Open the Eyes of Your Heart

by Latricia C. Bailey

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.”

Ephesians 1:18 NIV

Have you ever just closed your eyes and meditated? With all the hustle and bustle of the activities of the day, it can be difficult to just silence the noises around us. There’s a saying that the eyes are the windows to your soul. The soul is where your mind, will, and emotions are. Our thoughts and our decisions and feelings dictate what we do in life. For the unsaved person, there is no real direction or purpose to fulfill. For the saved person who has decided to commit his or her soul to the Lord, there is a hope and purpose predetermined by God already. Sometimes we look to others to explain the mysteries of life and reasons why we are here. The book of Ephesians explains and encourages us as believers to understand that we have an inheritance from the Lord and are entitled to wealth and riches in heaven.

You may be wondering how to have access to this inheritance. Continue reading

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Your Grass is Greener

by Sharman J. Monroe

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.

Galatians 6:4 (NLT)

No two people are exactly alike; not even twins. God gave each of us different gifts, talents and skills to use for His glory during our time here on earth. Some of us are gifted to be pastors or teachers, others singers, songwriters, painters, or writers. Still others are gifted to be administrators, leaders, speakers, organizers, givers, problem-solvers, or math and computer whizzes just to name a few. And in those gifts we excel. We are melodious, creative, quick; we are at ease. That is how it should be. A gift you have doesn’t devalue or diminish another person. God values us all equally and wants us to do the same.

However, we live in a world where comparison and competition are the norm and expected. It happens among siblings and in marriages. Comparisons and competition cause envy, jealousy, anger, hatred. They cause us to waste our time Continue reading

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Keep Going

by Tammy Phillips

“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”

Galatians 1:10 (NLT)

A husband and wife told me that they were notorious for ruining family gatherings because they took turns falling out in the floor drunk. But once they had an encounter with Jesus, they slowly but surely stopped drinking. However, some family and friends, for years, expected this couple’s past behavior to continue. The couple had to continuously walk straight and at times, speak up for themselves. They were no longer the people they had been.

Paul would have understood their dilemma. He was a New Testament mass murderer, zealously pursuing Jesus’ disciples. But he met Jesus on the Damascus Road, experienced intense discipleship and moved on in the ministry God had prepared before he was born (vs. 15).   He was aware that his reputation was before him. But in verses 23-24, Paul stated, Continue reading

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Give Freely

by Chris Allen

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.

Luke 23:34 (ESV)

He who never needed it gave it freely. Why won’t you?

When you hear this utterance from the mouth of Jesus, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do,” our natural minds immediately say, “There is no way I would forgive them, while they’re hanging me on a cross.” The people knew exactly what they were doing, or yet, they should’ve known; they knew the scriptures. The scriptures foretold of the Messiah — the Messiah they had been earnestly praying for, waiting and anticipating for years while under cruel Roman rule. How could Jesus make this decision, how could He extend this kind of compassion when the people had absolutely no compassion for Him? They knew He was innocent, yet they were screaming, and advocating for His demise. The One who never needed forgiveness was willing to give it freely to those who didn’t deserve it.  How could He make this decision Continue reading

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