that change. 2 Tim. 2:3,24-25 “Be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition” In conflict and in reconciliation, our response should reflect the gracious heart of a knightly soldier of Christ. Psalm 103:2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. Jesus praised the widow who "out of her poverty put in all that she had" (Mark 12:44). Imagine the influence we could have if we practiced giving our all. It’s good to plan and dream and think ahead. But we must always be open to God-appointed changes in direction. Revelation 2:5 “Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place”. Have you allowed something to steal your passion? If so, it can be restored and maintained when you consistently remember His amazing love demonstrated at Calvary. Repent of your sinful, unloving attitudes, and out of love for Jesus repeat your "first works" (v.5). John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments”. Our desire should be to do what is pleasing to our Lord because we love Him. Jesus said, "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me" (John 14:21). We should "make it our aim . . . to be well pleasing to Him" (2 Cor. 5:9). Let’s do what’s right out of a heart of gratitude for His grace to us. We, like Joshua, have God’s promise that He will be with us always (Matthew 28:20). That should give us strength to face the challenges and difficulties that inevitably arise as we seek to please Him. When facing a crisis, trust God and move forward. 6

Bible Notes Christian Life Luke 12:15 “Beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses”. David prayed, "You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing" (Ps. 145:16). Only God is able to bring real satisfaction to our lives. You are rich when you are satisfied with what you have. 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. Near the end of Moses’ life, God showed him the Promised Land. Clearly, he had accomplished his mission in life. But he didn’t long for the miracles of his “glory days.” Instead, Moses was content to obey God in the present. In his sunset years, he mentored Joshua to be his successor (Deut. 31:1-8). Living contentedly in the present has a way of making us productive for a lifetime—for God’s glory. 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. Proverbs 4:23 “Keep your heart with all diligence,” Solomon wrote, “for out of it spring the issues of life”. That requires constant care. 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. Matthew 15:28 Approach Jesus with bold persistence. As we keep asking, seeking, and knocking, we will find grace and mercy in our time of need. Persistence in prayer pleases God. As the crowd was on its way, the One who on other occasions had called Himself “the bread of life” (John 6:48) was telling His disciples that His food was found in doing the will of God (John 4:32,34). Jesus is living water and food for our soul. Joining Him to do the will of God and finish the work He has given us to do is the ultimate source of nourishment. When you have found food for your soul lead others to the Source. Godly Marriage Ephesians 5:31-33 How to build hedges to protect your marriage and to help make a good marriage great: Hear: give a listening ear to your spouse. Encourage: build up your spouse by focusing on positive qualities. Date: celebrate your marriage by playing and laughing together. Guard: establish safeguards by setting clear boundaries. Educate: study your mate to truly understand him or her. Satisfy: meet each other’s needs. The grass on the other side of the fence may look greener, but faithfulness to God and commitment to your spouse alone bring peace of mind and satisfaction. When you avoid the greener-grass syndrome by loving and respecting your spouse, your marriage will be a picture of Christ and His church to those around you. Bible Notes Accepting Jesus In Your Heart John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; vs. 26 and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this? For each today we are given, and for the inevitable tomorrow that will come, we don’t have to be afraid. Jesus Christ is with all who trust Him, and He will have the last word. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 "We who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord". John 4:14 “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst”. God's grace and love come from a bottomless reservoir. Drink from the water He offers, and you will never thirst again. 7

Bible Notes Accepting Jesus In Your Heart Deuteronomy 30:16 The Lord gave His people a choice between life and death: They could love Him and obey His commands, or they could worship and serve other gods (v.17). He told them, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life” (v.19). We too have a choice between life and death. We can receive Jesus as our Savior and live with Him forever, or we can reject Jesus and be in darkness forever without Him. The best choice is clear. Receive God's gift of His Son Jesus. Choose life! 1 John 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Prayer Philippians 4:6-7 Our anxieties and worries are in our Father’s hands. Our inability to do anything about the problem is more than matched by your confidence in God, for whom all things are possible. As you pray about the situation, your anxiety is replaced by His peace. The problems of life can be taxing on us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Yet, as we learn to trust in the Father’s care, we can have the peace that not only surpasses all understanding but also overcomes our anxiety. We can be at rest, for we are in God's hands. Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, wrote the psalmist, a very present help in trouble. Eugene Peterson’s vivid paraphrase says: God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need Him. Through prayer, we can step into the calming presence of the Lord and find strength to go on. As we bring our heartaches and needs to God, He meets us where we are and gives us His peace. He is an ever-present help who cares for us in every situation. 1 Chronicles 16:11 It isn’t always easy to pray, for real intercession takes self-discipline. Many of us lapse into saying fine-sounding words without truly praying. “God often drives us to our knees through the press of circumstances, where we are to seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore". 2 Corinthians 1:7 When we rely on the Lord, He will help us turn pain into praise. When affliction strikes us, how do we react? Are we embittered, or do we trustfully appropriate God’s sustaining grace? (2 Cor. 12:9). And do we prayerfully encourage those around us by our Spirit-enabled cheerfulness, our courage, and our confidence in God? In Luke 18:18-27, Jesus so vividly described some hindrances to saving faith that His listeners began to wonder if anyone could be saved. Do you feel that way about someone? Be encouraged by the Lord’s strong reminder that there are some things that only God can do. Saving people is one of them. Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning”. In the darkest times of our lives, God longs to turn our “mourning into dancing” (v.11). David wrote, “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul” (Psalm 94:19). If you cry out to God in the midst of your “winter,” you can experience the joy of the Christ of Christmas today. “A man’s heart plans his way,” Solomon wrote, “but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). God will never mislead us. When we trust Him with all our heart, He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). His way is always best. Where God’s finger points, His hand will make the way. Psalm 46:1 "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 tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (v.10). We don’t have to fear. When we call for help, we know that He hears and will come near.

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Bible Notes The Bible Nehemiah 8:8 “They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read”. God's Word, when it is understood, can keep us free from strife, and when obeyed, it brings us joy and nourishes our life. Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law”. The Bible is the written record through which we get to know Jesus Christ, "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3). Its nuggets of truth are available to us all. A life well-lived is directly related to a Bible well-read. As we live out our life story, let's be sure to tap the treasure of God's Word every day. Acts 24:16 “I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men”. “Let your conscience be your guide” is valid only if God's Word is guiding your conscience. The Bible encourages us to seek the advice of wise counselors. Proverbs 11:14 states, "Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety". Matthew 23:23 Let’s be sure we don’t neglect the "weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith". The Bible is not a tool to get what we want. Instead, we must ask God to help us understand its intended purpose. Do we allow the attractions of this world to keep us from reading and meditating on God’s Word? Prayerfully, let us strive to be like the one who “hears the Word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces” (Matthew 13:23). Hebrews 9:24, John 11:25-26 Jesus’ message in the Word of God gives hope when we face our own death or the death of someone we love. He promises that we will enter our heavenly home and be with Him forever. We can count on His word. Proverbs 16:16-32 As we read the book of Proverbs, let’s look for those signs that say, “This is better!” When God’s Word shapes our thinking and guides our choices, we’ll discover that His way is always better. A little wisdom is better than a lot of wealth. Praise and Rejoice Psalm 104:33 I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. (v. 34) May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD. Tough times can bring pain and sadness and they don't seem to promise any good news at all. But Peter told us to "greatly rejoice" in them (1:6-7). He wanted us to look ahead to the forever joy that is promised, a joy that will help us understand the temporary tough times. Psalm 9:1 I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. Patience 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 When we feel discouraged and want to quit, it’s good to remember that the Lord who entrusted us with the privilege of spiritual service will give us the grace and strength to carry out that service. Let us “run with endurance” (Hebrews 12:1) so that we will receive the “imperishable crown” (1 Corinthians 9:2). Running with patience is perseverance in the “long run". 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs". As we pray for help, God provides us with patience that reflects His love—even during frustrating circumstances. When tempted to lose patience with others, remember God’s patience with you. 2 Corinthians 4:17 "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory". 9

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