No matter who we are or where we are in life, it’s never easy to follow Christ. In fact, He tells us that more than once in the Gospels. However, just because the road might be long and rough it doesn’t mean that we should give up on the journey. This is why it’s important to remember certain things that we can gather strength from to continue on. Things that will fill our hearts and souls with what we need to continue to be faithful to God in our lives.
Remember – God promises that through faith in His Son, Jesus, we already have eternal life:“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” (1 John 5:11) This assurance sharpens our faith, lifts us up when we are downhearted, and gives us courage in times of doubt.
Recalling God’s promises destroys doubt.
Where will we find the mercy we need to continue on? It is found in Jesus, who, from His own cross said to a dying criminal who turned to Him for help, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
We are saved by God’s mercy, not by our merit.
Remember – Our all-powerful God desires to hear our prayers and answer our pleas. And though we do not always understand His timing or His purposes, God always responds with His best for our lives.
Through prayer, we draw upon the power of the infinite God.
Remember – The clock is ticking. Now is the time to seek God’s power to help us become the people He wants us to be. Finding hope in our eternal God gives meaning for our lives today.
The time to live for Jesus is now.
Sometimes we don’t really understand the reasons behind God’s commands and that can make things more difficult for us on our journey. We may even sometimes think He is a “cosmic killjoy”, setting up rules and regulations to keep us from enjoying life and ourselves. But God only asks us to obey Him because He has our best interests at heart. Just like any parent with their own children. As we obey, we “remain in His love” and are filled with joy. (John 15:10-11) So when God warns us not to sin, He does it for our own good. He really wants to protect us from “playing with fire” and getting burned.
God gives us loving warnings in His Word to protect us.
Remember – The Bible tells us that “the words of the reckless pierce like swords,” and that“a harsh word stirs up anger” but “a gentle answer turns away wrath” (Prov. 12:18;15:1)
Before Jesus’ crucifixion, the religious authorities tried to provoke Him with their words (Matt. 27:41-43). Yet, “When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate… Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23)
Jesus’ example and the Spirit’s help offer us a way to respond to people who offend us.
Trusting the Lord, we don’t really have any reason to use our words as weapons.
A soft answer has often been the means of breaking a hard heart.
Remember – God’s masterpiece of redemption is the symphony we are playing in our lives, and ultimately everything will work together for His good purposes. God is the composer of all of our lives. His song is perfection, and we can Trust in Him to do the right thing and make the right moves in our lives.
Faith in God’s goodness puts a song in our hearts.
Remember – Faith and hope are essential to all believers. It is only because we are justified by faith that “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1) And hope is described in Hebrews 6:19 as “an anchor for the soul, firm and secure”
Eventually, one day, we will have no more need for our faith and hope. Faith will become sight and our hope will finally be realized when we see our Savior face to face. But love is eternal, for love is of God and God is love (1 John 4:7-8). “Now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love” –it’s first and last (1 Cor. 13:13).
We love because God first loved us.
Just as our bodies need check-ups from our doctor, so too must we have spiritual checkups to check on our spiritual health. Consider these questions posed by Jesus in Mark:
1. Do I love God with all my heart because He first loved me? Which is stronger, my desire for earthly gain or the treasures that are mine in Christ? (Col. 3:1). He desires that His peace rule our hearts.
2. Do I love God with all my soul? Do I listen to God telling me who I am? Am I moving away from self-centered desires? Am I becoming more compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient?
3. Do I love God with all my mind? Do I focus on my relationship with His Son or do I let my mind wander wherever it wants to go? Do my thoughts lead to problems or solutions? To unity or division? Forgiveness or revenge?
4. Do I love God with all my strength? Am I willing to be seen as weak so that God can show His strength on my behalf? Am I relying on His grace to be strong in His Spirit?
When we let the message of Christ dwell within us, He will equip us to build each other up as we become spiritually fit and more useful to Him.
To be spiritually fit, feed on God’s Word and exercise your faith.
Remember – God has promised us all that He will always be present with those who believe in His Son, Jesus. No matter how dark the night, the unseen God is always ready to respond appropriately to our needs.
God is always present and at work in our lives.
As we look at our own problems, let us not despair. May we always have hope through the certainty of our faith in the One Man – Jesus, our God, and Savior.
The hope of Jesus shines brightly even on our darkest days.
Remember – That all material wealth is just temporary. Nothing, nothing lasts forever – except for what God enables us to do for others in this life. Giving of our time and resources to help spread the Good News of the Gospel, visiting those who are lonely, and helping those in need are just a few of the many ways that we can store up our treasures in heaven.
Our real wealth is what we invest in our eternal life.
“All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of His covenant” (PS. 25:10). Some of God’s paths for each of us may be rough and rugged, others may be tedious and even boring, but all are filled with His love and His faithfulness for us. When we come to the end of our journey and know what we then will know, we will say, “God’s path was best for me.”
Our paths may have obstacles, but God will lead us.
Remember – When we pray, we need patience because we have to wait on God. We may not know how or when He will answer, but we can put our hearts and petitions before Him. Sometimes the answers don’t come when we hope they would. In fact, things might even go from bad to worse. However, we have to believe, we have to persevere, and we have to keep asking.
Sure, waiting is never an easy thing to do, but the end result of that waiting, no matter what it is, will be well worth it. David put it this way: “Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You”. So keep on trusting. Keep asking and most of all keep praying.
Time spent in prayer is always time well spent.
Remember – When our loving God looks at us, He is far more interested in what lies within our hearts than our height, weight, hair color, and so on. He is more interested in the state of our souls than He is the structure of our faces or the color of our eyes. He doesn’t see us as being too old, too young, too small, or too big. He zeroes in on the things that really matter, and that’s our response to His love for us and our concern for other people in this world. 2 Chronicles 6:30 says that God alone knows the human heart. When the God who has done so much for us looks at our hearts, what does He see?
The true measure of a person is what’s in their heart.
Remember – God does not need our praise, it is we who need to praise God. By basking in His presence we can drink in the joy of His infinite love and we can rejoice in the One who came to redeem and restore all of us. “In Your presence, there is fullness of joy.” the psalmist says. “At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).
Worship is a heart overflowing with praise to God.
Remember – God knows exactly what we are facing each and every day. Isaiah reminds us that God’s knowledge of us is so intimate that it is as if our names were written on the palms of His hands. We might sometimes neglect the needs of others, even those who are closest to us, but God is aware of every detail of our lives. And He has given us His Spirit to guide us, to comfort us and to strengthen us. Stop and think of all the challenges you might be facing at this very moment
in your life, and then write them down and then write the following words besides these challenges as a reminder of His faithfulness, love, and care He has for you:
“For this, I have Jesus.”
Life takes on a different perspective in the light of Christ.
Remember – Jesus, is “above all” (John 3:31), and “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30). When we have this kind of attitude, we will seek the progress of God’s work in our lives. It is Christ, not us, who should be the focus in all that we do.
The spotlight is the place for Christ, not us.
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (2 Cor. 5:17)
This is the beauty of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sin and then rose from the dead to display His power over sin and death. The result is that in God’s eyes, faith in Christ’s work makes us a “new creation” and replaces the old with a “new life”. Looking through Jesus and His work on the cross for us, our heavenly Father sees everyone who has put his or her faith in Him as new and unblemished!
There is no doubt that sin has caused great damage to our lives and in our world. We can’t fix it alone and on our own. We must trust Jesus as our Savior and let Him give us a brand new life in His name!
Only Jesus can give you a new life.
As we continue down the path of our faith journey there are many things we need to remember to help make us stronger and to help us to want to continue down this road even when there might be bumps and potholes. When thinking about these things they can give us both hope and strength to continue.
Two thousand years ago, a man called Jesus stood at a Samaritan well and talked with a woman who was there to get drinking water for her physical health. Jesus spoke with her and told her two things that we know to be truths: One was that even though it was true she needed water to live but it was even more important that she drink of the living water for her spiritual health.
Even though much time has passed since that moment and humanity has become much more sophisticated, life still sees these truths before it. One, without clean water we will die, but what is more important is that without Jesus Christ, the source of living water, we are already dead to our sins.
Remember – Water is essential to our existence, both physically with H2O and spiritually with Jesus. Only Jesus has the living water to quench our spiritual thirst.
We read in Scripture warnings that we should not be wise in our own eyes or proud. (Prov. 3:7, 15A, 5:21 Rom. 12:16). In other words, we should not assume that we have all the answers. “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end, you will be counted among the wise.” (Prov. 19:20) Whether it is a friend, your spouse, pastor or a co-worker, God can and does use others to teach us more about His wisdom.
True wisdom begins and ends with God.
It is said that the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a Jealous God. However, His jealousy is not like our self-centered love. His heart is one that expresses His protective zeal for those who are His by creation and salvation. He is the one who has made us and has rescued us so that we can know and enjoy Him forever. So, how could we ask for anything more than a God who is zealous and jealous for our happiness?
God loves every one of us as if there were but one of us to love.
Remember – God does not give us what we deserve; He gives us mercy instead. His strength is far more than sufficient for us. But before we can find this reassurance within ourselves, we need to step back, lay down the shovel of our own efforts and take Jesus’ hand that is forever extended to us in mercy and grace.
Remember – God is big enough to listen to our anger and loving enough to show us, in His time, the path we need to take to move forward.
Grace: Getting what we don’t deserve.
Mercy: Not getting what we do deserve.
Remember – Joining together in prayer is a privilege and when someone we know is facing serious physical difficulty or spiritual crisis we should exercise this privilege by praying for them and bringing them closer to Jesus in the process, for He is the only One who can meet their deepest needs.
Praying for others is a privilege and a responsibility.
Remember – Whatever our situation, let’s remember to shine for Jesus where we are. He can provide us with the grace we need to reach even those who don’t agree with us.
The more we live like Jesus, the more others will be drawn to Him.
It is important that we realize and understand that God truly desires a relationship with us. So it is important that each day we invite Him into our daily lives and then we can praise Him and ask Him for His help all during the day. Then there are other times when we can treasure some time alone with Him and reflect on His faithfulness. When we spend time with God in prayer and in His Word, we will grow in our relationship with Him and we will learn to become more and more like Him. Once we make time with Him a priority, we will enjoy His company more and more.
Remember – God is greater than our greatest problem.
Remember– Don’t allow the brutality of this world take away your thankful heart.
Remember– You are a Child of God and He has shown you His goodness and mercy through His work on the cross.
We are not to be alone on this journey and it is His wish that we share life’s struggles with others. This is fundamental to the way of the followers of Christ. This is how they are called to live. Paul challenges us to share each other’s burdens and by doing this we are obeying the law of Christ. Because by working together through the different challenges of life we can then help to strengthen and support each other when times are tough. By expressing toward one another the care and affections of Jesus and we don’t become isolated in our own suffering.
If we want God to lead us, we must be willing to follow Him.
Christ reminds us that we must have a heart of gratitude. There are dozens of reminders in Scripture that reminds us of how we need to express gratitude and is of primary importance in our relationship with God. We need to give thanks when we come into His presence. This attitude of gratitude will help us remember our abundant blessings bestowed upon us. Even if we are in the middle of trouble and despair, God’s presence and love are our constant companion.
Remember – It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.
Remember – “God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything” (1 John 3:20)
Because of this, He knows exactly how to help us and if we trust Him and live to please Him we will flourish and be truly free.
God helps those who know they are helpless.
Remember – That self-examination is vital for our spiritual lives to be healthy. God wants us to see ourselves so that we can be spared the consequences of our sinful choices. The whole point of this self-examination is not just to make things right with God but to also make sure that we are right with each other as well. We must be living in harmony with other believers and by seeing and confessing our sin will promote unity with others and will build a healthy relationship with God.
Remember – God opens the gates of heaven to those who open their hearts to Him.