Be thankful and grateful today


For every blessing that you have. From the little patter of little toes and feet, to the food on your table…be thankful. Be grateful for all of the blessings which you have in your life every day. Because some may not be here next year and for some of us there may be one more to be thankful for. Life is full of blessings that we should be thankful for. Some of them have two legs and some have four. Some of them crawl or laugh and giggle all day. Some of them bark or meow when it is time for food and some just sit down and wait for the table to be fixed.

Every part of your life is a blessing so be thankful for it regardless of how bad or good your day may have been today. Be grateful for your Savior and to God for your life today and every day that you wake up because it is by their power and blessing that you live and breathe.

Give thanks to the Lord, always…


In Ephesians 5:20 Paul writes: “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

During this time of year when we give thanks for the blessings of God which we have received do we think about why God has given us those blessings? Do we think about all of our needs that have been met, at times without us even asking for them?

We go through some trying times and many of us actually blame God for those rather than thanking Him for the strength to get through them. Yet, we are supposed to give thanks to Him because it is a commandment…not a suggestion. God loves each of us and whether we realize it or not we should give Him the glory for all that He has given us. Although many of us look at what we have and we think that we are the ones who got this thing or that thing when it is really God Who has given us the ability and the knowledge needed to do our jobs and be able to provide for our family.

Being thankful for everything is not hard to do, but it is difficult to give thanks to the right One Who provided for us. We have grown up in a world that teaches independence and individuality so we look at what we have as our accomplishments and not as gifts from God. Living in the world as it is today we look around and see that the world is so focused upon what each person wants and their personal idea of the “truth” and what is right in their eyes until any idea of looking at the bigger picture is lost. To many people, it seems to make no sense. Why would they want to consider their actions having an impact on the lives of many people in the world?

If they aren’t hurting others with the way that they live then why should they care about someone in another country having air pollution problems or problems growing enough food? We have become so individualistic until we live selfish lives and look at the world around us and we just don’t care about anyone less fortunate than we are. 

Being thankful to God is actually the secret to a happy and productive life. So why can’t we live thankfully all the time rather than on just one holiday during the year? Paul wrote in Ephesians that we should be “thankful always” and that is why we seem to have trouble with this. Give thanks to God for your home and your family. Give thanks for your retirement or your job. Give thanks for your spouse and your children and your grandchildren and for their continued health. 

Thanksgiving is coming soon and we should truly give thanks to the One Who provides for us every day. Psalm 68:19 says: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation”. Every day each of us gets a fresh basket of benefits such as the air we breathe, the food we have to eat, and the clothes we wear so we should never pray or do anything without thanking God for everything. 

Consider this: why should God give you anything else if you don’t even thank Him for what He’s already given to you? We should be leaving out some of our complaints in our prayers and be adding in more thanks for those good things which we enjoy! Like having food on the table and a warm place to sleep and clean linens and clothes to wear. We take many of these things for granted but in other parts of the world, not very far from where we live, there are many who would love to have even the things which we throw away.

In the Old Testament book of Exodus, Moses had to put up with all of the Israelite’s complaints and their whining about all sorts of things…but they weren’t slaves anymore. Many of them even wished to go back to being slaves because they didn’t like the conditions of their freedom. Moses had to plead with God many times to redeem the people from His wrath or they would’ve been wiped out by the God Who had saved them. They weren’t thankful for the manna which fed them every day. They weren’t thankful for being set free for very long. 

We should be thankful for our freedom which was given to us through the suffering of Jesus on the cross. We are free from the burden of sin and it’s consequences if we have given our lives and our heart to Him. Yet, many times we begin our Christian life with Him and we are thankful for the burden being lifted and for a time we are very thankful. Then when temptation comes back and we slip or we feel that we are being wrongfully tempted we blame God for it. He didn’t tempt us but we want to blame someone and it is either Him or the Devil.

Be thankful for your life and all of the good things and the bad days that you have since many of our bad days would be welcomed by other believers who are in countries where they are persecuted much more harshly than we are.

He came for you…


He loves us as the Father loves us…completely and more deeply. Why did I write this in the present tense? Because Jesus is ALIVE and He still loves us just as God the Father loves us today! He didn’t die. At least, He didn’t stay dead. He was placed in a tomb but three days later He came out in the power of God and the proof of Who He truly was and is. Jesus came to bring salvation to everyone who is drawn to Him by the Father. To everyone who will hear and listen and believe in Him because He paid the price for your soul. The message which Jesus brought to the world is simply “repent and believe in Him” for your salvation.

All of creation testifies…


The majesty of God’s creation points the way to Him every day!

Everything in creation testifies of God’s glory and goodness every day. From the giant Sequoia trees to the smallest moss on the ground and the Blue whale in the ocean to the krill that it eats for food, God is glorified because of the diverse and wonderful differences that we can see in our world. When you look at the heavens through a telescope and see the Orion nebula or the Pleiades in all of their splendor, you are seeing the handiwork of our Creator. Why would God create all of these beautiful and diverse wonders for us to behold?

Because He is God and He enjoys creating and allowing us to enjoy His creation, not for vanity but because it brings wonder and awe into our lives and it makes us wonder about the Mind of God and why He would create all of this. Are there other worlds out there with life on them like us? Maybe but He didn’t give us that answer in His Word, He only tells us what we need to know. If you can’t accept that or you won’t accept it, then I’m sorry. God doesn’t owe you or me an explanation for how He does things.

He is God and there is no other like Him.

Give thanks always!


In Ephesians 5:20 Paul writes: “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

During this time of year when we give thanks for the blessings of God which we have received do we think about why God has given us those blessings? Do we think about all of our needs that have been met, at times without us even asking for them?

We go through some trying times and many of us actually blame God for those rather than thanking Him for the strength to get through them. Yet, we are supposed to give thanks to Him because it is a commandment…not a suggestion. God loves each of us and whether we realize it or not we should give Him the glory for all that He has given us. Although many of us look at what we have and we think that we are the ones who got this thing or that thing when it is really God Who has given us the ability and the knowledge needed to do our jobs and be able to provide for our family.

Being thankful for everything is not hard to do, but it is difficult to give thanks to the right One Who provided for us. We have grown up in a world that teaches independence and individuality so we look at what we have as our accomplishments and not as gifts from God. Living in the world as it is today we look around and see that the world is so focused upon what each person wants and their personal idea of the “truth” and what is right in their eyes until any idea of looking at the bigger picture is lost. To many people, it seems to make no sense. Why would they want to consider their actions having an impact on the lives of many people in the world?

If they aren’t hurting others with the way that they live then why should they care about someone in another country having air pollution problems or problems growing enough food? We have become so individualistic until we live selfish lives and look at the world around us and we just don’t care about anyone less fortunate than we are. 

Being thankful to God is actually the secret to a happy and productive life. So why can’t we live thankfully all the time rather than on just one holiday during the year? Paul wrote in Ephesians that we should be “thankful always” and that is why we seem to have trouble with this. Give thanks to God for your home and your family. Give thanks for your retirement or your job. Give thanks for your spouse and your grandchildren and for their continued health. 

Thanksgiving is coming soon and we should truly give thanks to the One Who provides for us every day. Psalm 68:19 says: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation”. Every day each of us gets a fresh basket of benefits such as the air we breathe, the food we have to eat, so we should never pray without thanking God. 

Consider this: why should God give you anything else if you don’t even thank Him for what He’s already given to you? We should be leaving out some of our complaints in our prayers and be adding in more thanks for those good things which we enjoy! Like having food on the table and a warm place to sleep and clean linens and clothes to wear. We take many of these things for granted but in other parts of the world, not very far from where we live, there are many who would love to have even the things which we throw away.

In the Old Testament book of Exodus, Moses had to put up with all of the Israelite’s complaints and their whining about all sorts of things…but they weren’t slaves anymore. Many of them even wished to go back to being slaves because they didn’t like the conditions of their freedom. Moses had to plead with God many times to redeem the people from His wrath or they would’ve been wiped out by the God Who had saved them. They weren’t thankful for the manna which fed them every day. They weren’t thankful for being set free for very long. 

We should be thankful for our freedom which was given to us through the suffering of Jesus on the cross. We are free from the burden of sin and it’s consequences if we have given our lives and our heart to Him. Yet, many times we begin our Christian life with Him and we are thankful for the burden being lifted and for a time we are very thankful. Then when temptation comes back and we slip or we feel that we are being wrongfully tempted we blame God for it. He didn’t tempt us but we want to blame someone and it is either Him or the Devil.

Be thankful for your life and all of the good things and the bad days that you have since many of our bad days would be welcomed by other believers who are in countries where they are persecuted much more harshly than we are.

This should be our motto for Thanksgiving each and every day.

God is able!


If you are wondering whether God will show up during your problem…don’t. He is already there. His strength and ability to take care of the problem is already available to you…just pray. God did not leave Noah, He didn’t leave Moses, and He never left David or Daniel and Jesus was never alone on that cross! Your disease or cancer or whatever it may be is not strong enough to give God any trouble at all. He created ALL things therefore He can cure and fix anything.

If your life has taken a turn toward a place that you don’t want to go, put your trust in the One Who can lead you toward the Light of God’s love because He is Love personified! In the form of Jesus the Son of God He did everything that He can do now and He is able to take your situation and turn it into a winning one for you and for His glory.

God said, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out for you blessing without measure….” Malachi 3:10 Put your faith in Him because He can do this! It is true that God was speaking of bringing a tithe into the storehouse of the Temple, but you could tithe your time or yourself as well and claim this promise of God. He can and will pour out blessings without measure but you have to place your faith in Him and in what He can do.

A prayer without faith to back it up and repentance in your life to show that you are serious will not work. God knows you and your heart and your motives better than you do so trying to “cut a deal” with God doesn’t work. You have to truly mean what you say and say what you mean!

Trust in Him to take care of you and He will because…our God is able!

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God is not done yet


We are useful to God in many ways and our life is a work in progress. He can use our talent in many ways if we will follow his ways. But, you have to work with Him. Learn from Him and from His Word because if you don’t, you won’t know His voice or His wisdom.

Not one of us is born into our life on Earth or our spiritual life with Jesus knowing how everything works. We have to grow and learn as children and when we accept Him as our Savior we have to grow in His Wisdom and through the knowledge which is given to us through His Word. It is a process just like going through grammar school and high school and college. We are not born knowing how to add or subtract and we won’t know how to handle the hardships of life as a new Christian if we don’t read and study the Bible.

It takes commitment and determination to learn about the wisdom found in the Bible. Most people who call themselves Christians today only read it when they are at church. There are very few people who read it daily. Even if they do they aren’t reading it in a prayerful, answer-seeking way. Some are just reading it because they are trying to read through it in a year so it’s more akin to a college assignment than a religious commitment.

God uses many ways to bring us to the point where He needs us to be spiritually. Sometimes, He uses illness or a setback in our business or our finances. Sometimes it may be a death in the family which brings us to Him so that we will seek His answers to life’s questions. You need to realize this: He is never really finished with your learning. You will be learning and growing for many years into eternity. Just because we are given a renewed and glorified body and mind when we get to Heaven, doesn’t mean that He dumps all of the knowledge that you will ever need into your brain.

We are never “done” with learning or with life, if you are a child of God and have accepted Jesus as your Savior. God doesn’t have favorites but He does want a relationship with each one of us if we will follow Him.

Amen

What is a life with Christ?


A life with Christ is not what most people think about when they think of Christians. Many people seem to think that being a Christian is a life of lack, one in which all of the fun things in this life are forbidden. God has given us a life of abundance but not one which we should live as the rest of the world around us lives. God calls us to be “in the world but not of the world“; Christians should live in this world but we are not to follow those living in the world. The world around us follows the ruler of this world, Satan, who deceives the whole world because that is his purpose. This is why we should keep our lives separate from those living in the world.

A life with Jesus the Christ is one which should mirror His life on Earth. We may not be called to be evangelists or healers or teachers or even preachers, but we are called to be “set apart” as His followers. If for no other reason than to be a beacon of light in a world of darkness. Sometimes our speech shows other that our progress in following Jesus still has a way to go and that is when people wonder about our conversion and whether it is real or not. God can come into your heart and change you so completely until your manner of life, your speech and your personality, is completely changed but you have to be willing to walk with Him to get to this point.

God doesn’t force us to change because love cannot be forced upon anyone. But the very idea that Jesus came to give His life so that you have a chance at being accepted by God into His family should humble you to the point of your asking Him to mold me and make me what You want me to be. Because it is only by becoming the person that God wants you to be and the person that He knows you can be so that you can be the most useful to Him. Why does He want us to be “holy or set apart” from the world around us? Because if our life isn’t much different from the world and those living in it, why would anyone be interested in becoming a Christian?

It is only because of the lives that are changed that people can even tell that there is a difference between a Christian and a Muslim or a Buddhist. If we walk and talk like they do or even like those who do not believe in any religion, then how will people know that we are different? Why would they want to know what makes us different? Yes, we can say and tell others that we believe in Jesus as our Savior but if our speech and our life doesn’t actually reflect that then how can they know? Will they actually believe that what you say about your Savior is true if you still talk and act as if you don’t know Him?

A life with Christ in it should be a life with love and compassion for others in it. It should also be a life with more of God’s Word in it than the words of the world around us. Seek His wisdom today to help you to see what may be missing in your life and ask Him to come in and clean out the old stuff and make your heart and life fresh and new and completely whole in Him.

Honor God daily


Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. (Ecclesiastes 5:2)

Luke 11: 2-4 2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

In Jesus’ model prayer in Luke, we are told to honor our Father in heaven, but do we? Are we really honoring God as Jesus tells us to do or are we just saying words which we have memorized? In Ecclesiastes, Solomon tells us that we should be careful of saying anything from our own mind when we come before God. Why is this? Because God is our Creator and our Provider and it is from His hand of grace and mercy that we live and breathe. While it is true that people haven’t dropped dead because of their words or their lack of respect for God, at least since the time of the apostles. We should honor God and Jesus with our words and our lives.

Think about Who it is that we are speaking of in this instance. We are talking about GOD and His Son, Jesus! The Creator of All that is or ever has been in the entire universe. We aren’t talking about Joe or Bob that we went to school with. Sometimes we give more respect and honor to our grandparents or military veterans than we give to God and that is wrong.

Do you realize that God gives you the air that you breathe and He keeps all of the physical processes going which allows you to think and eat and walk each and every day of your life? With a thought, He could end your life as it is. He could extinguish the Sun if He wished and we would truly see what an ice age would be like because the oceans would freeze solid. Our lives are only ours because God wants us to be here doing the things which we are doing! It isn’t because we are great and wonderful people or some magnificent accomplishments that we have done! He is the reason that we have the ability and the knowledge to be able to do what we do!

God loves us so much that Jesus had to come to Earth and die a horrible death in order to pay for our sins…all of our sins! He did this because He loves each one of us, not because He had to. Jesus could not even pray that “model prayer” because He didn’t have any sins to be forgiven of. It shows us how to pray because we are supposed to give praise to God first and honor Him before we ever say anything about our needs or our sins. Praying that prayer as a “prayer” is like repeating a formula or a recipe. It has all of the elements but it lacks the specifics for us.

I don’t mean that the model prayer is anything less than perfect, but if you pray it exactly the way that Jesus said to, then it is not specific to your needs. He said this is how you should pray, not what you should pray. It is the model of your prayers and mine. Give God His glory and His honor in the beginning of the prayer, repent of your sins and ask for His forgiveness and then seek His wisdom for what you are in need of, then thank God for His mercy and grace that you can bring your prayer to His throne. God already knows what we need, but like an Earthly father, He wants to hear His children come to Him and ask for their needs in humility and faith.