Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksliving

a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak. (Ecclesiastes 3:7 NIV)
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV)

Thanks Living
According to tradition, when the New England settlers met with many difficulties and hardships, they often fasted and prayed for long periods of time. They had invested their all, to come to a country of religious freedom. Their dependence upon God was very real.

The time of first harvest, such as it was, had come. Another fast was called. One of the farmers stood, and pointed out that God had seen them through so many trials, when things could have been much worse. He then, pointed out that they had achieved the very thing that that came for, religious freedom! He then suggested that a day of gratitude would be a far greater gift to God, than bombarding Him with more and more of their desires. Thanksgiving Day was then established.

How many times do we pour out our hearts to God, He answers, and we go merrily on our way? Do we ever spend the time in praise that we do in asking?

This Thanksgiving, let’s give our God and Savior, a full heart of praise. We may have had problems this past year, but we have been led through both the joys and valleys!

As we eat an abundance of food, this Thanksgiving Day, let’s let our praises rise!

Thanksgiving Day is not the turkey,
Nor the table laded with good food.
It’s the lifting of a thankful heart
To our God, who supplies all things good! Verna Mull

Our most precious Heavenly Father, You have supplied all of our needs, our requests, and much more than we have even asked. We have seen you touch friends and heal them, bringing others to receive Your salvation. We have seen You convict and change many lives, and yes, You have convicted me, and helped me to realize that I am absolutely nothing without You. Today, I praise you from the bottom of my heart for Who You are! You are the Author and Finisher of our faith. You are the Creator, Sustainer, and Satisfier of my soul. You are the Great I AM! You are the Beginning and the End, and more than we can even name. You are, THE NAME. Take my life and help me to show forth Your praise to all that I meet. Father, I simply want to Thank You! Amen. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Blessed Thanksgiving 2015



You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the 
hard pathways overflow with abundance.

Psalm 65:11 (NLT)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Reduced to Naught

and the things which the world regards as base, and those which it sets utterly at nought—things that have no existence—God has chosen in order to reduce to nothing things that do exist; (1 Corinthians 1:28 WNT)

Reduced to Naught
I have constantly been posting Christian inspiration images on the social media for some years, and have noticed that there has been an increase in people giving up their belief in God or His existence. On a number of occasions when I shared images about God is in control or God cares for us, for example, I would receive feedback from people commenting that God does not exist or that He does not care or answer prayers. I can understand how they feel because I have been there before. Where was God when we needed Him most? Why did He not meet our needs even when we have reached total deprivation, unable to provide for our loved ones or self?

To many people, it is foolishness to see us continuing to believe in God when things are not going well or when God is seemingly withholding His blessings from us during desperate times and need. The truth is, more often than not, it is during our weakest point that we realize we can do nothing by our own effort. Only then do we turn to God as our provider and understand His unmerited favor and grace on us, a humbling process that breaks down every of our confidence to reduce to nothing what the world considers important (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24 ESV)

Unless we give up our confidence in self, our own effort, the things of this world or the things we sowed, we cannot bear much fruit. If we wish to live the life God has intended for us or to follow His will, we need to let go our own self-confidence and put our complete trust in God. For we have need of endurance, so that when we have done the will of God, we may receive what was promised. Therefore, do not throw away our confidence in God, which has a great reward (Hebrews 10:35-36).

Dear Lord, help us to regain our confidence in You, for we have struggled and known what it is like to be totally helpless without You. In our despair, do not let us wander away or give up trusting You. Meet us at our weakest point when our confidence in self and the world is reduced to nothing, that we may through realizing Your unmerited favor return to You.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Chills and Hails

He sends the snow like white wool; he scatters frost upon the ground like ashes. He hurls the hail like stones. Who can stand against his freezing cold? (Psalm 147:16-17 NLT)

Chills and Hails
Not everyone likes the cold that comes with winter. But for some of us, it is the best time of the year to go up to the mountains for some fun sports and other activities. Others, however, prefer to stay in the comfort of the indoors. How we choose to enjoy our winter is of course entirely up to us.

For most of us, the season of chills and hails are not something we appreciate. Yet in Psalm 147, we are called to praise and glorify God who sends the snow, scatters frost upon the ground, and hurls hail stones amid freezing cold. The psalmist exemplifies such cold and harsh weather as a period of rebuilding. When it is over, at God’s command, the snow and the frost melt; He sends His winds, and the ice thaws (Psalm 147:16-18).

Are we facing a time of cold and harsh in our life? If we are, do not fret, because such a time is for building us up and is temporal. The time will come when the LORD will restore what we have lost and heal us from our wounds (Joel 2:25-26; Psalm 147:3). 

Dear Lord, we know in every season of our lives, there will always be lessons we can learn through the chills and hails. Help us recognize Your care in the midst of the cold and harsh in facing our storms so that we are able to continue to praise You. Heal and restore us from the years of our lost that we might once again rise up and not be ashamed.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Information versus Transformation

As the body without the Spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:26 NIV)

Information versus Transformation
A fiery (but not too wise) preacher was pelted with stones after he preached the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) to hungry slum dwellers, “… blessed are the poor … blessed are those who hunger and thirst …” It is for such that Paul agonized, "Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives," (Galatians 4:19).

Many people know the truth about Jesus Christ and agree with the teachings. They delight in the information they receive in a purely academic way. This is referred to as intellectual assent. Faith based on intellectual assent is not complete. It is only when you take this information and it becomes part and parcel of your life that you become a true believer. You commit to trust the Lord and apply the truth you have learned about Christ to transform your life. It is not enough to know and believe that vitamins are good for you; you have to actually take them for them to work in you. If you cannot help those it is within your power to help, then your faith is hollow. While deeds do not bestow salvation, they are a verification of our faith.

Do you have true faith or do you have faith that is merely intellectual?

True faith feels empathy and kindness. It is based on wisdom, a sign of mature faith. You cannon have true faith and continue to live the same worldly way. You are transformed to become “… pure; then peace loving, considerate, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” (James 3:13) Wangari Murathe

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