As we, in America, approach our Thanksgiving Day Holiday, we are reminded of all we have to be thankful for; and from whom all our blessings come. However, being thankful should not just be a one day event! Let thankfulness permeate our being. It should be an everyday and all consuming frame of mind.
As stated in the Bible in 1Thessalonians 5:16-18(NKJV) “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Because God is good!
Psalm 118:29 (NKJV)“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!”
On this Thanksgiving, even in the midst of all the turmoil surrounding us all, I encourage you to be thankful. We still have many things to be thankful about. God bless you all. Happy Thanksgiving!
Are you caught in a time of change? Life is full of them. We can learn and grow from them all, good or bad.
How do you look at change? Life is full of them. Some changes are good, which we openly welcome. Others we find not so pleasant and are not as eager to embrace them. Regardless, in this life, there will always be changes for us to face.
This photo shows a flower going through a conversion process. It is not the more familiar process, which shows new life bursting forth, like in spring. The flower is going from a season of full glory to a dormant stage, a time to rest. The flower loses the color it had and quietly fades away. Yet it does not lose heart! Hibernation helps to protect the plant through the frigid winter season, so once again, it will thrive. During this period, the roots continue to develop and grow, enabling the flower to appear again.
We too, as humans, need to learn from the plants and the process God has put in place. When going through a change point in life it is okay, and even a necessity, to step back. God may have pulled you out for a season to reflect, to rest, study and renew oneself and emerge stronger than before.
God speaks to us through His word. Let us examine scripture verses to see what God has to say concerning this.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.”
Do not fear or resist the change God has for you. Let go of the old and allow the new to emerge. God, in His way, does not want us to get too comfortable, change is a way He uses to guide us on. He wants us to embrace all He has for us. Remember, we are just passing through and the best is yet to come. Look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. God Bless You!
While standing at the front of this church building, it automatically causes me to look up. This steeple is awesome, but at the same time it makes me feel small and helpless. My thoughts turn heavenward, causing me to cry out to my Lord and God. What a comfort it is knowing He is there for us. This is just a building, however it does represent God to us. The building is built with a stone foundation and stands strong. How much more is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ our true rock and foundation? He stands even stronger!
In our daily life, with all the trials and struggles we sometimes face, isn’t it a comfort and wonder to know we have a God who is with us to help? The troubles can overwhelm us, making us feel small and helpless, as when standing by such a towering building. When we choose to look upon our true rock and foundation, God, we feel empowered and strengthened. Why? Let us read what the Bible tells us in His word about Jesus as our rock.
Psalms 18:2 (NIV)
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
While a church building may represent God to us, I am grateful to have the living God, my True Rock and Foundation to stand on. I pray you do as well, and if not, will you consider Him today?
While having the opportunity to explore the coastal areas of Alaska, I was pleasantly surprised. I had the enjoyment of experiencing nature in its purest form. It caused me to consider how the world might have looked, as God was creating it. It was overwhelmingly, awe-inspiring for me. God’s creation is awesome! What a blessing; truly, this was a refreshing adventure. I wonder what beauty lies further inland. That waits for a future endeavor.
Looking upon this forest of trees, I began to sense the abundance of God. He is not a small God, but wonderfully unlimited in all He has to offer us. The thought, nothing is too hard for God, comes to mind. He tells us this in Jeremiah 32:27 (NKJV):
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”
Sometimes in our busy life, we need to step back, take a long deep breath, and give God all the praise and worship due to Him. We need to learn from His creation of nature. Look closely at all the trees in the picture above, they are focused upward, to the heavens. They know whom their creator and God is. They have no problem giving Him the glory and praise due to Him! What about us? Do we struggle in this?
I had no intention of talking about the situation the entire world finds itself in, at present. However, this is a unique problem. COVID-19 is affecting every nation and the way we all live our lives. Suddenly, the world seems a lot smaller. We are all connected, and most definitely, dependent on God, the creator of all. So, is this our time to all take pause and reflect on what really matters? Perhaps it is time to put aside our differences, along with the hate and fear. This only divides us more. The two following scriptures remind us of who and what is important.
“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NKJV)
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, The Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (NKJV)
Despite all that is going on in this world, remember God is still in control. We are His creation; He wants us to take time to know and to praise Him! Be like the trees, look unto God. Praise Him in all things. Be safe and stay well.
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1 (NKJV)
It was a pleasure to experience this awe-inspiring scene one chilly winter day. Despite the cold, barren setting, the brightly shining sun, gave out such a sense of warmth. Even though it was a snowy wintry day, the sun illuminated the entire area, covering it with a blazing glow. It appeared to be setting the trees on fire. It was an extraordinary sight to behold! I call it, “A Sunny Snowy Day.” The scripture in 1 Peter 1:7 (NKJV) tells us:
“That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
How is your faith? Are you in a struggle? Are you fighting through various trials and temptations? Does the light seem to be going out or flickering? In James 1:2-4 (NKJV) we get inspiration to carry on.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
Do we count it all JOY? Are we pressing on to the prize? We do not always see the working of God in us to grow our faith. He may use our situations, in life, to help us realize what really matters. Your FAITH is more precious than GOLD! Keep your faith, let it shine forth in all things, not just the good times. Your surroundings and situations should not matter.
Look unto Him, the “SON”. The “SON” is always there, no matter what season or place we are, in our life. As a child of God, we need to let Him be our refiner, purifier, and polisher. Let God’s perfect design for you shine forth. Let your FAITH in the SON glow. May God set us on fire, as He completes His work in each of us!
People tend to get excited when they see a rainbow. “Hey, look there is a rainbow!” “Wow, I just saw a rainbow!” “That rainbow was so awesome!” These might be some thoughts exclaimed upon seeing a rainbow. Have you ever wondered why it brings this reaction? Yes, it is a beautiful, colorful and wonderful sight to envision. However, maybe the reason we get such delight goes much deeper than this. Perhaps, deep inside we know it is a reminder of God’s love and promise to us.
“I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.” Genesis 9:13 (NKJV)
Let us remember God created us in the beginning, in His image. Sadly, it didn’t take long for mankind to sin and fall from God’s grace. God was repentant, sorry, that He had created us.
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.” Genesis 6:5-9 (NKJV)
God decided to destroy all, through a flood covering the whole earth. Thankfully, Noah found grace in His sight. God allowed Noah and his family to be saved, by entering the ark. This became their home and provision for safety throughout the flood. When the waters receded and land was visible, Noah and his family got off the ark. God made a beautiful rainbow in the sky. He said this was a sign of His promise to mankind, which is not to destroy the earth by a flood again.
“Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud.” Genesis 9: 11-14 (NKJV)
Upon seeing a rainbow, we are mindful of God’s love and grace. We also are reminded of God’s promise to mankind. Let us realize the rainbow goes all the way back to the flood with Noah. The fact that the rainbow is still in existence today shows us that God and His word are real! God keeps His word and can be trusted. This truly is a joy and comfort. What a colorful promise indeed! So, the next time you are enjoying the sight of a rainbow, never forget God’s promise and love for us. Honestly, this is the pot of gold. It is greater than anything the gold could ever buy. Rejoice and be glad. Enjoy!
It is the winter, a season of cold and dreary weather. The trees are bare and empty. However, they still reach out their branches to heaven and stand strong. God is shining through; His love and light are ever radiating. Whatever season you are in, in your life, or no matter what situation you are going through, you are never alone. God says He is the vine and we are the branches. He also tells us that we need to abide in Him for us to bear fruit, to have success. If we abide in Him, He abides in us. It is this working together, in the right relationship, that produces a good result. He is faithful and will be with you. His love and light enfold all who welcome Him. In the verse John 15:5, it says without Him we can do nothing. We need Him and He wants us.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in Him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5(NKJV)
Do not let this get you down that you can do nothing without Him. I would not want to be without Him because He is our sustainer. God does not leave us helpless. The Bible tells us that we can do all things through Him. He is our hope, and that should comfort and strengthen us.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
Whatever you face in life, in this world, keep your eyes on The Cross. With the Cross before us, we can never lose. Because of God’s Grace, we have Hope.
Listed below are some scriptures that tell us this truth.
Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV) “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Romans 5:8 (NKJV) “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 Peter 2:24-25 (NKJV) “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness-by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
John 3:16 (NKJV) “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Matthew 10:38 (NKJV) “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
Matthew 11:28 (NKJV) “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 16:24 (NKJV) “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.'”
Keep your eyes looking up to where your help comes from. There is hope and grace in Christ.
Romans 15:13 (NKJV) “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”