Flowing Faith

August 29, 2016
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
2 Comments

Eternally Changeless God

eternally changeless GodSuch human qualities as absent mindness or forgetfulness do not apply to God. Neither is he getting tired or weakening or ageing. God is on his top form as much today as he was when he created the world. Our God is an eternally changeless God. Hallelujah!

Who has done this and carried it through,
    calling forth the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord—with the first of them
    and with the last—I am he.
(Isaiah 41:4, NIV)

Also Jesus has always been alive and well. He pre-existed before being incarnated into the world. And he is alive and active in our lives right now and forever more.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8, NIV)

The fact that God is the same yesterday and today and forever gives us security. Everything might change in our world and life but the most important thing – God – does not change. He is an eternally changeless God. Hallelujah!

God is not demanding or difficult either. He loves us. He invites us to be his children. Like Charles Spurgeon has said “Nothing binds me to my Lord like a strong belief in His changeless love.”

How blessed we are to have a God who is steadfast in his love. Our eternally changeless God is as powerful today as he was at the beginning. And he keeps all his promises; he does not change his mind about salvation. God is consistent in all he does. Hence we can stake our lives on him without doubts. Our God is an eternally changeless God. Hallelujah!

Gracious God,
We thank you and we praise you!
You’ve thought about everything,
you’ve arranged everything for us.
Thank you for your changeless love and grace.
Thank you for being an eternally changeless God.
Without you we’d be eternally lost.
We thank you and we praise you,
now and forever.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How does God being an eternally changeless God make you feel?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace the eternally changeless God!

Image courtesy of Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Small Wonders, and#InspireMeMonday.

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August 26, 2016
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
8 Comments

Are You God-Loyal? Always and Forever?

God-loyalHow do you rate loyalty? How important being loyal and faithful is to you? They are extremely important to me. I think any relationship needs loyalty and faithfulness, otherwise there’s no trust and intimacy. This also applies to our relationship with God, don’t you think? Not just from God’s side – for he is forever loyal and faithful – but also from our side.

Are you God-loyal? Always and forever?

Martin Luther has said “Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved.” We might say we are loyal. But only when the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved. Only when things get rough, our loyalty is tested.

Are you God-loyal? Always and forever?

Blessedly, when we ask these question, the Holy Spirit is right there alongside with us. He will show us the truth and he will lead us to repent and ask: Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10, NLT,*)

 

Gracious God,
I want to be always loyal to you.
Help me to do so.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Show me what it means to be God-loyal,
always and forever.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Are you God-loyal? Always and forever? How do you know?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace God and his ways always and forever!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Image courtesy of Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Dance with Jesus, Faith-filled Fridays, Five Minute Friday.

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August 24, 2016
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
0 comments

Complete in Christ

Complete in ChristJust a quick reminder for all of us that we don’t need a telescope or a microscope or read horoscopes to find God or realize the hollowness of life without him. We are nothing without God. Our lives are just a big, ugly, shallow show without him. Blessedly, God sent his only son to make us complete in Christ.

Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything. (Col. 2:9-10, MSG)

Everything of God is expressed in Jesus. And when we come to Jesus, that fullness comes together for us, too. Read that again. Mind-blowing, isn’t it? When we abide in Jesus, we are made complete in Christ. Isn’t that what we all want?

Wholeness, anyone? Come to Jesus!
Completeness? Come to Christ!

The only way to wholeness is through our union with Christ. Because we can’t make ourselves whole or perfect or complete on our own. We can try and get stressed out in the process. We can read horoscopes and get lost in the spiritual wilderness. The bottom line is: we can’t make ourselves perfect, complete or whole. But the good news is: God can. He has already prepared everything for us. We just need to come to Jesus.

 

Gracious God,
You’re the best that has ever happened to us.
Thank you for being our God and creating us for your image.
Thank you for sending Jesus and preparing the way for us.
Make us whole and complete in Christ.
Make us what you want us to be.
In Jesus’ precious name,
Amen

Q4U: Have you tried to make yourself perfect? How did that work out for you? Are you being made complete in Christ now? How does that feel?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace Jesus & let God make you complete in Christ!

Image courtesy of Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up with Unite the Bloggersphere and#tellhisstory.

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August 22, 2016
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
4 Comments

Take Heart

take heartCheer up. Take heart. Be encouraged. Do not be afraid. Rest assured. These are the ways Jesus’ words for a paralyzed man have been translated. These words are also for you feeling paralyzed at this moment. Whatever it is that feels overwhelming is not a match to Jesus. So cheer up. Take heart. Be encouraged. Do not be afraid. Rest assured. God is your help.

Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven. (Matthew 9:2, NIV)

Take heart, my friend. When you’ve been made right with God, you are his child. He will take care of you. With the words of Richard C. Halverson “This is the stupendous fact for us today. Christ is not an idea which you are expected to try to emulate in your life. Christ is alive – contemporary – anxious to invade your lives with His dynamic presence, giving you Divine direction, power and wisdom in your daily affairs.”

Christ is alive indeed. Christ is eager to be our strength, power and wisdom. Not just in spiritual matters but in our daily affairs. Christ wants to invade our lives with his dynamic presence. Nothing better than that. Hence, cheer up. Take heart. Be encouraged. Do not be afraid. Rest assured. You are God’s child. He is on your side. His love will never fail.

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for being our Living God.
Thank you for caring for us
and sending us help according to our needs.
Thanks for wanting to be part of our daily affairs.
Come and invade our lives with your dynamic presence.
Be our strength, power, wisdom and our everything.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U:

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you

Image courtesy of Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Small Wonders, and#InspireMeMonday.

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August 19, 2016
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
8 Comments

Being a Part of God’s Team

Being a part of God's teamAre you on God’s team? Good for you. How does that affect your everyday life? How’s teamwork part of your life? Are you pulling for the team God? Are you doing your part as a team member? I hope so.

You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It’s exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain—his Spirit—where we all come to drink. I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it. (1 Cor. 12:12-18,*)

When you become a part of God’s team, you are not the one to call the shots anymore. You’re not an independent player anymore, you need to become a team player. It is a big chance. But it will bless you and every member of God’s team.

As you accept your part of God’s team, your part in the body of Christ, you will not only find your place in the world but also purpose and meaning because you’re finally doing and being who you were created to be.

As long as you think it does not matter how you live, you hurt the body of Christ. But you hurt yourself too. Only when you accept your place in God’s team, you find real happiness and contentment. Embrace Christ. Embrace the body of Christ. Embrace your part in it.

The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything. (1 Cor. 12: 25-27, MSG, emphasis added,*)

If you are on God’s team, you are an important part of the body of Christ. You have a certain role to play, the others are dependent on you to do your part. That’s why it is important to do your part and pull for the team God. Every part affects the functionality of the whole. It really does matter what you do or what you leave undone.

You can’t pull for the other teams anymore. You can’t pull for yourself anymore. You are a valued team member of the team God now. And when we function as one, we can achieve more than we could ever even just imagine on our own.

 

Gracious God,
Help us to accept our place in the body of Christ.
Help us to become team players for your team.
Help us to find and enjoy our place in your team plan.
Thank you for wanting only the best for each of us.
Let us feel your love and grace.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Are you on God’s team?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Image courtesy of Jessica Echezabal, design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Dance with Jesus, Faith-filled Fridays, Five Minute Friday.

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August 17, 2016
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
6 Comments

Grace Is Straightforward

Grace is straightforwardGrace is straightforward. It’s uncomplicated. It’s plain-sailing. Why then do we make it complicated? Difficult to understand? Demanding? Because grace is a sure thing for all who believe in Jesus. It is a gift from God for all who welcome Jesus.

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. (John 3:16, CEB)

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (Eph. 2:8, NLT)

So now there isn’t any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1, CEB)

If you believe in Jesus, you are saved by Jesus. Grace comes and cleanses your heart and gives you eternal life. Grace is straightforward, direct, uncomplicated. And oh so powerful. There’s no condemnation left for those who abide in Jesus.

With the words of Martin Luther “This grace of God is a very great, strong, mighty and active thing. It does not lie asleep in the soul. Grace hears, leads, drives, draws, changes, works all in man, and lets itself be distinctly felt and experienced. It is hidden, but its works are evident.” 

When we have been saved, made right with God by God’s grace, a new power is in operation within us. The Holy Spirit steps in and aids us in Christian living. God’s grace is not just pardon but power too. Grace is straightforward, bringing us always closer to God, redeeming, restoring, refreshing.

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for grace.
Thank you for the power of grace
but also for it being straightforward.
Pour out grace upon grace, Lord,
as much as we need every day and
plenty to pass on to others.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Do you think grace is starightforward? Or do you try to comlpicate it?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace God and his amazing grace every day of your life!

Image courtesy of Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up with Unite the Bloggersphere and#tellhisstory.

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August 15, 2016
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
8 Comments

Christ Is Our Power

Christ is our powerI’ve been a long time trying to convey people that we are nothing but egotistical maniacs without Christ. The ego monster within us will talk incessantly about me, mine, myself if Christ and his grace does not fill us. We need to die to ourselves daily to allow Christ take over and make us better. Christ is our power.

Such is the confidence and steadfast reliance and absolute trust that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficiently qualified in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency and qualifications come from God. (2.Cor.3:4-5, AMP, emphasis added)

Paul is expressing so elegantly to the Corinthians the same thing I’ve been trying to do. We are not sufficiently qualified in ourselves. We are not good enough, holy enough, anything enough without Christ.

But with Christ, we have everything we need: his righteousness, his holiness, his wisdom and power. With Christ we are ready to go anywhere, do anything God asks us to do. With Christ we are empowered to deal with anything and everything. Not because of us but because Christ is everything we need. Christ is our power.

For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13, AMP, emphasis added)

That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me. (Col.1:29, NLT, emphasis added)

Our sufficiency and qualifications come from God. And what a beautiful thing it is! Such is the confidence and steadfast reliance and absolute trust that we have through Christ toward God!

Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us(Eph.3:20, CEB, emphasis added)

 

Gracious God,
Thank you that your mission does not rely on us.
Thank you that we have in Christ everything we need.
Thank you that Christ is our power.
Thank you for supplying us with enough grace,
enough anything and everything we need to be and do for you.
Become our everything, Lord.
Fill us with you, your grace, and all the good things of yours.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Are you familiar with egotistical maniac within you? Do you agree that only Christ is our power?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you die to yourself daily and rise in Christ!

Image courtesy of Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Small Wonders, and#InspireMeMonday.

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August 12, 2016
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
0 comments

Raise Me Up, Lord!

Raise me up, Lord!Are you in need of a boost? Too worried of this or that? Or maybe just plain exhausted after trying everything and still nothing seems to work out? This post is a gentle reminder for you to rest in God’s arms and not to worry. If you are a child of God, all is well… even when it does not look like it. We might be at the end of our rope…but God’s possibilities are endless. Hang in there, friend. God is with you at this very minute.

Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
    look at the earth beneath;
the heavens will vanish like smoke,
    the earth will wear out like a garment
    and its inhabitants die like flies.
But my salvation will last forever,
    my righteousness will never fail.
(Isaiah 51:6, NIV,*)

The first step to peace is to lift up your eyes from your troubles and look at Jesus instead. That’s where your help comes from. Time after time. Rest in that knowledge. Surrender to Jesus and wait for good because he is good. Jesus is the bridge over troubled water.

When I am down, and, oh, my soul, so weary
When troubles come, and my heart burdened be
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come and sit awhile with me
Waiting for Jesus is the best thing you can do when you don’t know what to do. Miracles happen when we abide in Jesus. Take your time, sit awhile with Jesus. Wait until God’s love permeates every ounce of your being. Wait until God’s grace has lifted you up.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be
We are weak without Jesus. No matter what way we look at it. Without Jesus our options are limited. With Jesus we can do whatever God is calling us to do. We can stand on mountains and walk on stormy seas. Jesus raises us up to be more than we could ever be on our own.
There is no life, no life without its hunger
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly
But then you come, and I am filled with wonder
Sometimes I think I glimpse eternity
Life can be really tough. Ever at its best its imperfect. But when God is in the picture, all is well even when everything is imperfect. Because Jesus brings hope for the hopeless. Not just for this life but from here to eternity.

Gracious God,
I need you,
come and lift me up.
Let me feel your presence,
may your will be done in my life.
Surround me with your grace,
give me your peace.
Raise me up to be more I can be.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: What does lift you out of a funk?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Image courtesy of Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Dance with Jesus, Faith-filled Fridays, Five Minute Friday.

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August 10, 2016
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
0 comments

Do You Need Prayer?

Do you need prayer?How are you doing? Do you need prayer? You’ve come to the right place. Today I don’t want just to talk about prayer. I want to actually pray for you. We all need prayer whether we realise it or not. I am a firm believer in prayer. The power of prayer is much more than we can ever imagine. I have compiled a list of posts on prayer for you to check out and be inspired:

The Power Tool of Prayer

Sowing Generously, Praying Fervently

Prayer Renews Our Strength

The Business of Christian Is to Pray

Goodbye to Worries

Simplify Your Life with Prayer

But like I said, I don’t just want to talk about prayer, I want to actually pray for you. Because I know we all need prayer. I do pray for every one who comes to Flowing Faith today. You can also leave a specific prayer request either by commenting to this post or reaching me out via social media (Twitter or Facebook or G+). I am more than happy to pray for you. Because God listens. He wants to hear from us. Even the Bible tells us to pray, to turn to God in happy days and in tough days.

Cry out to me whenever you are in trouble;
    I will deliver you, then you will honor me.
(Psalm 50:15, CEB)

Nonetheless, the Lord is waiting to be merciful to you,
    and will rise up to show you compassion.
The Lord is a God of justice;
    happy are all who wait for him.
(Isaiah 30:18, CEB)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7, NIV)

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for the privilege of prayer.
Thank you for inviting us to communicate with you.
Because we need prayer and you so much.
You see our life situations,
you know what we need.
Help us, Lord!
Bless us according to your perfect plan for each of us.
Take care of our every need.
Guide us clearly, Lord.
Enable us to hear your voice and obey it.
Embrace all the visitors of Flowing Faith with your loving grace.
Hear their prayers, Lord.
Give them courage to tackle the issues they have in hand.
Pour out grace upon grace,
love upon love,
joy upon joy.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Do you need prayer? How can I pray for you today? What’s your prayer request?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you walk and talk with the Lord!

Photo courtesy of Nancy Andrea D, design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up with Unite the Bloggersphere and#tellhisstory.

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August 8, 2016
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
6 Comments

Back to Basics

Back to BasicsOnce in awhile it is wise to get back to basics, to remind ourselves what faith is all about. If our foundation of faith is not build on the rock, nothing really clicks. We need to get back to basics and get our foundation right. Then we can move on and build upon the solid foundation.

God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public—to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it’s now—this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness. (Romans 3:25-26, MSG)

Here’s the fact the world does not want to acknowledge: We are all sinners, we can’t make ourselves presentable to God. But God loved us so much that he sent his sinless son as the sacrifice for our sins. And having faith in him sets us in the clear. Nothing but Jesus ever can do that.

And this is not just ancient history. This is current history! God keeps setting things right every day. And even that is not all. God also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness. He empowers us with his grace to live the Jesus way. Amazing, isn’t it? It truly is. And so powerful.

….What we’ve learned is this: God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade. (Romans 3:27-28, MSG)

Salvation is God’s work from start to finish. God initiates, we respond with a yes or a no. When you respond with a resounding yes to God, nothing will ever be the same. You will be a new creation, your life will bloom like never before. Because God knows what he is doing, we don’t even if we pretend we do.

Put God’s wild and powerful grace in action in your life right now. Nothing but Jesus can save you and help you to endure whatever you’re going through. Nothing but Jesus. But Jesus is alive and hard at work behind the scenes. Give him freedom to do whatever he wants in your life and be positively surprised.

It really is time to get back to basics, folks. Don’t run with the in ground, don’t seek glitz and glamour. Instead seek Christ and him crucified. You will be called to love, serve and work for Christ. And there’s nothing better in this life. Even when you will experience hardships and challenges after challenges. Because you will be abundantly blessed. And satisfied with a meaningful and purpose-filled life.

 

Gracious God,
Thanks for providing everything I need to be made right with you.
Thanks for calling mw back to basics;
back to my need for you.
Empower and enable me to surrender to your plan and guidance for my life.
Lord, you know best.
Set the pace of my life,
lead me wherever you want me to go.
I don’t want an easy life
but meaningful one with you.
May thy will be done in and through my life.
In Jesus’ precious name,
Amen

Q4U: What back to basics in faith means to you!

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace what God is doing in your life! Follow Him wherever he leads you!

Image courtesy of Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Small Wonders, and#InspireMeMonday.

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