O give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the people. – (Psalm 105:1)
Last Sunday, leading up to Thanksgiving week, we were blessed with the privilege of having an open mic in our church service.
During that time, everyone in our small congregation had an opportunity to share with everyone some of the things that we were all Thankful for.
There was definitely not enough Time for any of us to really share Alllllll of the reasons we had for giving Thanks to the Lord, so we shared the few things we could think of at the time.
I can’t quite recall any of the things I shared at that time (other than being thankful for my salvation) but I did manage to ponder the question beyond the service and come up with a myriad of other reasons to give God thanks.
I will only mention one right now because I believe it can help us all.
One of the things that I found myself being truly grateful for was The blessing God gave me in having my grandparents in my life.
I learned things from their lives while growing up that helped shape me then, and many of those very lessons are still being used to shape my character now.
My grandparents Loved The Lord, and they governed and based their entire lives upon His word.
They always told us the things that were right, according to the word of God, and they never swerved from their convictions concerning that truth…. even if we didn’t like it!
And Guys, I am eternally grateful for having that example!
Yet, in closing, I pray today that each of “us” would walk by the same rule and example, and base all of our words, choices, and actions solely upon the Sacred Text of God’s word without compromising with a world that so desperately needs the truth of His Heart.
My Grandparents set that example for all of their children!
That’s One Thing I’m So Thankful For!
Father, we Thank You today for So Great A Salvation that We Have In Christ. Help Us to Reflect the Reality of Your Salvation in our everyday lives that others may Be drawn to This Hope.
In Christ’s Love,
Have A Wonderful Day!
“I will sing about the Lord’s faithful Love Forever;
With my mouth I will proclaim Your Faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalms 89:1)
For months now, in our immediate Family, I have had a great concern for
the spiritual well-being of the generations that are coming behind me.
It’s a generation that is quite different (in a sense) from the generation that
I grew up in. Things are different.
Of course, having said that, the world that the younger generation is living in
now is quite different from “my generation”.
Things are more easily and readily assessible…. Evil is more rampant then ever before (so it seems)..
And there is less of a priority and premium on the things of God.
When I was growing up, church was a priority for us, and every single day, we were exposed to the things
of God through the example of my grandparents, what they watched on TV, and the fellowship of the Saints.
Yet, as I look at the state of our family now (and this generation), I see that the younger generation doesn’t have that same exposure
as we had it, the way that we had it…
But that doesn’t mean our situation is hopeless.
It is God’s great desire to reveal His Love and character to every generation that will ever come (Joshua 22:27)… and He will because He’s able.
But for those of us who have experienced, and Know of God’s Faithfulness, we have a part In making His Great goodness known to the generations to come!!
We must declare His Faithfulness and Proclaim His Goodness with our Lips, every chance we get!
That’s how “we” came to know of Him…. And that’s how “they” will come to Know!!
Today, will you Proclaim His Faithfulness that others may come to Know Him??
A closing declaration from King David: “I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord and His strength, and His wonderful works that He hath done.” – Psalm 78:2-4
Father, give us wisdom and the boldness to Proclaim Your goodness and Love to the generations to come…
In The Love Of Christ,
4 But I have this [charge] against you, that you have left your first love [you have lost the depth of love that you first had for Me]. – (Revelation 2:4 AMP)
This past weekend in my personal devotional hour I was going over the context of the verse above, and it really spoke to my heart as I thought on its contents.
If you’ve never read it in its entirety, it begins with The Lord Himself addressing The Leader (Angel/Pastor) of that particular church.
In his address, The Lord commends them for all of the good that they’ve done, and the good that they “are” doing.
If you look at all the things that they were commended for, you would quickly get the opinion that these people were on point and had it altogether.
They suffered patiently; they persevered; they didn’t tolerate those who were evil, and they exposed those who weren’t authentic (apostles).
They didn’t grow weary, and they endured many things… and they did it all for His namesake… “you have persevered and endured hardships for my name”….(NIV)
Yet, in spite of all of that, The Lord had one thing against them…”But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!” (NLT)
Putting it simple, They Neglected to Keep God First (in Love), even in spite of all that they were doing (God sees).
We’re living in a day and time in which it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life in an effort to meet the demands of everyday living.
As a result, our priorities can Easily get twisted and we’ll find ourselves “majoring on the minors, and minoring on the majors…”
We lose sight of our Maker, and the One who is absolutely the Most essential to our existence, The Lord Jesus Christ.
Here’s some good news though: There’s Hope.
He said to the Angel of this Church, “….repent and perform the deeds you did at first.”(vs. 5 BSB)
If you remember what it was like to Give God first place, I encourage to Make Him first again….. And Keep Him First.
You’ll be Blessed that you did.
Father, you are so worthy of First place in our lives. We pray today that, daily, you will help each of us to Put you first and keep you first in the strength that You alone can give…
In The Love Of The One Who First Loved Us,
Blessed be the Lord, For He has shown His marvelous favor and lovingkindness to me [when I was assailed] in a besieged city. – Psalm 31:21
Earlier today I had someone reach out to me and request prayer for someone who happened to have been having a pretty bad week.
I immediately responded to the request with a very short prayer response that said, “Lord, we pray your Favor and kindness upon ____.”
It was a spontaneous thing to pray such a prayer, but I know it was prayed in faith.
Afterwards, though, I was wondering what it really meant for someone to Have God’s Favor.
After all, it couldn’t be a bad thing… 🙂
But, it made me wonder how God’s Favor could have an impact or influence upon someone who’s having a bad week?
What does it mean to Have God’s Favor?
(Glad you asked….)
To have God’s Favor is to have His Grace, blessing, and help (in it’s simplest form).
His Favor is unearned and undeserved, but it is always a readily available attribute to any and all who choose to trust in Him.
It’s because of His Favor that we have an opportunity at eternal life (see Rom. 5:8), because God’s Favor flows from The Love that He has for us.
By His Favor we are strengthened and protected, as David testified in the verse above.
Yet, what’s probably the greatest confirmation and benefit of God’s Favor is His presence.
The Bible says that Jesus, while here on earth, grew in Favor with God (spiritual closeness) and in Favor with man (social respect)…[Luke 2:52]
(I personally believe that Favor with God eventually led to Favor with man)
Closing thought: Having God’s Favor is having all the help That you and I will ever need in this life….
Lord, Thank You for bestowing your Favor upon such undeserving creatures as we are…
In Jesus’ Name,
For whatsoever things were written in times past, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. - (Romans 15:4) I have a cousin who not too long ago lost her child in a tragic incident. He was very young, so that made it even more tragic. I reached out to her the other night to see how she was doing, and she said that she was "hanging in there.... some days are good, and some are bad". I understood that.... So I sent her a few verses of scripture that I thought would probably comfort her a bit and bring consolation to her soul. As I sent her the verses I was reminded of the verse I shared above, about how the scriptures give comfort. You see, it wasn't that long ago in which I myself needed to be comforted in the same way that my cousin needs comfort now. What I can recall so vividly, as I went through my own bout with grief, and great sorrow of soul, is How The Word of God served as a consistent and continual source of comfort to my soul. It was through God's word that I was not only comforted, but also strengthened and given hope. Hope that brings comfort in itself. I read about the loss and grief of Job, and spent countless nights meditating on the prayers and cries of David through the Psalms. Every time I read, meditated on, or even talked about what I'd read with others, I was given great Comfort through God's word. David said in the Psalms (119:50), "This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me." God's word is truly able to bring comfort to the grieving heart. A closing thought from MacLaren's Expositions as it concerns the word Of God: He writes, "Who can tell how many struggling souls have taken heart again, as they pondered over the sweet stories of sorrow subdued which stud its pages, like stars in its firmament? The tears shed long ago which God has put 'in His bottle', and recorded in 'His book', have truly been turned into pearls. That long gallery of portraits of sufferers, who have all trodden the same rough road, and been sustained by the same hand, and reached the same home, speaks cheer to all who follow them....." Lord, may we all rely on what you have spoken to be our only true source of comfort and strength when our hearts are pained through the difficulties and trials of this Life. And as we believe, help us also speak. In Christ's Love, Pastor Lowe
Jesus Christ is [eternally changeless, always] the same yesterday and today and forever. – (Hebrews 13:8 AMP)
One thing that has become apparent and clear to me as I have gotten older is that things in life change, and they change often.
In fact, not only do circumstances, seasons, and outcomes change; but “we” change as well…
If you don’t believe it, I challenge you to go take a look in the mirror and see if you still look like you did 20 years ago… 🙂
How did that work out?
The point is that we change…. Life changes… Even our emotions and thought processes change…
In this life, the fact that we are ever and always confronted with change means that nothing In this life is absolute and certain; not even the next day.
Yet even in spite of that, the one great truth that can bring great consolation, even to the most despairing and desolate soul, is the Truth that God doesn’t change!
Our verse above says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore….
If He loved me yesterday (and He did), He Still Loves me today…. If He was in my corner yesterday (and He was), He is still For me today… If He was Faithful yesterday (His NAME is Faithful), He will be no less Faithful today…
That’s a reason to Shout!!
Everything around us may change…. But God Will Always Remain The Same!
There, in that Truth, Must our Hope Lie…
Father, we are greatful that You never change. That means we can always Have hope in your Love, Mercy, and Purpose for us… Help us to Fully trust In Your Goodness…
In Jesus’ Love,
I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return]. – (Philippians 1:6 AMP)
This morning in personal devotion I was reminded again of what has always been the most reassuring promise for me in all of the Bible; that God would bring to a completion the work that He has begun in me.
This promise has always been especially dear to me because there have definitely been times and seasons (of unbelief and failure) in my Christian journey in which I wasn’t sure if He was working in me or on my behalf.
But He has NEVER stopped working in Me, in “spite” of me!
And if He began a good work in you, rest assured that He WILL complete it!
In the words of Charles Spurgeon, “The work of grace has its root in the divine goodness of the Father, it is planted by the self-denying goodness of the Son, and it is daily watered by the goodness of the Holy Spirit; it springs from good and leads to good, and so is altogether good.”
God Will Always Finish What He Started….
Lord God, we are so grateful that You will be faithful to bring to a completion the good work that You have begun in each of us. Help us to stand firm in trust as You work in us.
In The Love Of Christ,
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – (John 14:27)
In our Thursday night Bible study we were briefly discussing the above-mentioned verse and what it meant to us.
We discussed the difference between God’s peace and the world’s peace; and one thing that we all definitely concluded was that they are two totally different things.
The peace that the world gives is a “Temporal peace”, and most of the time, it’s a peace that is based largely upon the outcome of circumstances.
Meaning that, if ones’ life is free of troubles, trials, challenges, and mishaps then “that peace” (of the world) can be attained.
But when things are going bad and unfavorable the world’s peace can’t be experienced…
In other words, if it rains I’ll have no peace…. and if the sun shines I will have peace.
God’s peace is not like that.
His Peace is eternal and not dictated by circumstance, which means we can experience His peace at all times, no matter what sort of trials and challenges this life may bring.
He Promised us His Peace, and it is available at “every moment” to His children…
In fact, He gave us the perfect antidote in His word for having His Peace..
One of my favorite verses in all the Bible reads, “Be careful (worried or anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The peace that surpasses all understanding is a Peace Like none other; and it’s a peace that is available to everyone who will truly trust in God…
Father, we thank You for your promise of peace. The peace like none other.
Help us, Lord, to trust you entirely that we might abide in your peace.
May God’s Peace Be Yours,