Generosity

Lesedauer 2 Minuten

This Bible verse brought back to my mind how good and generous our God is.

Everything I have, everything I am is given to me by God, it is not self evident and not my own merit.

Everything I see, the creation, the diversity in nature with its colors and shapes, sun-moon and stars, the animal world – everything is made wonderful and unique by God and I can live surrounded by this beauty.

Everything I smell, taste, feel testifies the generosity of God. I enjoy so many different smells, the food is also enjoyable with the many different flavors that I can taste with my tongue. God is a generous giver and he loves to give gifts to his children.

One day the bill will certainly be presented to us (poem by Lothar Zanetti)

for the sunshine
 and the rustling of the leaves,
 the gentle lily of the valley
 and the dark fir trees,
 for the snow and the wind,
 bird flight and grass
 and the butterflies,
 for the air we
 have breathed, and that
 Look at the stars
 and for all the days
 the evenings and the nights.
 
 Once it is time
 that we leave and
 pay;
 Please enter the bill.
 
 But we have it
 made without the host:
 I invited you
 he says and laughs,
 as far as the earth reaches:
 It was my pleasure!


It is God’s nature to give. He provides me with everything I need from his abundance. He is my provider. He knows my needs. God gives and gives without expectations, unconditionally.

“Because he lets his sun rise over evil and good and rains over the just and the unjust” Matthew 5.45

He ensures that we can all live. God gives voluntarily because he is good. He is love in person. He is merciful, patient, and kind.

Jesus came to earth and revealed the generosity of the Father.

But I came to give them life in full” John 10:10

He spent his time with sinners and people on the margins of society and was ready to forgive them their sins. He was an encourager and always had uplifting words for people by talking about the Kingdom of God. He cared for the people, turned water into wine, saturated 5000 people with 5 breads and 2 fish and he healed people from their illnesses and ailments. In the end he was ready to give his life for us so that we could have eternal life with the father.

 “Because God loved the world so much that he gave his only son so that everyone who believes in him is not lost, but has eternal life” John 3:16

When I think of what God has already done for me, everything that He has done and worked in my life, my heart is filled with gratitude and joy,

“Praise the LORD my soul and do not forget what he has done you good” Psalm 103: 2

and I want to learn from God to be generous myself:

to be generous with my time: to give away time to my friends
To be generous in my words: encourage others
To be generous in material matters: To give someone a gift, to help when someone is in financial need to donate part of my money.
to be generous with joy and gratitude

“So everyone should decide for himself how much he wants to give, voluntarily and not out of a sense of duty. Because God loves him who gives happily” 2 Corinthians 9: 7

Overcome doubts

Lesedauer 3 Minuten

Today I want to share my thoughts on the annual slogan with you.

“I believe – help my unbelief” Mark 9.24

This passage from the Gospel of Mark deals with a father who takes his seriously ill son to the disciples of Jesus to be healed. When these could not help him, he met Jesus. With his disappointment, he was faced with the decision of trusting Jesus and believing that healing was possible. He was torn and doubts and uncertainty overwhelmed him. He was a believer, knew Jesus and had seen and seen many miracles that Jesus had done. Still, thoughts of unbelief came over him. In desperation, he cried out to Jesus: “I believe help my unbelief”.

Faith and doubt are close together. I think we all know situations like this. Challenges, crises, sudden fate, illness or unheard-of prayers can raise questions and doubts. When in doubt, Satan wants to keep us from believing.

I think to doubt is human, but I shouldn’t remain in doubt and protect and preserve my heart from thoughts of unbelief and not let my belief be robbed. The father with his sick child did not let doubt win, he fought against him. “Help my unbelief.” He brought his doubts to Jesus and asked him for help. I cannot overcome doubts alone, I need God’s help and grace.

From the annual slogan I can read the following: Faith is a decision and a gift at the same time. I cannot produce faith myself, faith is given to me by God. Faith is a power given by God.

“Because God is so gracious, He saved you by faith. And that is not your own merit; it is a gift from God. ”Ephesians 2: 8-9

But to accept this gift and let myself be taken by faith is my decision. God first loved me and worked in my life and when I open my heart to it, recognize and accept his love, faith arises.

How can I strengthen my faith even in difficult situations, grow in faith?

    Prayer: I can come to God in prayer and ask him to take the doubt away and to believe me. I can look at him in prayer.

“The God of Hope but fill you with all joy and peace in the belief that you will become ever richer in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit”

    Let go and give away: Jesus says we should come to him with all our burdens and bring them to the cross. Doubts, worries or fears are also burdens that Jesus carried for you and me.
    Gratitude and praise: I can remember what God has done in my life and what miracles He has already done.

“Praise the LORD my soul, and do not forget what he has done you good” Psalm 103: 2

Praise directs my gaze away from doubt towards Jesus.

    Reading the Bible: The Word of God is a powerful weapon against doubt. I can read in it how great and almighty God is, for him nothing is impossible. I can make God’s promises against my thoughts of unbelief.

“Because the Word of God is alive and strong and sharper than any double-edged sword and penetrates until it separates soul and spirit, also marrow and leg, and is a judge of the thoughts and senses of the heart. “Hebrews 4:12

    Worship: Preaching and interpreting the Word strengthens my faith.

“It remains: faith comes from hearing the message; and this is based on what Christ said “Romans 10:17

    Intercession: I can ask my brothers and sisters to pray for me and to believe for me where I have doubts. How valuable it is to have people at my side who encourage and pray for me.

With this armor I can resist doubt and defeat it successfully.

We don’t need a big belief, just a belief in a great God. (James Hudson Taylor)

“If you have faith like a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain: Get out of there!” And it will rise. And nothing will be impossible for you ”Matthew 17:20

“But the Lord said: If you have faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry fig tree: uproot yourself and plant yourself in the sea! And he would obey you ”Luke 17.6

Happy new year

Lesedauer < 1 Minute

I wish you all a blessed New Year filled with faith, hope and love. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your positive feedback, for reading, commenting and sharing the contributions.

“And he said to them:” Go all over the world and proclaim the good news to all people “Mark 16:15

Book tip Heavenly Home

Lesedauer 2 Minuten

God loves you. This is a frequently preached statement. But what does God’s love actually express? Driven by the inner necessity of not being able to perceive this love, the author embarked on an intensive examination of this topic. In the uncompromising reflection on the Word of God, he found words of eternal life that soon became the greatest possible gift. A gift of God’s love, which is meaningful not only after death, but already present. A gift that is too often not seen by believers today. In a Christianity embossed by prosperty with numerous wrong paths, the autor wants to put the gospel of the Kingdom of God in the center again. Not so that we won’t miss heaven in the future, but so that we can find real life today through the wonderful power of an incredible gift – a book for everyone who longs for God’s love!

Autor:

Andreas Mast, born in 1976, lives in Wildberg (Baden-Württemberg), believes in God, knows depression, works as a tutor, builds guitars and writes books. He studied math and theology for teaching and looks back on two decades of church volunteering. Experiences of his life path provide depth in his works, knowledge of his faith give perspective. The civil service once followed the Abitur, which in turn was attended a short Bible school. The studies in the direction of teaching for primary and secondary schools (mathematics / theology) remained unfinished. While writing and guitar making currently take up a lot of free time, in the past it was filled with volunteer work in the parish and, some time ago, the passion for playing football at the district league level. He started to play the guitar in his youth, then to teach after his studies in order to build his own instruments himself.

Blessed Christmas

Lesedauer < 1 Minute

Dear readers and friends

I wish everyone a merry, happy Christmas.

Jesus is born, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, for every person who accepts this gift in his heart for himself

I wish all of us that we can be amazed at the miracle of the birth of Jesus and that we give him room in our hearts, that we recognize the impact his coming has for the world and for us personally. May Jesus find a place in our heart to live in it and to enlighten us with his light

” I came into the world as light so that anyone who believes in me will not remain in darkness. “

I wish that we could be happy about the gift of his love, his grace, his peace. Joy should fill us up because God loves us so much.

“And the angel said to them: Do not be afraid! Behold, I proclaim to you great joy that will befall all people ” Luke 2,10

“Because a child was born to us, a son given to us, and the rule rests on his shoulder, and his name is called : Wonderful Counselor, Strong God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace”

I hope that our faith will become stronger and stronger and we grow in the knowledge of God’s love for us.

“Because God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten son so that everyone who believes in him would not lose goes, but has eternal life” John 3,16

Zitat von Angelus Silesius

Angelus Siselius „ And would Christ be born a thousand times Born in Bethlehem, and not in you: you were lost forever.

God does extraordinary things through ordinary people

Lesedauer 6 Minuten

Reading the Christmas story in the Bible, this year especially Mary, the mother of Jesus, moved me and I thought about her person and her role in God’s great plan.

What do we read about Mary in the Bible?

Maria was an ordinary young girl from Nazareth. She was a housewife and was engaged to the carpenter Josef. She had grown up in poor conditions. She had dreams and plans like many other girls of that age. One day the angel of the Lord appeared to her with a greeting and told her that she would get pregnant and give birth to a son to whom she should give the name Jesus. This Jesus will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High and his kingdom will never perish. We can imagine how scared Maria must have been. She was probably very scared. The angel said to her:

“Do not be afraid, because you have found grace in God.” Luke 1:30

Since Mary was still a virgin, she asked the angel how all this could happen. The angel answered

“The Holy Spirit will come on you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child you will give birth to will be holy and will be called the Son of God ”Luke 1,35

He told her about Elisabeth, who was pregnant in her old age and was now in the 6th month.

“Because with God nothing is impossible” Luke 1.37

When reading the story, I am particularly moved by Maria’s answer. She answered:

“I am the servant of the Lord and I bow to His will. May everything you said come true and happen to me. ”Luke 1:38

Mary was chosen by God, although she had nothing special to show, in the eyes of society at that time she certainly seemed unsuitable for carrying out an important task for God. She was young, poor and a woman.

What are the characteristics of Mary that have led God to implement His plan through her?

    Mary was a believer, knew and lived the Old Testament scriptures, and knew about the prophets’ predictions about the birth of Jesus.

“Therefore the LORD himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin is pregnant and will give birth to a son, whom she will call Immanuel. “Isaiah 7.14

When Jesus was born in the Bethlehem stable and the shepherds came to Mary and Joseph and told that they had received the message from the angel that this child was the promised Savior and Messiah, there was no doubt in Mary’s mind.

“But Maria kept all these things in her heart and often thought about them” Luke 2:19

    Maria trusted God
    Maria was willing to make herself available to God
    Maria had love for God
    Maria was obedient
    Maria had a yes to God’s plan for her life
    Maria was a servant of God
    Maria was full of sacrifice and devotion
    Maria was loyal
    Maria was fearful of God
    Maria was humble

Maria realized that God would do great things through her life, yet she was not proud or arrogant. Maria knew that this story was not about her, but something much bigger. She did not consider herself special, she had no special honorary position, she was aware that she too was a person who needed a Redeemer. Mary herself gives all honor, adoration, admiration, praise, worship to her God. This is expressed in her song of praise to God:

“My soul praises the greatness of the Lord / and my spirit rejoices over God my Savior. / Because he looked at the lowness of his maid. / Behold, from now on all genders blessedly praise me. / Because the mighty has done great things to me and his name is sacred. / He has compassion from gender to gender for all who fear him. / He performs powerful deeds with his arm: / He scatters who are arrogant in the heart; / he overthrows the mighty and heightens the low. / He gives gifts to the hungry and leaves the rich empty-handed. / He takes care of his servant Israel and thinks of his mercy / / which he has promised to our fathers, Abraham and his descendants forever. “Luke 1, 46-55

I can learn from Mary that God wants to use each of us and has a special task for everyone. Maria was a person like us, she heard God’s speech and acted accordingly. Your willingness was important to make God’s calling come true for your life. Besides her, God has called many ordinary people to make extraordinary things come true. Maria was important, but everyone is important to God.

“While he was still speaking, a woman in the crowd shouted:” Happy is your mother who gave birth to you and nourished your breasts! “But he replied:” Yes, but happy are all who hear an do the word of god “

“When he was still talking to the people, behold, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to talk to him. Then one said to him, Behold, your mother and your brothers stand outside and want to speak to you. But he answered and said to him who told him: Who is my mother and who are my brothers? And he stretched out his hand over his disciples and said: Behold, this is my mother and these are my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother. Matthew 12.46-50

What we can still learn from Mary is prayer. In the story of the wedding at Canaa. When the wine ran out, Mary turned to Jesus because she knew that he could help.

“Jesus replied to her: Woman, this is MY thing, not yours. MY hour has not yet come ”John 2: 4

Mary herself could not do miracles, it was God’s business, but Mary expected the miracle from Jesus:

“She speaks to the servants: What He tells you does” John 2: 5

For me, Mary is a role model in her faith, her humility, her devotion, her loyalty, her sacrifice, in her trust, in her obedience, in her love, in her willingness, in her humility, in her fear of God and in her yes to God. No more and no less. It shows me that God alone deserves all worship and honor for what he can do in us humans. That is why I do not worship her and for me she is not an intermediary or advocate with God. My mediator and advocate with the Father is only Jesus.

“Because there is a God and an intermediary between God and man, namely the man Christ Jesus” 1 Timothy 2: 5

We can ask ourselves today:

    Are we ready to listen to God’s speech, give ourselves to him, do we have a yes to HIS plan in our lives?
    Do we also believe that God can do great things in our lives?
    Are we ready to make ourselves available to God and to be obedient?
    Do we also believe and trust in God’s miracles?
    Is our heart also open to the love of God?
    Are we also humble to make sacrifices for God?
    Are we willing to serve faithfully?
    Are we ready to submit to God, to worship and praise Him for what He is and does?

God wants to use you and me to make His glory visible in the world.

Finally, a text by Peter Reid:

Every time I say, “Jesus, I can’t do that,” Jesus says, “I know, but I can.” Every time I say, “Jesus, I am not capable”, he says: “So what? I am capable. “And every time you say:” Jesus, it is not me “, then Jesus says:” Don’t worry! I am “. It doesn’t depend on you. It all comes down to Jesus! And the next time you think you have an excuse for why God can’t use you, think of the following people I’m listing now: Noah got drunk. Abraham was too old. Isaac was a day dreamer. Jakob was a liar. Lea was ugly. Josef was mistreated. Moses was a murderer – like David and Paul. Deborah was a female judge. Gideon was scared. Samson even had long hair. Rahab was a prostitute. David was too young – by the way, like Jeremiah and Timothy. David pretended to be insane – had an affair and ran away from his son; Elia was a suicide candidate. Jeremiah was depressed. Isaiah preached naked. Jonah ran away from God and Naomi was a widow. Job lost everything. John the Baptist ate grasshoppers. Peter was angry. Johannes was self righteous. The disciples slept while praying. Matthew was a thief. Simeon was fanatical. Martha took care of everything. Maria was lazy; Maria Magdalena was demon-obsessed. The boy with the fish and bread was unknown – until today. The Samaritan slept with several men. Zacchaeus was too small. Paul was alone. Markus gave up. Timothy had an ulcer and Lazarus was dead. What is your excuse? Please give me one more reason why God can’t use you? God wants and can use you! Certainly not because you are so great. But because he gave you a new life: And that is Christ in you. And from his strength you can learn to live.

Be at home

Lesedauer 2 Minuten

Anyone who grew up in a protected home knows the feeling of being at home. Home is a place where you feel comfortable, a place that conveys safety and protection. We have an emotional connection with the place where we grew up and later, where we found a family, to create our home. We also build relationships with people who live with us and in our environment. We feel at home where our loved ones are.

Getting home is nice. It’s nice to travel and see new places, but at the end of the holiday I can’t wait to go home.

I can experience these moments of “coming home” with God every day, regardless of where I am. I feel at home in his presence, safe and secure. It is always there as soon as I open my heart. My search ends, I have arrived near him, all mine are satisfied wishes. Knowing myself in her hand makes me calm and confident for all challenges. Only with him can I find unconditional love and acceptance. I can let go of all the weights and let myself fall into his hand. There is no other place I would prefer to be.

“How glorious your apartments are, Almighty Lord. I desire, yes, I ardently desire to enter the courtyards of the Lord, where I want to worship the living God with a happy heart. Even a bird finds a house there and the swallows build their nest and raise their young, near your altars, Almighty Lord, my God and King! How happy are those who are authorized to live in your home, they will praise you at all times. Happy are the people who find their strength in you and follow you with all your heart. As they cross the valley of tears it becomes a place of refreshing springs and the early rain covers them with blessings. So they continue to receive new strength and appear in Jerusalem before God. Lord, Almighty God, listen to my prayer and listen to me, God of Israel, God, have mercy on our King protector, have mercy on him that you have chosen, Lord, a day in your V orhöfen is better than the usual thousand! I’d rather be a porter in my god’s house than to live in the homes of the wicked. Because God, the Lord, is the sun and the protection for us. It gives us grace and honor. The Lord will not hold back any good from those who do what is right. Almighty Lord, happy is the person who trusts you. “Psalm 84

A living relationship with Jesus is the key for coming home. Its door is open to anyone who wants to enter. Jesus himself is the door of Heavenly Father.

“I’m just the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved, will go in and out and find pasture ”John 10: 9

Faith – a living relationship

Lesedauer 3 Minuten

For me, faith has nothing to do with following rules, religious traditions and duties, but with a relationship with God. I am not dealing with a god who is far away in heaven or whom I visit once a week in church. I have met him as a living God who lives in my heart and is with me in every situation, every day. A God who loves me unconditionally, who healed me and freed me from all feelings of guilt. It is my source of strength with which I can recharge my batteries, the living water that quenches my thirst and deepest longing, the bread that nourishes me. Every relationship needs care and nourishment to survive. So also the relationship with God. Every day I want to make a new decision to live in this relationship and to grow in it. The more I grow in my relationship with him, the better I get to know myself, because he is my creator. The deeper I immerse myself in his love and allow myself to be fulfilled by it, the more I grow in my relationships with my fellow human beings and can meet them with this love. I would like to share some points with you that help me cultivate and strengthen my faith.

Quiet time with God:

I take a certain amount of time a day when I can read and pray the Bible undisturbed. God speaks to me through his word and fills my thoughts with love and truth.

“For just as the rain and snow fall from the sky and do not return there, but rather moisten the earth and make it fertile and let it grow, that it sows seeds and eats bread, so the word that comes from my mouth should also be: It will not return to me empty, it will do what I want and it will succeed wherever I send it. Because you should move out in joy and be led in peace. “Isaiah 55:10

Prayer:

I speak to God every day. I praise, praise and thank him for everything he does for me. I can entrust everything to him: my wishes, my joy and also my worries and fears. I pray in my own words that I have on my mind. I don’t need a special language. If I don’t have the words, I pray for example the Psalms or the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer that the Lord has taught us.

And that is the trust we have in God: when we ask for something according to his will, he hears us. Philippians 4: 6-7

praise

Praise is a great way for me to come into the presence of God. Praise is more than just music. Praise is communication with God. I praise God for what He is and what He has done for us humans. So I can take my eyes off my everyday worries and look at the glory and greatness of God.

My lips and my soul, which you have redeemed, should be happy and sing praise to you. Psalm 63, 4-5

go to church

The church community is important to me to receive teaching, but mostly because of community and sharing faith with my brothers and sisters. The house groups, the Christian events and the women’s weekends are always very encouraging.

“Because where two or three are gathered in my name, I am among them.” Matt. 18:20

Gratitude:

To be thankful in every situation, to see the good even in difficult situations, helps me to keep the peace. There is always something I can be thankful for, even if everything does not go as I wish. What helps me is a prayer diary in which I write answers to prayers and experiences with God. I have had a large glass in the kitchen for two years now, whenever I experience moments that I am grateful for, I write them on a small piece of paper and put it in the glass. At the end of the year I can read how much beautiful I have experienced. I still remember many things that I would otherwise forget.

“Praise the LORD my soul, and what is in me, his holy name! Praise the LORD my soul and do not forget what he has done you good. “Psalm 103, 1-2

Serve

If I can help someone with the time I invest, it makes me happier. If I can get involved in the community, for example in the children’s services, I benefit myself and learn something new.

Giving is happier than taking. “(Acts 20:35)

What I still like to do is go for a walk with God. I enjoy the wonderful creation, come to rest and just talk to God.

What helps you to nurture your faith? I would appreciate comments with your experiences!

Blessed be