Saturday, November 30, 2013

Showers of Blessings

Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not his benefits.  Psalm 103:1-2

Hello dear friends.  I hope everyone had a pleasant Thanksgiving and took the time to thank God for the many blessings He has showered upon you.  I encourage you to take the time during this season to reflect on your blessings.  We often tend to focus on things in our lives that are lacking, but today take the time to truly reflect on the blessings your Savior and LORD has graciously blessed you with. 

It is easy for us to see the material blessings which the LORD has given us, but I encourage you to look at your spiritual blessings and offer up praise and thanksgiving to the giver of these many blessings.  God tells us in His Word that those who trust in Him are blessed.  When we trust in our LORD and the truth of His Word we are provided with strength to endure whatever comes our way.  When walk in a close, intimate relationship with our Savior and LORD we are blessed with the ability to persevere.  But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.  They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has not worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit – Jeremiah 17:7-8.

You and I have been blessed with hope.  This hope believes deep in our souls that we have an eternal home with our Heavenly Father awaiting us after our journey on this earth ends.  We have been blessed with God’s power.  This is not our power, but God’s incomparably great power which is available to help us.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.  That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come – Ephesians 1:18-21.  We have been blessed with God’s divine power to have everything we need to live a godly life.  We have no excuse why we shouldn’t continue to grow toward spiritual maturity and live a life which is pleasing to our Heavenly Father.  His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness – 2 Peter 1:3. 

You and I have been showered with God’s mercy and grace.  Joel 2:13 – Rend your heart and not your garments.  Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.  If you find yourself in this season of life not as close to God as you once were, turn back to Him.  He is waiting with open arms to bestow mercy and grace.  Because of God’s love for us, He has saved our souls.  He has demonstrated grace toward us when punishment was due.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved – Ephesians 2:4-5.

As we journey toward our Heavenly home, we will have many needs here upon this earth.  God is gracious and merciful to us when we approach His throne with our needs.  Come with reverence and confidence to the throne of grace.  Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  God provides us with grace when we are weak.  God’s grace is truly sufficient.  2 Corinthians 12:9 – My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  Friends don’t’ be ashamed of your areas of weakness but allow Christ’s power to rest on you. 

Our Heavenly Father showers us with courage and peace.  We all need courage and peace to live in these end times.  God blesses us with his presence.  He is with us always.  Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.  Knowing God is with us and will not leave us should give us courage and peace as we live our lives.  Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake.  Psalm 29:11 – The LORD gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.  If you are a child of God, he is offering you strength and peace.  Accept this strength and peace from your Father.  Accept all the spiritual gifts your Heavenly Father is offering you today.

Dear Heavenly Father…..Thank You for showering us with many blessings.  LORD help us to recognize these blessings and help us to remember to take the time to praise and thank You.  Forgive us for not recognizing the many blessings you have showered us with.  Father you are so gracious to us.  I praise You and thank You.  In Jesus Name I Pray…..Amen.




Saturday, November 23, 2013

An Attitude of Gratitude

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” (Alphonse Karr)

Hello friends.  Do you consider yourself to be someone who has a grateful heart?  How do you demonstrate this gratitude toward your Heavenly Father and to others?  It is refreshing to encounter people who exhibit an attitude of gratitude.  I desire to be someone that demonstrates a spirit of thanksgiving.  With the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are able to express an attitude of gratitude in all situations and circumstances we encounter on our journey towards our Heavenly home.  To be able to express gratitude in all situations and circumstances we must remember the truth of God’s Word – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose – Romans 8:28.

Friends, when you encounter difficult seasons you can thank God for His presence and praise Him for the good that will ultimately come from this difficulty.  Without help from the precious Holy Spirit, this will not be possible for us to do.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul was not teaching us to thank God for everything that happens, but in everything.  Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  Our thankful spirit should not fluctuate with the circumstances in our lives.  We must guard our hearts so that weeds of ingratitude are not allowed to take root. 

Choose to cultivate a thankful heart.  We must be intentional in choosing to be grateful.  Allow God’s Word to renew your mind, focus on God and the precious gifts he provides, and speak words that reflect God’s goodness and grace.  When you and I live our lives worshiping our Heavenly Father and giving thanks in all things, there is a glorious radiance which is evident in our lives that will please and bless our LORD and others.  

Ephesians 2:8 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.  Our LORD imparted grace to us when we deserved His judgment and wrath.  How can we not respond to our Savior and LORD with a grateful heart?  We must never take for granted the salvation of our souls. 

Nancy Leigh DeMoss states in the book Choosing Gratitude – “The beauty of Christian gratitude is that one little act of thanksgiving on our part-when directed toward or inspired by its rightful recipient-can bound and rebound from one end of the kingdom to the other, not only blessing God, not only benefiting us, but even lodging itself in places and in people where God’s love might never have been received any other way.”  I pray today that you will choose to allow your life to overflow with thankfulness.  So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as LORD, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.  Only with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will we be able to live a life with a grateful heart. 

When we enter into God’s throne room with our prayers and petitions and offer up thanksgiving, our Heavenly Father provides us with peace.  Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Choose to be grateful to your Savior and LORD today and allow your heart to be drawn to Him.  Believe that He is good, faithful, and He can be trusted. 

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You in prayer today thanking You for the blessings You have bestowed upon us.  Search our hearts Father and reveal to us areas that we need to allow You to change.  Father, change our hearts to be hearts filled with gratitude.  In Jesus Precious Name I Pray…..Amen.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

An Attitude of Ingratitude

“Thankless children we all are, more or less, comprehending but dimly the truth of God’s fathomless love for us.”
Elisabeth Elliot 

Hello dear friends.  I hope you are doing well.  Today I want us to think about an attitude of ingratitude.  None of us would freely admit to having a spirit of ingratitude, but if we are honest we will all confess that there have been times when we have behaved with an ungrateful spirit.  We have demonstrated an attitude of ingratitude.  We tend to find it easy to notice when others are being ungrateful, but we have become desensitized to when we are being ungrateful.  I encourage you to examine your heart and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal whether you have an attitude of ingratitude or whether you have an attitude of gratitude. 

It is very important that we guard our hearts so that an ungrateful, critical spirit does not take root.  We must be intentional in speaking words of appreciation to others and in thanking God for the blessings He has bestowed upon us.  Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it – Proverbs 5:23.  Jesus reveals to us in Luke 6:45 that our speech and actions demonstrate our true beliefs.  If we have an ungrateful attitude it will be demonstrated in our speech and our behavior.  Luke 6:45 – A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.  Ask yourself, is my heart filled with gratitude or ingratitude?  If the Holy Spirit reveals to you that you have an ungrateful spirit, ask your Heavenly Father to create in you a pure heart, a grateful heart.  Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit – Psalm 51:10.  Our Savior and LORD can do amazing things in our hearts and lives if we surrender to Him.  He is the potter and we are the clay.  Isaiah 64:8 – Yet you, LORD, are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the potter, we are all the work of you hand.  Allow God to mold you into someone that reflects who He is. 

I believe we would all agree that we live in an age of entitlement.  We come to believe we are owed things, even blessings.  Pray and ask the LORD to help you recognize your blessings and to help you to be grateful to Him for the blessing He has chosen to bless you with.  We tend to focus most often on material blessings but I encourage you to reflect on the spiritual blessings you have been given by your Heavenly Father.  I pray we never become blind to God’s grace and compassion.  Lamentations 3:22-23 – Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  Our hearts should whelm up with gratitude because our God is faithful. 

An attitude of ingratitude damages relationships.  It steals our humility, contentment, and joy.  We must look at ingratitude just as it is – a sin.  In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Paul lists ungrateful along with many other sins.  But marks this:  There will be terrible times in the last day.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with such people – 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

Friends, I encourage you to reflect on your blessings.  Reflect on God’s faithfulness to you.  Thank Him and ask Him to create in you a grateful heart. 

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for saving my soul.  LORD, I thank You for the many blessings You have blessed me with.  I recognize Your mercy and grace is unending.  I pray that You will help us to recognize when we are demonstrating an ungrateful spirit.  Change our hearts to reflect Your heart.  Help us to always respond to You and others with an attitude of gratitude.  In Jesus Precious Name I Pray…..Amen.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Power Of Words

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.  Colossians 4:6

Welcome friends.  Today I want us to consider the power of our words.  The words we speak have the power to encourage and they also have the power to discourage.  Reflect on your words.  Are you a person who speaks words of encouragement or words of discouragement?  I pray today that you will make a choice to be a person that speaks words of encouragement into others’ lives.  Choose to speak words that encourage, edify, and give confidence. 

The words we speak go directly to the soul of those we are speaking.  Depending on the words we speak, they can offer joy or sadness, or they can offer peace or upset.  Proverbs 15:4 – The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.  As Christians, our intention should never be to crush the spirit of others.  Proverbs 18:21 – The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.  I encourage you today to choose to speak life into those you meet each day.  We never know the situation or circumstances those we come in contact with are facing.  Offer the gift of gracious words that have the ability to lift another’s spirit.  God may place someone in your path today that needs a word of kindness.  These few words of kindness, sincerely spoken, can be life changing. 

Sam Walton stated, “Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise.  They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.”  Many people we come in contact with each day have no relationship with Jesus Christ and are facing painful circumstances.  Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you speak words of comfort and encouragement.  Our words and actions should point those we encounter to our Savior and LORD.  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen – Ephesians 4:29.  Pray each morning for spiritual discernment so you will be aware of those you meet each day that may need a well-spoken, gracious word.

Friends, God reveals to us that what we harbor in our hearts come out in our words.  Examine your heart.  Is it possible you need to allow the Holy Spirit to change your attitudes and motives?  If your speech is filled with critical words and negatively, pray and ask Jesus for help and guidance in changing your heart.  But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them – Matthew 15:18.  In Luke 6:45, Jesus reveals to us that our speech and actions demonstrate our true beliefs, attitudes, and motivations.  A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.  Examine your speech and actions.  Does your speech reveal that you have good in your heart? 

Be mindful that not only will our actions be judged but also our speech.  In Matthew 12:36, Jesus reveals to us – But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. When you stand before Jesus, what will He say about the words you have spoken to others and how they have been affected by them?

Just as David did in Psalm 19:14, ask God each day to guide you in the words you speak.  May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.  Just as David asked God to set a guard over his mouth, we should do the same.  Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips – Psalm 141:3

Friend, choose today to offer words of encouragement to others.  Words are powerful.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You will help us to be people that speak words of encouragement to others.  LORD if we are harboring wrong attitudes and motives, reveal this to us so we can come to Your throne of grace and ask for forgiveness.  Help us be obedient to Your Word.  In Jesus Precious Name I Pray…..Amen.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Touch From The Father

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

Hello dear friends.  Who among us today needs a touch from the Father?  Many of us are entrenched in various situations and circumstances which are beyond our control.  Search your heart today for what you truly need from your Savior and LORD.  Then rest in Him and the love He has for you and believe that e He will provide. 

The writer of Psalm 42 was discouraged.  When we are discouraged it is important for us to fix our attention on God’s goodness and His ability to help us and give us hope.  Read God’s Word and reflect on His goodness throughout scripture.  Psalm 42:5 – Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.  Often when we are in a season of discouragement, we look to other people and things to give us hope.  God alone will suffice to help us overcome this season.  Psalm 62:5-6 – Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  Rest in God and His Word.  Stop searching for  solutions for your discouragement and despair in places where you will not find solace. 

Our lives are filled with distractions and difficulties, but no matter what we encounter God desires to give us strength and hope to endure.  Isaiah 41:31 – but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Have you placed your hope in your Savior and LORD?  Do you believe in His promises?  I encourage you today to place your hope in the LORD and trust that He is working in your situation and circumstances and that He will give you strength.  Rest in the promises found in His Word. 

Take time to meditate on the power of God.  Read God’s Word and allow Him to reveal His power to you.  His power is available to you today as you face all sorts of situations.  He desires to give you strength and peace.  Do you truly believe your Father desires to give you strength and peace?  After believing, then accept this strength and peace our Heavenly Father freely gives to His children.  Psalm 29:11 – The Lord gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. 

Who among us today needs courage?  Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.  Knowing my Savior and LORD is with me, provides me with comfort and security that worldly possession will never be able to offer.  As we read throughout the book of Joshua, the same God that empowered Joshua is the same God that will empower us.  In the book of Acts, we see that God empowered Peter and John as they preached before the Sanhedrin.  Acts 4:13 – When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.  God does not pick and choose who he will empower and give strength and courage to.  He gives strength to His people. Are you a child of God?  Spend time with your Savior and LORD and accept the gift of courage that the world cannot give. 

Who today needs love?  Friend, Jesus loves you.  He died for you.  He has saved your soul and has gone to prepare a place for you, an eternal home.  Reading in Psalm 63, we see David’s desire for God’s presence, provision, and protection.  That should also be our true desire.  Friend, God is the only one who truly satisfies.  Psalm 63:3 – Because your love is better than life; my lips will glorify you.  1 Chronicles 16:34 – Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.  Take comfort in knowing, nothing can separate you from the love your LORD has for you.  Psalm 107:8 – Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.

Allow this verse from Zephaniah 3:17 to quiet your soul today.  Rest in your LORD’s love and allow Him to provide what you need.  Believe in the promises of God’s Word.  The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing – Zephaniah 3:17. 

Dear Heavenly Father, so many need a special touch from You today.  I pray that we will look to You to meet our needs and not look to what the world offers.  Only You can offer true peace, courage, strength, and satisfaction.  LORD, help us to rest in the promises of Your Word.  Empower us Father to live our lives according to the plan and purpose You have set before us.  In Jesus Precious Name I Pray…..Amen.