If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? – 1 John 3:17
If we truly desire a deep relationship with God and say we love Him with our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, our lives will line up with the requirements the Lord has placed in His Word for us to follow. In both the Old and New Testaments God commands us to show compassion to the poor and needy. Jesus said the poor will always be with us (Matthew 26:11; Mark 14:7), and those who show mercy on them are in effect ministering to Him personally (Matthew 25:35–40), and will be rewarded accordingly. It is imperative that we obey God’s Word to the fullest, and do unto others as though we are doing it as unto the Lord. Then we can honestly say that the love of God is in us.
Loving Father: Today I repent of my pride and selfishness toward sharing my material possessions with those in need. Forgive me and burn within me a desire to show compassion and love to the poor and sick. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
CREAMY CROCKPOT CHICKEN
1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ can water
1 (1-ounce) package Italian salad dressing mix
Place chicken in crock pot. Cut cream cheese into cubes and distribute evenly over chicken. In separate bowl mix soup, ½ can water, and Italian dressing mix until smooth. Pour over chicken. Cook on high 3 hours or until chicken totally done. Serve with rice or noodles.
If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But, if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. – 1 John 1:6-10
Each of these five sentences are conditional and contain the word if. This means that if we follow the requirements God has placed in His Word for us, we will reap the rewards. And if we do not follow them, we should not expect to receive unearned and undeserved payment. The Apostle John wants us to be cautious about our walk, and our talk, making sure they line up with each other. If we live in sin, we are choosing to remain in a state of darkness and have no fellowship with God. It is only the blood of Jesus that can purify us from our sin and rescue our souls from the consequences of hell. Each one of us is born with a life or death decision to make. If we choose to have fellowship with Christ by repenting of our sin and walking according to the Truth of God’s Word, fellowship with Jesus will be sweet and eternal. But, if we do not admit our sin to the Savior and ask for His pardon, our guilt is not forgiven and death and darkness will prevail over us. Jesus took on Himself the punishment for our sins; now we must choose to accept His atonement or pay our own penalty.
Father: Forgive me for my unrighteousness and sin. Cleanse me without and within. I choose to walk in sweet fellowship with You, now and forevermore. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
CUBE STEAK AND GRAVY (crock-pot)
2 pounds (approximately) cube steaks
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope onion soup mix
3/4 cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Place all ingredients in crock-pot. Cook on low 8 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes, noodles, or rice.
We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. – Hebrews 3:14
The book of Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians who were experiencing persecution and discouragement after becoming believers. Many were disheartened and ready to withdraw their belief in Christ and return to their Jewish faith. God warns us throughout the book of Hebrews about the dangers of falling away from our faith (verse 12). We are to heed to His warnings and not take them lightly. Falling away or severing our personal relationship with Christ happens when we fail to take the truths, exhortations, warnings, promises, and teachings of God’s Word with uttermost seriousness. The tolerance of sin is on the rise, not only in the world, but also in our hearts. We have become complacent about the realities of God’s holiness and righteousness. When this happens our hearts become hardened and soon we leave our first love. But, If we hold firmly till the end, Christ’s kingdom is ours to share.
Heavenly Father: Your love for me is overwhelming and I am blessed beyond measure. Help me to remain strong until the end so that my love for you is evident in all I do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
AMISH BROCCOLI-CAULIFLOWER SALAD
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ pound bacon, fried and crumbled
1 small onion, diced (optional)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
Combine broccoli and cauliflower in large bowl. In separate bowl combine mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, and salt; mix well. Pour over vegetables; mix and refrigerate. Stir in bacon and cheese just before serving.
If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. – 2 Timothy 2:11-13
The Apostle Paul was near death when he wrote his last letter to his dear friend Timothy. Imprisoned in Rome, Paul was being tortured the same as all other common criminals, for merely sharing his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Nearly all his friends had deserted him and the joy of serving his Lord was almost over. Timothy was enduring much of the same persecution for sharing his faith as Paul. So Paul encouraged him to not compromise the truth of God’s Word by guarding the gospel, preaching the Word, enduring hardships, and fulfilling his call. Just as Paul wanted this for Timothy, it is meant for us today. We are to endure hardship and serve God diligently, no matter the cost. If we do, we will forever live and reign with Him.
Heavenly Father: Thank you for sharing the life of Paul with us so we might be encouraged to press on through hardship and pain. Give me strength to endure the consequences I am faced with in my short time on earth, so I be found faithful, just as Paul and Timothy were. In Jesus Name, Amen.
EASY CHEESY POTATO SOUP (crockpot)
1 (30-ounce) bag frozen hash browns (with onion)
2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt or garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
3 cups milk
3 cups shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
In a crockpot, combine everything EXCEPT milk and cheese. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low heat. About 1 hour before serving, add milk and cheese. Keep heated until thoroughly melted. Optional: Serve sprinkled with bacon bits and chopped green onion.
But now he (God) has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. – Colossians 1:22-23a
Christ’s work of redemption on the cross is a spiritual masterpiece, none of which has any greater value or meaning. Without it we are alienated from God, bound in Satan’s chains, and guilty of committing evil in our minds and behavior. When we make the choice to believe and receive Christ into our hearts and lives, and repent and turn from our evil ways (sin), it is then we are forgiven and presented as holy and blameless in God’s sight. The Apostle Paul makes it clear in this passage that it is essential that we continue in our faith and obey what God has commanded us in His Word. If we do, we are promised reconciliation, redemption, and an eternal heavenly home.
Father: Thank you for providing a way for me to be forgiven and presented as holy in Your sight. This is possible only because of Christ and His blood that was shed on the cross. I choose to accept this free Gift by being obedient to Your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
RITZY CHICKEN CASSEROLE
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked & diced
8 ounces sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 sleeve Ritz crackers (about 1½ cups crushed)
1 stick butter, melted
Mix together chicken, sour cream, and soup. Spread in a greased baking dish; top with cheese. Mix butter with crackers and sprinkle over top. Cover with foil. Bale at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. – Galatians 3:29
Paul was writing to a group of Christians telling them they shouldn’t discriminate against each other within the church. He wanted them to know that though there used to be distinction between Jews as God’s chosen people, and Greeks who decided to serve the One True God, there is no longer to be any distinction between race, ethnicity, gender, or culture. If we belong to Christ and have accepted Him as our Savior, we are all the same. Christians are called to be ONE unified body under ONE HEAD. We all belong to one family through God, and He loves us all the same. Jesus Christ set us free by His redeeming blood and we are now considered heirs in the family of God.
Dear Lord: You are the One who has created us and yet we often deal unlovingly with each other, bringing shame on the Name above all names. Forgive us for our sin and bring us to the end of our prejudice so we may focus on You and Your glory in the bond of unity and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
PARMESAN GARLIC NOODLES
8 ounces spaghetti or linguine noodles
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light olive oil (canola oil okay)
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1-2 teaspoons dry or fresh parsley (optional)
Cook noodles according to package; drain. Put butter and oil in a pan over medium heat; add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, just until garlic tender. Pour over noodles. Add cheese, salt and pepper, and parsley.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! – 2 Corinthians 5:17
The word therefore refers us back to verses 14-16 where Paul tells us that all believers have died with Christ and no longer live for themselves. When we choose to follow Christ and become obedient to His will and ways, our lives are no longer worldly; they are now spiritual. Our death is that of the old sin nature which was nailed to the cross with Christ. It was buried with Him, and just as He was raised up by the Father, so are we raised up to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). Our new self hates the sin that once held us captive. No longer are we slaves to sin, as we formerly were (Romans 6:6-7); but we are new creations in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11-12).
Heavenly Father: Thank you for the new life You gave to me when I made the choice to serve You as my Savior and Lord. Where I once followed the desires of my flesh, I now follow after You. Help me to remain in willful obedience to You, all the days I am alive. Thank you! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
CAULIFLOWER “MAC” AND CHEESE (low carb)
½ teaspoon salt
1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
Vegetable oil spray
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Cook cauliflower in microwave or stove-top until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well; pat dry with paper towels. Put cauliflower in sprayed 8×8-inch baking dish. Bring cream to a simmer in small saucepan; mix in cream cheese until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, salt, pepper and garlic; mix until cheese melts. Pour over cauliflower and stir. Top with remaining ½ cup cheese. Bake at 375 degrees until browned and bubbly.