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Not Just Passing Through

Chaplain Adele M. Gill

20 But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Philippians 3:20-21

As Christians, our citizenship is really in Heaven. Our passport? Love of God and others, and how we use our God-given free-will. Could that be why we as believing Christians, sojourners even, we are set apart to some degree; often uncomfortable here as the world is spinning out of control and away from God’s commands? Could it be that in actuality, we are just passing through this life on our way (by the grace of God) to Eternal Life.

Citizens of Heaven

Could it be this life is just the audition, the waiting room, if you will, for living the afterlife with God?  We are here on earth for such a short time, and we need to make the most of each day as we are not just passing through this life. We are need to be preparing for Eternal Life. As believing Christians, we are actually citizens of Heaven in process. It is very important not to forfeit ones heavenly passport! Through God’s grace and mercy, and our own free will to love God and others–or not–the choices we make about what we believe and how live our lives set the stage for where we spend eternity.

Recently, the topic of Eternal Life has come up in discussion, as has the topic of Hell. Curious as to what Scripture says about them, I turned, as usual, to the Bible for discernment and clarity. I have heard people say, “if there is a Heaven, everyone goes.” But Scripture, especially the passage about the narrow gate, speaks volumes and directly to that, as you will see in the following Scriptures. Again, it’s all about God’s grace, mercy, and our own free will—the beliefs we have and the choices we make that guide how we live.

In this time of relativism, which is defined as: ‘the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context,’ Christian believers are forced to choose between worldly beliefs and godly beliefs. In the realm of relativism, there are no absolutes, no right or wrong, as it is limited by what an individual believes to be right and truth. Through relativism, the world tells us that anything goes. Yet, for believing Christians, there is a gold standard for discernment of truth that overshadows all other perspectives. It is that which is revealed in the Holy Bible, particularly the New Testament which centers on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

According to the New International Version/NIV Bible, Heaven and Hell are both real places. We know this by these 2 Scriptures:

  • Genesis 1:1  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
  • Revelation 1:18 “I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

By the Grace of God

In fact, the word ‘Heaven’ is included 622 times in Holy Scripture. In essence, reading through many of the passages, it appears that there are 3 profound factors that enable one to ultimately experience eternal life: God’s mercy, grace, and our own God-given free will. Yes, God is kind and merciful, slow to anger, all loving and all knowing.  However, it is up to us to use our free will to accept His love and embrace and follow Jesus Christ, as Scripture tells us, as He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Free-Will: The Game Changer

Scripture tells us that Jesus is the ‘gate keeper,’ so to speak. It is up to Him to decide who enters the gates of Heaven and who does not, but it’s open to all of humanity. None of us can judge others, or decide who’s ‘going there,’ as He has been given sole authority in the heavenly realm to do as He wills. I’m sure we will all be surprised by who is there if and when we arrive at Heaven’s gate. Everyone has the same opportunity for Eternal Life, and that’s where free will comes in. Free will can propel us to new heights, or hold us back, apart from God and His ways. And each of us gets to decide, to choose, what we believe in and how we live our lives.

Eternal Life Scriptures

I usually don’t post this many Bible passages, but this is just that important to clear up any misunderstandings about Heaven being real:

  • 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
  • 16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” 17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?”Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”  Matthew 19:15-17
  • 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
  • “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”        Acts 4:12
  • “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heavenand on earth has been given to me.”  Matthew 28:18
  • “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”          John 3:36
  • And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
  • 27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:27-28
  • “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:40
  • 45  ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Matthew 25:45-46
  • 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12
  • “Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. 23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.” Luke 6:22
  • “Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19-20
  • 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.[a] For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” Matthew 11:22-24
  • 50 “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:49
  • ‘And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”’ Matthew 18:3
  • “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.” Hebrews 4:14
  • 16 “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.” James 1:16-17
  • “The one who comes from heaven is above” John 3:31
  • 23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.” Colossians 3:22-23
  • “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
  • 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”      John 3:16

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© Copyright 2019   |   Adele M. Gill

Scripture Reference: New International Version (NIV)

___________________________________________________

            Chaplain Adele M. Gill, BSN, RN, CPC is the author of 3 inspirational books including ‘From Broken to Blest: Embracing the Healing that Awaits You,’ written with Dr. Verna Benner Carson. From Broken to Blest is now available on Amazon, and at Barnes at Noble, in print, Nook & Kindle versions.

The post Not Just Passing Through appeared first on The Inspiration Cafe Blog.

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Chaplain Adele M. Gill

 

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God… 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:14

Recently a friend asked me “Who are the Children of God?” Certainly there are many diverse answers and perspectives for that question. This is a poignant question posed by both believers and non-believers over the ages. It is my considered personal opinion that we are all children of God by birth—both people of every faith, and those who follow no religion, alike. Yet, we all have the choice to choose to follow God’s commands and ways.

Since I am a student of the Bible rather than a Bible scholar, I turned to the greatest source of wisdom I know to answer this timeless question: Holy Scripture. Though I was quite surprised by what I found, I consider Holy Scripture to be the true and ultimate authority. According to Scripture, God physically created all of humanity through His divine grace. However, the actual identity of the children of God, His heirs by adoption through Jesus, appears to hinge, according to Holy Scripture, on one’s belief, choice and free will—our believing (or not believing) in, and following, Jesus Christ, the Greatest Hope the world has ever known:

Scriptures about the Children of God

26 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Galatians 3:25-26

10 “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.”  1 John 3:9

“They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.” Luke 20:35

9 “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[b]12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-13

The Value of Holy Scripture

Some say the Bible is nothing more than a collection of stories. According to Holy Scripture, it is through God’s grace, and our own personal faith that we are called ‘children of God,’ heirs even, due to our belief in Jesus Christ, God’s Only Son, our Lord and Savior. I say it is the anointed, inspired Word of the Living God, as spoken to, and through, the prophets. It is the great authority and source of abundant wisdom even in today’s ungodly world. That is why we need to turn to Holy Scripture often—daily even—in dealing with questions such as this and life as it happens.

Difficulty believing in God and Jesus? Are you in a mental health or faith crisis? Looking for purpose in your life? Big decisions to make and need help with doing the right thing? Are you in a broken relationship? Are you sick or weary? The answers to such questions, peace, comfort and guidance are all in there in the Bible, God’s Word…

Some may ask, “Where should I start reading in the Bible?” If you are not yet a Bible reader, you may want to begin with some of my favorites:  the Old Testament Psalms, or the New Testament gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; and/or Philippians, and Galatians to get started. You will not be disappointed! Holy Scripture is a wealth of knowledge even and especially in these turbulent, modern times. For the Bible is never outdated, and it speaks volumes to us in the here and now.

As children of God, let today be the day you start your Bible journey to learn God’s promises, ways and commands. May you be profoundly blessed with God’s wisdom and knowledge, strength and peace as you seek a deeper relationship with our Triune God—Father, Son(Jesus), and Holy Spirit!

© Copyright 2019   |   Adele M. Gill

            Chaplain Adele M. Gill, BSN, RN, CPC is the author of 3 inspirational books including ‘From Broken to Blest: Embracing the Healing that Awaits You,’ written with Dr. Verna Benner Carson. From Broken to Blest is now available on Amazon, and at Barnes at Noble, in print, Nook & Kindle versions.

The post Are You a Child of God? appeared first on The Inspiration Cafe Blog.

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The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.   Psalm 29:11

Strength and peace. Today’s scripture tells us these are the blessings bestowed upon us by God when we seek Him with all our hearts, and follow Him and His ways.

No One Could Convince Him

For 9 years, I have been working weekly with a man, I’ll call him George for anonymity, at a local soup kitchen. Each week he has made a point of telling me, convincingly, with a booming voice, “God hates me!” Despite the fact that my best efforts to convince him otherwise have fallen on deaf ears, he has had no peace, but his mantra has been unchanging, “God hates me! If He cared about me, He would not have let me have 3 back surgeries, live at an emergency homeless shelter, and all the other awful things that have happened to me in my life. I’m a good person. But my life has been really hard, and no one can convince me that God loves me. What has He ever done for me?” Then one day recently, something changed…

The Awakening

One day, as George came into the soup kitchen, he seemed different than he had over the 9 years I had known him. “I have something to tell you,” he said. “I had a bad car accident last week and my vintage Mustang was totaled. Here’s the picture of my wrecked car. I’m Ok. Walked away without a scratch. But there’s more. When I went to get a new car, I was really upset because I knew I could never replace it. Then it happened–The car dealer told me he had just one car that had just come in my price range. It was an old Mustang about the same year!!! I couldn’t believe it!” “That was no coincidence, George. Why do you think happened?” He stood quietly as he pondered my question. “I think God did that for you, George. You have apparently found favor with God.” Smiling, he agreed. “So do you think God loves you after all?” I asked. “Yes, I do,” he said smiling. “I really can’t explain all that has happened any other way.” He went on to tell me, joyfully and eagerly, about all of God’s blessings in his life.

George is a great example of what happens when God strengthens us in times of weakness. He paves the way for us, and gives us strength, a grateful heart and peace when we turn to Him. Clearly, God took George’s situation that could have been tragic, and blessed him profoundly in a way that he could see His hand in it all.

God’s Finest Work

We need to always leave room for God to do His finest work in and through us in our lives. Today, George is a changed man, and his life will never be the same as He revels in God’s grace. So often we try to ‘go it alone’ as if we have no need for God’s help.

Day after day we try to carry our own burdens, only too often falling short when all is said and done. The face of adversity is different for all of us, but it is necessary and important to invite God in through the power of the Holy Spirit– both when things are going well, and especially, when things go awry and mayhem ensues. It is best not to wait until the point of desperation. For it is only when we step back and embrace our weaknesses, with a grateful heart, that God can do His finest work in us and on our behalf. It is then that He can use us as an instrument of His strength and peace to help others.

Sometimes when weakness hits, we are like the drowning man thrashing in the water even as someone throws him a lifesaving device. We may not even know that help has arrived, but we think we must work hard to save our own life. In reality, in the spiritual sense, all we must do is stay calm and reach for the floatation device, figuratively speaking, Jesus.

God’s Strength and Peace

When God blesses us in small ways and great ways with strength and peace, it is important to always give credit where credit is due. George finally recognized the saving, loving hand of God in His own life. How about you?

© Copyright 2019   |   Adele M. Gill

            Chaplain Adele M. Gill, BSN, RN, CPC is the author of 3 inspirational books including ‘From Broken to Blest: Embracing the Healing that Awaits You,’ written with Dr. Verna Benner Carson. From Broken to Blest is now available on Amazon and at Barnes at Noble in print, Nook & Kindle versions.

The post How God Blesses His People appeared first on The Inspiration Cafe Blog.

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“11As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:10-11

Recently, I had an exacerbation of myasthenic syndrome causing neuromuscular weakness that affected my respiratory muscles making it hard to breathe, and subsequently, garbled, slurred, raspy speech for a week and a half. I have experienced this many times over the past 36 years that I have had this condition. The doctor ordered the usual outpatient IV treatments—3 days in a row, 5 hours per day. The treatments were eventually helpful for returning my breathing and speech, but there was a week long delay before my condition improved. Yes, this scenario has occurred dozens of times in my life, but this time seemed different. What happened next was anything but the usual recovery from a neuromuscular exacerbation…

Healing Happens

Several days after going for the IV treatments, I attended a healing service at my church, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. My speech had not yet returned and as usual, I was walking with my walker for distance due to poor balance. The healing service was quite an experience to say the least. However, about 3 days after the healing service, my speech and breathing returned. 5 days later, I went to the Mall to walk. Normally I walk there with my walker, but this time I forgot my walker and only had my cane! So I went in the Mall anticipating not being able to walk any distance without my walker as has been the case for almost a decade. I started to walk, and it something seemed different. I was able to walk with just my cane. In fact, I actually walked 1.1 miles because I could!

We Serve A Mighty God

The only thing I can say is that we really do serve a mighty God. The healing I am experiencing is far past anything I have experienced before from IV treatment. Praying it is permanent, but after 36 years, I am grateful for any healing Jesus sends my way. As the above scripture says, “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:10-11) I believe that it was going to the healing service, believing I’d get a miracle eventually that has made all the difference. Belief is just that important. Though Brother Bob Canton, the Healer used by Jesus that day, has a powerful international ministry that has taken him to 50 countries to do healing services, I am believing that it is Jesus Himself, the Great Healer, that is doing this for me.

Jesus Has Healing for All of Us

I also believe that Jesus has various forms healing for all of us, but we need to trust Him. We all need to embrace the healing that awaits us. We are all broken in some way due to the human experience. It is important to be patient and persistent in prayer, trust in His grace, and wait for His perfect timing. By the grace of God, today I dance!

© Copyright 2019   |   Adele M. Gill

            Chaplain Adele M. Gill, BSN, RN, CPC is the author of 3 inspirational books including ‘From Broken to Blest: Embracing the Healing that Awaits You,’ written with Dr. Verna Benner Carson. From Broken to Blest is now available on Amazon and at Barnes at Noble in print, Nook & Kindle versions.

The post God’s Compassion & Mercy for You appeared first on The Inspiration Cafe Blog.

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The Inspiration Cafe Blog by Adelemgill - 1M ago

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

JOHN 15:5 NASB

We Are the Branches

A better way. In today’s holy scripture, Jesus tells us that we are the branches that emanate from Him, The Vine. One need only prune a spindly vine to see that new life follows masterful pruning. Pruning removes dead debris that is no longer useful or needed. The vine is the foundation of the plant and subsequent growth. It is the very source of its sustenance, bringing much-needed nutrients into every branch, every leaf, into each and every fruit. Without pruning The Vine, there is no fresh new growth. The plant simply remains dormant or withers and dies and does not bear fruit. Pruning is necessary to rejuvenate the branches, and it is important for the production of abundant fruit.

  Spiritual Pruning

In real life, times of spiritual ‘pruning’ can be difficult. Figuratively, this pruning occurs whenever we ask God to take the reins, to help us conform to His Divine Will for us. Whenever we give him control over our circumstances. It occurs whenever we put aside our own desires in search of the ‘better way,’ the ‘greater plan’ God has for each of us. It comes every time we deny our own desires for the greater good, or reach out selflessly to others in need. But the challenges pruning presents are short-lived, making way for full, unencumbered new growth upon completion.

Conduits of Love

And so it goes, we as the branches are able to produce much fruit and yield to The Vine. Humanly speaking, ‘pruned branches’ are in an extraordinary position to experience many blessings and be a blessing to others. They are able to produce abundant, lush fruit. As is the case with the pruned soul that is in synch with God’s Way, we are able to be conduits of His love, to build bridges of love that are enduring and life-giving. We are able to effectively love both our enemies and the unlovable, and walk away from the selfish desires of our own hearts for the common good.

Faith In Full Bloom

Jesus, The Vine, is our source for all that is good and right and true. The gift of faith, when in full bloom, produces much grace and abundant blessings both for us individually, and for others. Not everyone has the gift of faith, for it is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Clearly, it is something we should pray for ourselves and others. For a faith-filled life in full bloom is resilient, and life-giving, filled with peace and joy with plentiful works based on faith. There is no greater blessing than being infused with the love of Jesus Christ.

“For I can all things through Christ Who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

© Copyright 2019   |   Adele M. Gill

Chaplain Adele M. Gill, BSN, RN, CPC is the author of 3 inspirational books including ‘From Broken to Blest: Embracing the Healing that Awaits You,’ written with Dr. Verna Benner Carson. From Broken to Blest is now available on Amazon and at Barnes at Noble in print,                                          Nook & Kindle versions.

The post A Better Way appeared first on The Inspiration Cafe Blog.

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“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Thessalonians 5:9                                New International Version (NIV)

Enjoying Freedom

Everyday freedom. As Christians, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to enjoy everyday freedom like no one else. We have the freedom to walk away from our sins and failings. The freedom to trust in Jesus, who is with us always through it all. We can forgive and be forgiven. Build bridges by building others up. We even have the ability to forgive ourselves for things we have done and not done, sins of omission and commission. We have the freedom to lead others to Jesus so that they, too, can walk in the everyday freedom that comes through Him alone. We have the opportunity and freedom to pray for ourselves, and others, with confidence, and to anticipate God will hear and answer our prayers as we seek to emulate Jesus.

Perspectives

Each of us has our own idea of what God is like. For some, He is a wrath-filled, angry task master; for others He is the very definition of Love, kindness, mercy, and compassion. How we see God has everything to do with how we see Jesus, and visa-versa. When you know Jesus, you know God, as He took human form while on earth. Surely our relationships with our parents can influence how we see God. Harsh parenting can lead one to conclude that God is punitive. Conversely, loving parents can help one look to God as supportive, gentle and benevolent.

Clearing the Slate

The good news of Salvation is the very reason that God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ. He lived among us, and died on the cross for our sins—yours and mine. Jesus did not come to condemn us with His wrath, but to free us from the ravages of infirmity in mind and body, our failings, shortcomings and brokenness in this fallen world. Yes, suffering is a part of life, but with Jesus, there is peace in every adversity.  He came to lift up poor and hurting souls, drawing them ever closer to Himself. Jesus came to free us all from the bondage of sin, and to help us grow in humility–to save us. Through Him, we are prepared to defy death, and reach for eternal life where we will be in the presence of God for eternity. And that He did!

Perhaps it’s time to take a simple yet life-changing leap of faith so you can have everyday freedom. By so doing, you can take your relationship with Jesus to the ‘next level’ as our Pastor says. Try this:

  • Tell God about your shortcomings and failings. He knows all about them anyway. We are all sinners, and ‘cleaning house’ is an important first step. This clears the way for your new relationship with Jesus, and enables you to walk away from your own sinful nature.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life—Invite him in! You’ll be so glad you did…
  • If you believe it, repeat the below scripture out loud:

“If you proclaim with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that Jesus rose Him from the dead, you will be saved.”                                                        Romans 10:9

What peace there is in knowing that the proverbial slate has been wiped clean. There is no greater peace than that which comes from a close relationship with God through Jesus Christ. According to this scripture, salvation comes through your heartfelt proclamation, and your belief in Jesus Christ.

May the peace that surpasses understanding be with you from this point forward. Amen!

© Copyright 2019  |   Adele M. Gill

Adele M. Gill, BSN, RN, CPC is the author of 3 inspirational books including ‘From Broken to Blest: Embracing the Healing that Awaits You,’ written with Dr. Verna Benner Carson. From Broken to Blest is now available on Amazon and at Barnes at Noble in print,                                  Nook & Kindle versions.

The post 3 Steps to Everyday Freedom appeared first on The Inspiration Cafe Blog.

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Endurance. Endurance and perseverance are so central to finishing any race. When blended with patience, these qualities often propel people to successfully complete the journey they embark on. These qualities make possible what God has asked them to endure. Endurance and perseverance, when blended with patience, are necessary to complete any task one sets out to complete—even and especially, healing.

Two Brave Friends

I have two friends who are fighting breast cancer bravely right now, with all their strength. The sheer courage these two have shown to all who know them is nothing short of miraculous. Even in this time of suffering, these women are faith-filled witnesses, shining examples of what happens when one serves God with all their strength despite adversity. The poise and grace they present to all who know them is clearly a testimony to the love of God, as they forge ahead with major surgery and cancer treatments that would challenge even the strongest among us.

What makes them so special is the fact that they give God all of the credit for helping them and being by their side through every bend in the road. They lean heavily on His mercy and compassion. Perhaps more heavily than if they did not have such a need for healing. Cancer treatment is not for the faint of heart, but they credit God with the strength they embody, and the progress they make, in fighting their cancer. I’m sure they have asked “Why me?” at times, but their focus has stayed squarely on the healing power of the mighty God we serve. Surely these good women have ample reason to be angry about being sick and in need of surgery, chemo and radiation treatments, but their gratitude to God shines through brighter than the pain they endure.

Beyond Comprehension

The fact that these two women trust God completely to lovingly take care of them, is beyond comprehension for many, if not most people. But the love of our Tri-une God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit–is beyond our comprehension. For it is in our darkest hour that Jesus’ light shines most brightly. Even in their suffering, as they live in pain while running their race to restore wellness, and to serve God with all their being. They are wonderful examples of how God works in our lives during times of greatest need.

Perseverance & Adversity

Despite adversity, Jesus is with us each day paving the way for us in uncharted waters, and through our pain. The Great Healer and Comforter, He is there to help ease the suffering we endure in our lives. He never leaves our side, never allows more than we can handle, and is closest in our time of greatest need. We just have to depend on Him and trust that He is with us through it all. Suffering is the breeding ground for perseverance, resulting in hope: Hope for healing, hope for strength, hope for courage, hope for a better future as we lay our lives in the arms of Jesus, our lives are forever changed.
“We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4

© Copyright 2019 | Adele M. Gill

http://www.theinspirationcafeblog.net 

Adele M. Gill, BSN, RN, CPC is the author of 3 inspirational books including ‘From Broken to Blest: Embracing the Healing that Awaits You,’ written with Dr. Verna Benner Carson. From Broken to Blest is available on Amazon and at Barnes at Noble in print, Nook & Kindle versions.

The post Endurance, Perseverance & Patience appeared first on The Inspiration Cafe Blog.

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“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

Romans 3:23

Once I was in the hospital for 5 days and had a seemingly constant flow of visitors. They were quite friendly towards the staff, and lovingly acknowledged everyone from the doctors to the maintenance staff. I had so many visitors, in fact, that two nurses pulled me aside, and commented on how outgoing and friendly my friends were. They both asked me where I met my friends. “I met most of them at church,” I said. “What church?” they asked as they pressed for more information. So I told them. I suspect they saw in my friends what I also saw in them: The love of Jesus Christ.

It is often said that church goers are ‘saints’ and everyone else are sinners. But that is far from the truth as we all have the capacity and propensity to sin. Some say arrogantly (and blindly) that sin is what others do. These prideful attitudes are pervasive in our culture, but detrimental to both church-goers and the unchurched. Though we try with all our strength, none of us is ‘good’ all the time. We are all flawed to some extent and only human—we need Jesus to be lifting up all who fall short of the glory of God. That reality only gives us more reason to pursue our faith with fervor to be the best we can be in God’s eyes. The truth is that we are all sinners to varying degrees—all of humanity, indeed, and we sin in a variety of ways through sins of omission and commission. All of us!

Hospital for Sinners

In essence, the church is actually a hospital for sinners as church members wrestle with their own humanness. But church plays an important part in how we live, worship God, and grow in our relationships with other people and most importantly, God. Church is where we go to worship God, and offer gratitude for His many blessings. And that gratitude opens the door to the greatest peace (and joy) we have ever known. That is why we need Jesus Christ, our Savior, and Redeemer, who He died on the cross in atonement for our sins. That is, He died for you and me 2000 years before we were even born. So where can we find Jesus? Well, one place is through practicing our faith via the church of our choosing.

The Place to Go

Church is where we get together with other believers who also strive to love God with all their being. We need our faith community to cheer us on as we embark on this journey called life and struggle with whatever life sends our way.  It is often where we meet our ‘praying friends,’ those who pray for us when we are too weary to do so for ourselves. Church is where we go to celebrate our children joining the faith through baptism, where we celebrate marriages to ask for God’s blessings, and it is where we say our final goodbyes to our loved ones. God’s house is where we go for solace when we are struggling. It is where we go at the end of the week (and some people during the week) to learn about God through heartfelt sermons, Bible studies and faith-filled fellowship. Unlike China and North Korea among other countries, we Americans have great religious freedom, with no restrictions on going to church, synagogue or even mosque. As is often the case, the only real stumbling block to growing in faith is often our own free will.

Falling Short

Yes, all of us are sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God. But the good news is that our sins are already covered by the blood of Jesus on the cross, and Jesus is there lifting up each of us as we fall. No sin is so serious that it cannot be forgiven by our loving God in his compassion and mercy. We need to learn to take it all to Jesus—every failure, every difficult relationship, every situation, all of our needs for healing and forgiveness. As the Great Comforter, Protector and Redeemer, He is there for us to lift us up whenever we fall and call upon His holy name. He is the one who wipes the slate clean, enabling us to start anew.

© Copyright 2019   |   Adele M. Gill

Adele M. Gill, BSN, RN, CPC is the author of 3 inspirational books including ‘From Broken to Blest: Embracing the Healing that Awaits You,’ written with Dr. Verna Benner Carson. From Broken to Blest is now available on Amazon and at Barnes at Noble in print,  Nook & Kindle versions.

The post Fallen Short & Lifting Up appeared first on The Inspiration Cafe Blog.

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“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1

This scripture tells us there is no commendation in Jesus Christ. So what does that mean? When you believe and trust in Jesus, you are free from judgement toward others.

Discernment vs Worldly Judgement

Tempting as it may be, we do not have the right to judge others, as that is Jesus’ job. There is a big difference between recognizing and addressing sin, and condemning someone through judging. At times we need to paradoxically trust our discernment, but also  refrain from judging others. We are called to pray for them, and ask God for discernment, and wisdom in every situation. When our prayerful discernment leads us in Divine  judgement, based on prayer and scripture reading, we are to lovingly encourage others along to return to the narrow path. Ironically, we are called to both strive to be at peace with everyone, and also, to avoid worldly judgement. Sometimes that means speaking truth in Love—even when it is not easy. At times such truth may not be well received, but it still important all the same. As the need arises, we need to try to gently encourage each other in Love to stay on, or return to, God’s uniquely planned journey.

Can’t Earn Heaven

When you have the Holy Spirit of Jesus within you, you naturally want to do as much good as you possibly can, to serve God. For who can possibly condemn one who is doing good? As Christians, we understand that none of us can earn our way into God’s favor, but must strive to be our best self and do the same for others. When you strive to do so, you are more apt to trust in Jesus, follow Him, and strive to lead others to Him. You are less apt to sin (something we all do), engage in judging others, and engaging in activities that are not of God, as you try to do what is pleasing in God’s sight.

We cannot work our way into Heaven, but rather spend our time spreading the Gospel through word and deed throughout our life. It has been said that one good turn deserves another. And so it goes, when we focus our attention and life on serving God, we move closer to Him, and are able to treat others with great love regardless of their perspectives or behavior.

As our Creator, God, loved us first, His love is always front and center for each of us—all of humanity. Jesus stands in wait for us to answer His call. We need to avoid both judgement and associated condemnation, as we try to emulate His compassion and patience with others.

 

“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”    2 Corinthians 13:11

© Copyright 2019   |   Adele M. Gill

Adele M. Gill, BSN, RN, CPC is the author of 3 inspirational books including ‘From Broken to Blest: Embracing the Healing that Awaits You,’ written with Dr. Verna Benner Carson. From Broken to Blest is now available on Amazon and at Barnes at Noble in print, Nook & Kindle versions.

The post No Condemnation in Jesus Christ appeared first on The Inspiration Cafe Blog.

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Are You at Peace?

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you,                                                 live at peace with everyone.”  Romans 12:18

Are you at peace? What a blessing it is when we are at peace. At peace with ourselves, at peace with our circumstances, at peace knowing we did our best, at peace with others—those we love and those who are difficult to love. When we are at peace, life just seems to run more smoothly. However, sometimes perfectionism, fear, challenges beyond our scope, or difficult people can throw a wrench into our best laid plans, leaving us unsettled, even reeling. It all makes such good sense to strive to be at peace each day. Yet, it is hard as we strive for peace, the operative word here is, ‘strive.’

As the Winds Change

Sometimes peace can be elusive. Left to our own devices, being at peace may be dependent on our mood, the challenge at hand, or even the erratic behavior of others. As the winds change, there goes our peace. Yet, most agree peace is worth pursing all the same. Sometimes, we are ill-prepared to embrace peace, and we let another person make it seemingly impossible to attain that goal; so we let them steal our peace and joy.

Good Reason to Find Peace

There is ample, good reason why peace and joy are two of the first fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. They are two of the nine manifestations of the Holy Spirit of Jesus in our lives. Could it be because they go together like bookends? Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ brings us both peace, and subsequent joy. And with Jesus at the helm, that peace and joy can be enduring regardless of circumstances and our own imperfect humanness. A bad day, a troubled relationship, health issues, financial challenges, overwhelmed at work—Peace and joy are restorative and can be preserved in any circumstance through faith and trust in Jesus.

Simple Trust

When you are at peace and you have placed your trust in Jesus, you are acknowledging that He is in control—which He is. You are in essence saying, “Jesus, please take the wheel,” as you step back and let Him be at the helm. Certainly you still have to do your part, but at that point it is squarely on His shoulders. Our biggest job at that point is to simply trust Him as He works all things for the good, beyond our wildest dreams.

Inviting God In to Every Situation

There is great comfort in knowing that you have invited God into your life, into your circumstances. This trust, coupled with belief that He will come through for you, is the cornerstone of a close relationship with Jesus. Through scripture, He beckons us to bring our burdens to Him (Matthew 11:28) . And when we do, awe-inspiring things happen. Like carrying an over-sized  back pack, there is great relief when you are able to put it down, rest, and take a deep breath. And so it goes, as we thank Jesus for willingly carrying our burdens, we are able to experience great peace and joy, as we say, “Jesus I trust in You!”

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you,                                                 live at peace with everyone.”  Romans 12:18

© Copyright 2019   |   Adele M. Gill

Adele M. Gill, BSN, RN, CPC is the author of 3 inspirational books including ‘From Broken to Blest: Embracing the Healing that Awaits You,’ written with Dr. Verna Benner Carson. From Broken to Blest is now available on Amazon and at Barnes at Noble in print,                                           Nook & Kindle versions.

The post Are You at Peace? appeared first on The Inspiration Cafe Blog.

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