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Abide in Me
by Janie Buck
Topic: Journal
Date: 06.29.2009
The Apostle John recorded much of what Jesus taught them the night before He was crucified. In chapter 15 he wrote what Jesus said about Christian living. Jesus likened our relationship to Himself to a vine and believers as branches on the vine. Living in a part of the country where there are few grape vines I think of Jesus' illustration of our relationship to Himself as a branch on a peach tree and myself as a twig. Every spring the peach trees have to be pruned so they will produce bigger and better peaches.

Daily in the Christian's life we need to be "pruned." That is we need to confess our sins to our Father and rely on the fact that Christ Jesus died for all our sins. When we confess them our Father forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Then we can pray and know our prayers are heard in heaven - not because we have been good and do the things we should, but the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin.

After confession we may ask our Father to fill us with the Holy Spirit. He came to earth after Jesus went back to heaven and makes the presence of Jesus real to us.

Read chapter 15 of John for Jesus said, "These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."
Why Its Easy to Pray
by Janie Buck
Topic: Journal
Date: 03.09.2009
Prayer is easy for us because of what it cost God to enable us to pray. We should never forget the agony our precious Lord Jesus when through when He suffered what we deserve. "The wages of sin is death," and all have sinned.

I was amazed as a new mother to see that I didn't have to teach my children how to tell lies or other naughty behavior. The switch did wonders for little legs. Proverbs says if we don't correct our children they will end up in hell because they were not taught to do the right thing.

Father God certainly corrects us when we stray and it is always for our good. "It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with with us as sons for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons." (Heb. 12:7)

"But if we judge ourselves right, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world." So, when life is a mess and nothing we do makes it right, stop and ask the Lord what you are doing wrong. He loves us to much to allow us to go our own way. And "He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse s from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9)

Of course "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us." Wow! That is scary.

How often do we need to confess our sins? As soon as we are aware we have "done it again!" Don't wait until you have time to pray a lengthy prayer. Do it immediately and experience the continual presence of the Lord Jesus.
Freedom In Christ
by Janie Buck
Topic: Journal
Date: 07.03.2008
When be become a Christian we are changed. How so? The Bible teaches that people are under the control of Satan until they know that Jesus is the only way to Father God. So when we open our heart to the Lord Jesus and ask Him to come into our life, we are joined to Him. We are then One-one. Two persons living in one body. We don't becme Him and He doesn't become us. We can ignore Him and go about our life as if He was still in heaven, or we can submit to His Lordship and live in harmony with Him.



There is one way to grow in faith and that is by reading the Bible and prayer. The Bible is God's Word. It is holy because holy men of old wrote it as they were led by the Lord Himself. We can trust every word in it and order our life by what we learn. It is real "soul food." And it is as necessary to our spiritual life as physical food is to our body. If we neglect it we will be weak spiritually. And when temptation comes we will give in and even do things we know are wrong.



Jesus is our Master and everyday we need to submit ourself to Him. He has set us free from sin and Satan and enabled us to be "obedient from the heart to that form of teaching which we are committed. He has freeded us from sin and we have become slaves to righteousness." (Romans 6:17-18)



And glory, glory! "If the Son sets you free you are free indeed." And He has! Lord, work in me so I will not get entanged in sin because sin has no claim on me since Jesus has set me free. I am free indeed! Thank you for giving me a compelling desire to know and obey God's Word." (I Peter 2:2)
Who Are We as Christians
by Janie Buck
Topic: Journal
Date: 06.10.2008
Years ago a dear old missionary came to visit us. This gave me a chance to ask him questions about my Christian life. "Is it really true that jesus lives in me since I asked Him to come into my heart?"

"Absolutely! And He will never leave you. That is His promise to all who receive Him as Savior and Lord,"

he said.

This was gerat news to me. I began to recognize the presence of the Lord and rejoice that He was not just with me but in my heart. Ever since I learned this glorious truth I renew my relationship with Hi daily. I may pray something like this: "Good morning, Lord Jesus. I'm glad to greet you this morning as I awake in the new day that you have made. I yield my life to your control and depend upon your guidance. Warn me of the pot-holds that may trip me and give grace so I will not fall to temptation..."

In the O.T. there is a warning about a man who defiled the sanctuary of the Lord. That temple of the Lord was destroyed and never rebuilt. Since Jesus came and died for our sins, we Christians are the Lord's temple. We keep His temple clean by daily confessing our sins as soon as we are aware that we have done wrong. Don't allow the little sins of others against us to stay in our heart.

Temptations to moral impurity assails us from every angle and source. We must keep a guard on our eyes and not even look at impure things. That is, be careful what we watch on TV, movies or print media. Temporary satisfaction has consequences.

Memorize Psalm 19:14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Prayer: Lord, I need help. All around me there are temptations that lure me into sinful practices. help me recognize what is happening before I fail. And please give grace that I will turn to You for help because You are always with me. In fact You and I live in the same body!
Don't forget to give thanks
by Janie Buck
Topic: Journal
Date: 01.29.2008
Do you record the Lord's answers to your prayers in a journal? It is a good practice because we tend to forget and think good things just happened. So we forget to thank Him! I admit that I am guilty, so I am "preaching" to myself. And since most of us are alike, I want to encourage you.

Scripture tells us not to forget to thank the Lord for answering our prayers. It is an important part of our prayer life.

One way to help our "rememberer" is to keep a journal. When I read over some of my old ones I can see how He has led me and my family. And another benefit is that I have learned that "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."

Don't give up when hard things come alone. Lean upon the Lord. He will never fail you or forsake you.
Doubts & Faith
by Janie Buck
Topic: Journal
Date: 06.07.2007
Are you a Christian who sometimes doubts your sins are forgiven? Well join the crowd. Separation from God is a reality before we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The only way to the Father and heaven is faith in what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross, was buried and arose three days later.

When you believe Jesus died for your sins and invited Him to come into your heart something wonderful happened. Jesus actually came into your heart, and He will never leave you alone again. Your sins are forgiven and you will go to heaven when you die. This is the new birth, and is known as being “born again.”

Also the Holy Spirit came into your heart and you become a new person. You are literally a brand new person. You and the Lord Jesus live in your body. This new you is interested in the Bible and desires to learn about the Lord. You begin to think differently. Your relationship to God is also different. He is your Father and one day He will call you to His home - heaven.

The Lord will never leave you, but if you allow un-confessed sins to stay in your heart doubt will take over. As long as we live here on earth old habits of sin may creep back into our life. Remember to confess your sins and rest in the assurance that the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sins.

When the Lord reveals that you have done wrong it is never to condemn. He is very gentle when He points out that our “bad habits” are really sin. His kindness gives us courage to ask forgiveness. He does two things: forgives and washes us clean. Do I hear a "thank you, Lord"?
Growing as a Christian
by Janie Buck
Topic: Journal
Date: 06.07.2007
The way we thought and acted before we became a Christian is like "grave clothes." We want to put off the habits of our B.C. days. Our attitude toward our old way of life will change as we read and study the Bible. It is God's word and spiritual food that sustains us. The Bible reveals who God is and what He has done for us.

A friend who became a Christian called me one day and said, "I am such a sinner! What should I do?" I explained that is the normal reaction new Christians have because the Holy God has come into their life. I told her to read I John 1:9. It says that is we confess our sins God will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

"Blessed is the one whose transgressions is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit." (The rest of Psalm 32 describes more of the sweet relief when we confess our sins. Read it and be blessed.)

The old feelings of separation from God may creep back into your life. You know your weakness and failure to be a "good" Chrisitan. The harder you try to change your self the more you fail. We are changed and grow by feeding upon the Word of God, the Bible. Believing it make us strong in faith. This is why we need serious time reading it. The Bible is "soul food" that nourishes and strengthens us so we can put off the old sins that trip us up.

Decided today that you will start reading the Bible. The New Testament is the best place to start, then read Psalms and Proverbs. When you go through these sections you will want ot know more about the first books in the Bible.
How does faith start
by Janie Buck
Topic: Journal
Date: 12.29.2006
Have you ever wondered why some people have so much faith? They keep moving through life with a secret source of strength that is puzzling. And how did they get so much faith that they see the answers to their prayers?

It is really rather simple. They read a book. Not any old book but the Bible. In it they learned about God’s love and Jesus the only Savior. You can know Him too for He said, “Come to me... and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

First we must come to Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. Believe that He died on the cross (it wasn’t for anything He had done) but for all who will put their trust in Him as their Savior. The Father accepts what Jesus did in our place and forgives us.

Also we need to come to Him daily asking forgiveness for sins. Then grow in faith and knowledge of Him by reading and studying the Bible.

Jesus is the Author (He wrote the book) and Finisher (He works at the project until it is complete) of our faith. (Heb. 12:2) That is encouraging because we are not alone trying to muster up faith. Stop and think about Him giving us faith and helping us grow in trusting God.

There is one thing we need to do, and that is “...fixing our eyes on Jesus” and trust Him to keep us going.

He is the One who helps. He is the Creator, originator, instigator, founder, initiator, and source of our faith. These words help us see Him as the Person who encourages. He helps us make it through daily life as we pray about everything

Verse to Memorize:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I accept your invitation. I come to you and ask you to forgive my sins. Come into my heart and guide me in the why I should go.

I also pray that what I learn in the Bible will be activated by the Holy Spirit.

Thank you for hearing my prayer. I praise you, my Savior.
Prayer
by Janie Buck
Topic: Journal
Date: 11.15.2006

    Father, of the Lord Jesus Christ, help me to come to you with deep reverence because you are holy and beyond the grasp of my understanding. But you are not beyond my love and  neither am I beyond your love.
    Thank you for loving me, even me, and delivering me from the penalty and power of my sins through faith in your Son, my Savior.
     Thank  you, Father, that Jesus became a man and lived here on earth and died for me. He knows and understands what its like. Praise and thanks for giving Him to us to atone for our sins so you could accept us and make us clean in your sight.
    I am never so much mine as when I am completly yours, or so much lost to myself until lost in Jesus, ’then I find my true person hood.
    Let Jesus’ love warm my heart so I can love you , Father, as I ought to love. And give grace that I will love the people who are in my life. Cause Christ’s love to fill me so I can love others with unconditional love.
    Please let Jesus’ love lighten my burden and be my heaven, even while still here on earth. May His love be revealed to me. Influence my love to Him so it will be fervent. Let the tide of His everlasting love cover the rocks of my sin and cares so that my spirit will float above these things which could wreck my life.
    Make me fruitful by living in Jesus’ love so my character will reflect Him and the world will see you.
    O Lord Jesus, fill me with Thyself,
    O Holy Spirit, rest upon me.
    O Holy Father, look on me in mercy for the sake of the Well-Beloved.  
Loving Others
by Janie Buck
Topic: Journal
Date: 11.15.2006

How do we put up with people who aggravate us? I’m glad you asked! Paul wrote instructions on getting along with others: “I therefore, a prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all gentleness and humility, with patience bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3

And in another place he wrote these instructions: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all these also put on love, which binds everything together is perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12,13

Remember how much the Lord has forgiven us for then you will not have trouble following Paul’s advice.

Sets of Threes in Scripture
by Janie Buck
Topic: Journal
Date: 10.16.2006
I have oberved the many sets of three instructions that are in the Bible. Our Lord is three person yet One, so this is not an accident. Example: Faith, hope and love are three things that last forever as I wrote yesterday. Faith and love spring from hope.
     The Lord tells Jerimiah,"I know the plans I have for you,"  declares the Lord, "plans to (1)prosper you and not (2)harm you, plans  to(3) give you a future and a hope. Then you will (1) come and call upon me and come and (2)pray to me, and (3) I will listen to you. (1) You will seek me and (2) find me when you seek me with all your heart, (3) I will be found by you," declares the Lord.
    Our response to this invitation is to love the Lord with all our heart. He will be the center of our life and give us peace and purpose in this life and heaven in the next. 


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