Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas is to me...

November 30, 2010

Hebrews 1:1-3

V3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature…

I love Christmas; I mean I really love Christmas, and not just the worldly aspect of in; not in a commercialistic sense. I love Christmas because of what it says about Jesus. In this verse we learn that He, Jesus, is the “radiance of the glory of God” and the “exact imprint of His (God’s) nature” and yet, this glorious being came to earth as a baby. He humbled Himself and made His earthly appearance to a young girl who was not of royal birth, who was not well known, and His first bed would be a trough used to feed animals. This is what He did for me. This was how my Savior came to earth; how could I not love Christmas and all that it represents? Yes, it’s easy to get caught up in the worldly aspects of Christmas, but at it’s heart Christmas is the first chapter in the gospel!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Trusting...and letting go

November 29, 2010

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

I must remember this…

Friday, November 19, 2010

Being Thankful is Being Content

November 19, 2010

Psalms 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him, bless his name!

Being thankful isn’t a selfish experience. What I mean is we must take our focus off of ourselves and what’s happening to us and just be thankful. It’s taking time away from our “busy”-ness and coming to God with a heart that is satisfied. One of my favorite verses is Genesis 31:34 “…and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness declares the Lord.” To be satisfied is defined as “content.” We are to be content in what has been given to us and in that contentment there is thanksgiving. We will never be able to be thankful if we are never content in what we have.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Even When it Hurts...

November 18, 2010

Psalms 50:14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving…

In many of the verses dealing with thanksgiving, an attitude of sacrifice is always called for. Granted in the Old Testament this most likely meant an actual sacrifice of the best of someone’s animals, but how could this apply to us today. Make no mistake it does apply because I believe firmly that God is the “same yesterday, today and tomorrow”; so this verse can apply to us. I think that sometimes it is a sacrifice to give thanksgiving in certain situations. Many would say that thanks are only required when the circumstance or situation is good, but God’s Word says in all situations give thanks. This I believe is our sacrifice: even when it hurts we should give thanks because every situation we go through is an opportunity to become more Christ-like, an opportunity to cut away at our flesh and allow God’s glory to shine in our lives… Even when it hurts.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

For the Lord has Done Wondrous Things For Me...

November 17, 2010

Psalms 26:7 proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all you wondrous deeds

The one thing that stands out to me in all these verses on thanksgiving; is that we are called to be loud, we are called to tell everyone, to cry out to the world what God has done for us. We are told to tell what He has brought us through; what His strength has allowed us to accomplish. The many bountiful gifts that He has given to us; we are to tell others of this. His glory should be proclaimed on our lives because of what He has done for us. Is this happening in my life? Do I shout for all to hear the goodness of God in our lives? God has blessed me beyond measure: He gave to me salvation, He has given me a husband that loves Him and will make great sacrifices for our family, He has given me three beautiful children that I’m striving to raise in the “fear and admonition of the Lord”, He has blessed our company beyond measure. I thank God for and give Him glory for the life He has given me!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Heart of Thanksgiving...

November 16, 2010

Psalm 9:1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds

Again, like yesterday, there is no mention here of circumstances. Just a proclamation that we are to tell others what God has done for us. Give to Him thanksgiving; in all things. How many times have we sat in our houses and looked around at the bounty God has provided? True, there may be bigger houses on the block or newer cars, yet, aren’t His provisions plentiful. In order to give thanks to God, we must first realize that all things come from Him, and despite our circumstances He is worthy of our thanks and praises.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Our Circumstances and Our Thankfulness...

November 15, 2010

Colossians 3:15 and let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m going to do a little word study on what God’s word says about being thankful. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be vastly different than what the world tells us about being thankful. When I read the verse above, what caught my attention was what wasn’t in it. There is no mention of your circumstances. We are called to let, or allow, Christ’s peace to control us. If we are believers we have the peace of Christ, but it’s up to us what we choose to allow our minds to dwell on. Our peace or our thankfulness aren’t dependent on our circumstances; it is even possible to be in a bad circumstance and still experience peace and thanksgiving. This is because our peace and thanksgiving are dependent on who Christ is. However, I totally get how this is so much easier to say than to do. Yet, it is all in what we allow our minds to dwell on…”To set the mind on the flesh is death…to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:6)”

Friday, November 12, 2010

He Knows Us...

November 12, 2010

John 10:1-3

V 3…the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…

What I love about that verse is “he calls his own sheep by name.” He knows us. How wonderful is that. If you are God’s, then you are known by Him. I find great comfort in that. No matter what might be going on in our lives, good or bad, we can rest in the fact that we are known by Him. Our circumstances are not unknown to Him either. God’s word says that, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purposes (Romans 8:28).” We can rest knowing that no matter what is going on in our lives, God holds us because we are His, and He is faithful.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Being Afraid...

November 11, 2010

John 9:4-41

V 22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue V 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age, ask him”

This is within the passage where Jesus healed the man born blind. Jesus healed this man who had no other means to support himself but to live the life of a beggar. He was the lowest member of society, yet Jesus healed him; gave him an opportunity to “see” for the first time. Naturally, the Pharisees hated that Jesus had the power to heal the blind. They hated that people would look at this man and know that Jesus had power that could only come from God. So, they tried to find ways to discredit this miracle. They sought to attack this man’s parents, and they were to some degree successful. These parents feared the Jews and didn’t stand up for their son. What does fear keep us from doing?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The "Real" Power of Positive Thinking...

November 10, 2010

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things

I’ve been thinking about this verse a lot lately. God’s word promises us as believers “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you…(John 14:27). It is clear throughout scripture that God is the giver of Peace. Yet, we, as believers, cannot just expect peace just because we want it, and we certainly don’t deserve it. I think that in order to enjoy that “peace that passes all understanding” we must obey. Isaiah 26:3 makes this clearer “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in You.” In order to enjoy God’s peace we must only allow our thoughts to dwell on what we know to be true. For me it is this…”for I know the plans I have for you , declares the lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Are we useful?

November 8, 2010

John 9:1-3

V2-3 and his disciples asked him “Rabbi, who sinned this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him”

How many times did that blind man wonder why he had been born blind? I’m sure that his life was filled with much difficulty; I’m sure that many pondered why he had been given this affliction. However, I’m guessing that the thought that he might be able to give God glory never crossed his mind. Likewise, when we are dealing with something difficult in our lives, I’m sure that our first thought is “Woe is me”; rather that how can I glorify God through this. God had a very specific purpose for this blind man, and He has one for the affliction that faces us. In order for us to trust God, we must be hanging on to Him; we must be consumed by Him. Otherwise our problems will overshadow any usefulness we may have to God.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Our paths...

November 7, 2010

John 8:49-59

V 59 but Jesus hid himself

At the moment when this angry mob wanted nothing but for Jesus to die and was willing to stone Him; he left. It wasn’t in God’s plan that Jesus die from stoning at the hands of an angry crowd; so, it didn’t happen. God’s word says “I know O Lord, that the way of man in not in himself that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. (Jeremiah 10:23).” When the way of our life gets very difficult, and we wonder how much more can we take the answer is this; as much as it is in God’s plan. Which we can be assured will not be more than we can handle. There is comfort in that.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Confronting Sin...

November 3, 2010

John 8:36-48

V 48 the Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

As I have been reading this exchange between Jesus and the Jews I’m amazed at the audacity of these people. They are being confronted by their sin and they don’t like it. In fact they hate it and are attacking Jesus. Are we guilty of that? We might not attack Jesus but perhaps we try to down play our sin. Perhaps we fail to recognize it’s destruction or maybe we even choose to ignore it all together. These Jews were refusing to believe that they were in fact wrong and were trying to push the blame onto Jesus. Do I do this too? Am I willing to question or look for any excuse instead to confronting the sin in my life?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Their Eyes are Watching...

November 2, 2010

John 8:31-35

V 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a save to sin.

Perhaps I’m the only one who deals with this but I’m constantly confronted by sin. My sin, unfortunately, and sometimes I see my sin coming out in my children. This breaks my heart. It hurts to see the issues I battle daily coming out in them. I mean where they learned the behavior is obvious; from me. How easy it is to be consumed with self and forget that others are watching you! I can only hope that they will also learn from me that we must try on a daily basis to die to sin and turn to God.

We are not alone...

October 29, 2010

7:40-53, 8:1-30

V 29 And he who sent me is with me, He has not left me alone…

We will never be called to perform any task that could in anyway be compared to the one Jesus had before Him. His task was huge, was filled with pain, and would eventually end in his physical death. Yet, for this task ahead of Him He knew that His Father would be with Him. We, as believers, can depend on God being with us. Some of the things that we are called to go through will be huge, and filled with pain, yet we are not alone. God will not call us to a task and leave us adrift. Instead, He guides us. His hand holds us. I think that it’s easy to get caught up in our circumstances and forget that God goes before us. His strength can get us through. However, it is in those difficult moments that we must choose to believe all that God has told us; we must choose to believe that He is sufficient to meet our needs.