Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bible Answers for Stress <> Part 2 of 2
         Subtitle – How to Walk in God’s Abundant Life 

Today, I’ll list the rest of the twelve Stress Reducers found in the 37th Psalm.  As I wrote last time, this psalm is meaty and saturated with answers to some of our most frustrating concerns in life.

If you didn’t read my last blog post, I encourage you to do so and see the first six stress reducers listed there.

Completing the Twelve Stress Reducers:

7- Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him (Ps.7:5 NKJV).
Do things God’s way and receive a good outcome. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;” (Deuteronomy 30:19b). 

8- Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him (Ps. 37:7 NKJV).
“It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones” (Psalm 127:2). 

9- Cease from anger, and forsake wrath (Ps. 37:8 NKJV). 
“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention” (Proverbs 15:8). “For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife” (Proverbs 30:33). 

10- Depart from evil (Ps. 37:27 NKJV).  
 ”Keep away from everything that even looks like sin (evil)” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). 

11- Wait on the Lord (Ps. 37:34).
“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14 NKJV). 

12- Keep His way (Ps. 37:34 NKJV). 
“For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord,
They shall inherit the earth” (Psalm 37:9).

SO—Don’t worry. Be happy. AND don’t be overcome with stress! 
Because: “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!” 
                                                                 -Psalm 144:15b

©Connie Wohlford 2016

Friday, February 19, 2016

Bible Answers for Stress <> Part 1 of 2

Bible Answers for Stress <> Part 1 of 2
         Subtitle – How to Walk in God’s Abundant Life 
The 37th Psalm is meaty and saturated with answers to some of our most frustrating concerns in life.
The Passage begins with three BIG little words: “Do Not Fret.”
The New Living Translation says, “Do not trouble yourself”  <>  In today’s vernacular, we might say, “Don’t stress out!”

Dwell in the land--in the place--where the Lord has put you.
Verse 1 points to fretting over evildoers, but as we move through the chapter we see strategies to alleviate all kinds of fretting and stress.

Stress Reducers: 

1- Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb (Ps. 37:1-2 NKJV).
Whatever the situation, God’s got this. For details, read Psalm 37 in its entirety. You’ll find the outlook for evildoers is not positive.    

2- Trust in the Lord, (Ps. 37: 3a NKJV).

The more we trust is the Lord, the less we fret and worry. Therefore, we are more stable.  “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water ...” (Jeremiah 17:7-8a NASB).

3- Do good (Ps. 37:3b NKJV). 
When we do good things, the light of Christ shines in us. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NKJV).

4- Dwell in the land (Ps. 37:3c NKJV).   
If you’re in the place where God has put you, stay there and flourish. “So the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he had sworn to give to their fathers; and they took possession of it, and dwelt in it” (Joshua 21:43 NKJV). 

5- Feed on His faithfulness
(Ps. 37:3d NKJV).
Eat it up!—when you see the faithfulness of God working in your life relish it.  Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 38:8). 

6- Delight yourself in the Lord  (Ps. 37. 4 NKJV).   
We need to take pleasure in our Lord. “Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; Thereby good will come to you. ... 26 For then you will have your delight in the Almighty, and lift up your face to God” (Job 22:20 &26 NKJV).

SODon’t worry. Be happy. AND don’t be overcome with stress!  Because: “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!”  
                                                                 -Psalm 144:15b 
©Connie Wohlford 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Greater LOVE

A Greater LOVE

Is love on your mind this week? Are you giddy just thinking about how you’ll express your love to a special someone? Or are you discouraged and lonely because there is no special someone?

If the latter best describes you, take heart and be assured that romantic love is not even the highest level of love. It’s often temporary and can leave a person with a painful hole in their heart.

Jesus brought a greater love to mankind when He gave Himself on the cross.

In Paul’s letters to first century churches he gave instructions on how church members should behave in general and how they should treat one another.

He told the Ephesians, I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift (Ephesians 4:1-7 – NKJV) .

Verses 2-3 in the New Life Version state: Live and work without pride. Be gentle and kind. Do not be hard on others. Let love keep you from doing that. Work hard to live together as one by the help of the Holy Spirit. Then there will be peace.

It takes effort to live in unity as a couple, a family, a church community, or any organization. When we decide not to be hard on others, we are bearing with one another in love. This is a choice.

Note that after Paul’s listing of instructions, he reminded his readers that God gives us each grace. Paul knew they (and we) cannot accomplish the directives in the previous verses without the gift of grace that comes to us from God, by His indwelling Holy Spirit.

Through God’s grace to us, we’re forgiven and accepted into His Kingdom. His grace in us gives us power to bear with one another in love, following Christ’s example. Allowing God’s grace to work in us is a choice.     

In the 5th chapter of Ephesians, Paul told the followers of Jesus to walk in love after the example of Christ Himself. This is agape, the God kind of love.

After listing several Christ-like attributes in his letter to the Colossians Paul  wrote, And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity (Colossians 3:14).

Can you see it—love the perfect bond of unity? Love is the superglue which holds a marriage together; holds a family together; holds a church community together; even holds a business together. What other entities can you list which are held together with the bond of love? 

When asked what the greatest commandment is, “Jesus answered, ‘The foremost is, HEAR O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; “and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” 31The second is this,You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these’” (Mark 12:29-31).

Three things will last forever−faith, hope, and love−and the greatest of these is love.  

1 Corinthians 13:13

Let’s ask God to give us grace to love the way Jesus loved,
letting agape love rule in our hearts and be evident in our actions.

©Connie Wohlford 2016