Psalm 130:3-4: “If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.”
God has always wanted faithful followers of his commandments even when God knows no man is without sin. The writer of Ecclesiastes 7:20 said “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins”.
The writer of Psalm 139 reminds us that wherever we go, wherever we rest, whatever word is on the tip of our tongue the Lord knows it all. Knowing our secrets are never secrets should humble us when considering the all-knowing God.
We must treasure the blessing of forgiveness daily and let the forgiveness be reflected to everyone you meet. It gives us that immediate self-correction so we do not think more highly of ourselves when looking at others.
Be happy that God does not want us to perish because of Satan’s worldly temptations and tricks.
It is important to know that God chooses to offer forgiveness to all that are willing to accept God’s forgiveness. God has made forgiveness available freely and daily in the safety of his love.
2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Have a great day
by Chris Underwood — I would like to think that there is more treasure than troubles in the homes we live.
Treasures such as love, faith, hope, prayer, kindness, consistency in the faith we have in Jesus Christ.
Treasure such as communication, compassion, and clarity of thought.
Treasures such as forgiveness, sacrifice, a smile, and sincere words of appreciation.
Each treasure when magnified by the treasure in God is magnified 30, 60 or 100 times when done in obedience to his will. It makes the home and the church the greatest treasure until the day the Lord returns to call us home to heaven.
Where your treasures so is your heart. Are you adding more treasure today in word and in deed?
Pray we all can grow in allowing treasure of the spirit of God. Pray God help us from falling down as we continue to add treasures, and reduce or eliminate as troubles come.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
Have a great day.
Encouragement Note for Feb. 2018, by Christopher Underwood
Two men with knowledge and the benefit of knowing Jesus Christ show us the power of mercy from the Lord if we choose to accept it.
Number 1: He had been angry enough to cut an ear off a man, scared enough to leave Jesus to face an angry mob, frightened enough to deny that he knew the Son of God, cursing loudly and profusely to convince everyone he was not a follower of the Lord. He was full of sorrow to see the face of the Lord, possibly embarrassed that he had gone to such extent to prove he was nothing like Jesus. He was miserable and crying with knowledge that his courage to be put along the side of the Lord had failed him – if only he had said “If you kill him, you have to kill me too” like he had said he would do before. Continue reading
Spiritual and Physical tune up, by Christopher Underwood
“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance. ― Brian Tracy
Everyone expects the car, the train, the airplane to be kept in tune. These artificial items will eventually fail if you no one puts air in the tires, never changes the oil, or forgets to add fuel.
We do the same each day as we tune our hair to be in alignment when we wash our hair, comb it, twirl, spray it, tease it and blow dry it not necessarily in that order.
And we pray to God and study a portion of the word to add to our faith, virtue, knowledge and more so that even when we sin, our forgiveness is offered when we repent so we do not fall away forever.
We all need to find better alignment as followers of Christ. We all need more to run smooth spiritually and that really comes through the word of God.
I want to offer a few tune up scriptures. Hopefully these scripture tune ups will strike a positive cord with you each and every day. Continue reading
By Christopher Underwood
Have you continued to grow beyond first-grade Christianity?
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 1 Peter 2:2
The average student spends 40 weeks in school for 5 days a week with each school day 6 hours (more or less, not counting homework study hours, school trips, advanced placement). 40 times 6 times 5 equal 1200 hours of in one year to prepare to move from one grade level to the next.
In comparison, Sunday morning Bible study and Midweek Bible study account for 1.5 hours a week for 52 weeks (more or less, subtracting vacations, visitors from out of town, work, too tired). 1.5 times 52 equals 78 hours of general Bible study.
Each person who decides to follow Jesus Christ daily has to commit individual time to study, prayer, faithful obedience, patience, and love to move forward as a mature servant. It is true that raw study numbers do not always tell the story of quality study versus quantity of mindless reading.
If one has the heart to know the Lord then setting time aside to grow and move beyond the basics of faith to maturity will be easy. Make plans to move beyond 78 hours and closer to 1200 hours and watch your faith and the strength grow beyond your imagination (Ephesians 3:20,21). It will prevent the falling away that overcomes both young and old.
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:17-18
Have a great day
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
The strength that we have each day is connected by how deep our body, soul, and spirit are firmly entrenched in the Word of God.
Strong roots, or foundation allow each one to add faith, temperance, and love to keep us from falling (2 Peter 1:5-10)
Today decide to grow your physical and spiritual roots deeper as taught by command and example in the Bible. Choose to encourage someone to have deeper roots in the word to show how we are thankful for the gift of salvation through The Son of God.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
#encouragement #spiritual-growth #encouragement-note
by Chris Underwood, Chicago
Walk by faith and walk by things seen and not seen, and by things studied and learned.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
The Iguazu Falls are real, powerful, and thousands of people each year travel to the border of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay to visit the location. Many will take a boat tour below the falls. Many will walk out on the wooden deck in the middle of one of the 275 waterfalls to get a closer look of the water going down the falls. There are many walkways in this area and sometimes the walkways are closed due to the height of the rising water. Presumably no one gets trapped out on the walkways by failing to heed the warnings or stumbles over the protective railing.
Those who walk generally never ask for the maintenance records, the proof of inspections, the type of wood used, or the names of the builders. They have spent money, and time to reach this location and their goal is to admire the beautiful scenery at this location. The lack of safety documents does not stop the tourists from paying the fee to reach the walkways. Continue reading
Note: The following text is from Chris Underwood, from Chicago. Chris is in SJCampos for three months working with Embraer. It’s been a pleasure to have him in the congregations here. He sends out a monthly “Encouragement Note” and graciously allowed us to share it here.
“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” ―Mary Tyler Moore
Romans 5:2-4 “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:”
No one plans at an early age to lose a child, to become an alcoholic, fail in marriage, file bankruptcy, lose their faith in God, or find a point in their life trying to figure out how I got myself in this much trouble. Failure happens to all of us at some level physically or spiritually. Continue reading