Remember the Mercies of God

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17 Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? 18 ‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?’  Don’t you remember anything at all? — Mark 8:17, 18 NLT

Depending on what version of the Bible you are reading the word “remember” appears between 148 to 168 times.  Moses used it quite often when the Israelis would murmur and complain.  He asked them to remember how God had delivered them out of the bondage of Egypt.  Not only did He deliver them, but God brought them out with an abundance of riches that the Egyptians gave to them.  Still, every time they got tired of the manna or they got thirsty, they would complain and wish they were back in Egypt.  The disciples, even after seeing all the miracles that Jesus had performed up to this time, were concerned about food for their physical needs. They had just witnessed Jesus feeding thousands of people with a few loaves and a few fish, yet they were concerned about what they would eat.  Jesus admonishes them for not remembering these things. Had they remembered them, they would have been at peace with their situation, knowing that Jesus could provide for twelve people very easily.  Jesus, the Bread of Life, wanted them to be concerned with Spiritual things and allow Him to be concerned with their physical needs. They needed to stay focused on Jesus and be content with what they had.  The same thing applies to us.  When we are in a rough patch, we need to stay focused on Jesus and what He has delivered us from in the past.  We need to remember the situations He has carried us through.  If nothing specific comes to mind, then just remember this — satan would like to kill us right now and he would, if Jesus allowed him to.  Whether we draw another breath or not is dependent on the goodness of God and nothing else.  So, every breath that we take brings life and when that breath goes out, it should carry a prayer of thanksgiving and praise for God’s goodness and protection for it is “in Him that we live and move and have our being”.  

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 10-22-2018

Time Well Spent

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9  “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10  your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11  Give us today our daily bread.
12  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.​  
 — Matt. 6:9-13 NIV

The most often used excuse (not a reason) that we hear from Christians when questioned about prayer and Bible study is “I just don’t have the time”. God foresaw this and gave us a prayer that can be spoken in less than 20 seconds. It includes 3 things that every prayer should include.  It starts with adoration and acknowledging to whom we are speaking.  God is our Father and we agree that He is holy (hallowed) and that we are waiting for Him to come back and establish His kingdom here on earth..  That is adoration and we always let Him know that we love and adore Him.  It includes confession; “forgive us our debts”,  we acknowledge that we have sinned and ask for His forgiveness.  It includes supplication or asking God to provide something for us   Our daily bread is not just physical food but it includes everything that we need to live a godly life today.  We ask for direction as we start our day. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”.  Twenty seconds for that prayer leaves you ten seconds to offer up thanksgiving for all that God has done for you up until this very second.


34  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. — 1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV
 
Less than 30 seconds and you have covered all the bases.

A – Adoration
C – Confession
T – Thanksgiving
S – Supplication or asking

The other 30 seconds?  Listen for that whisper!  It’s God’s turn to speak and He doesn’t need time to think about it, He already has the answer.
If you make a habit of doing this every morning, you will be surprised at how quickly you will want to pray longer and stronger.
Time spent with Jesus is never wasted.
This is a beginning.  My prayer is that it will lead you into a deeper, closer walk with God.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 09-05-2018

Overflowing With Thankfulness!

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6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. — Colossians 2:6 7 NIV

The most important thing to be thankful for is salvation.  So, from the very moment we are saved, our hearts should begin to be filled with gratitude.  From that point on, all the blessings that we receive daily should continue to fill our hearts with thanksgiving and praise for our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  To the extent that we follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, our evil thoughts and desires are changing to good thoughts and desires.  There has/will come a day when we should be overflowing with joy and gratitude because of the goodness and greatness of the God that we serve.   Each day should bring less complaining and more reason to give God praise and thanksgiving. The praise and gratitude that fills our hearts will be reflected in the words that we speak.


 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. — Luke 6:45 NKJV

Every time we bring our petitions before the Lord, we need to remember to bring with them an offering of thanksgiving and praise!  

 

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.  
— Psalm 100:4, 5 NKJV

This is for now and  all generations, not just the future when we enter into the gates of heaven and the courts of God. Every time, we speak His Name, we are entering into His gates and His courts. Let our hearts and our mouths overflow with praise for His goodness and mercy!

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-09-2018

Rejoice! Pray! Give Thanks! Repeat!

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18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess. 5:18 ISV
 
 
If we rejoice all the time, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances, that doesn’t leave us any time to be idle. Of course, we can’t literally do these things all the time, but we can develop habits that will allow us to spend more time actually doing these things.  We can take all of our thoughts captive and bring them into submission under Jesus Christ.
 

5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.– 2 Cor. 10:5 NIV

When we find our thoughts wandering into areas that lead us into temptation, doubt and worry, we need to immediately bring them back into submission. If we do this, then we will always have an attitude of gratitude.  We will always be in an attitude of prayer regardless of what we are doing physically.  We are not bound by our circumstances or feelings, but by our knowledge of Jesus Christ and who we are in Him.  When we feel those little nudges of the Holy Spirit, we will be ready to act on them and do what God is asking us to do minute by minute. We will also find that our days are full of peace and joy as we are being sanctified daily by the Holy Spirit.  We cannot do this in the flesh, God knows that.  But the God that called us to repentance is able and He is faithful to finish what He has started in our lives. We are saved by grace through faith and we must live our daily lives walking by faith.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 07-20-2018

Practice Perpetual* Praying and Praising

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2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.  — Colossians 4:2-4 NIV
 
Here, Paul tells us to devote ourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. In 1 Thessalonians 5: 17, he instructs us to pray continually, always giving thanks. . How do we apply these instructions in our daily life?  Does Paul really expect us to be in our prayer closets all day interceding for ourselves and others?  Of course not.  So, how do we keep up with our busy lives and at the same time, follow these instructions?  Prayer isn’t about our body posture or whether our eyes are closed or not.  Prayer is about the posture of our heart and mind. So, truthfully, we can pray almost all of the time. While we are doing our daily chores or while we are having a conversation with someone, we can be praying.  But, just as we want the undivided attention of others, so does God want our undivided attention for a portion of each day.  We need to have a place we can be alone with God for a time each day, to truly communicate with Him and not just talk to Him. We can take some advice from Martin Luther who said:
“Work, work, work — from early till late. In fact I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.“

If we start each day with some time alone with God, asking Him to lead us and prepare the way for us, the events of the day will go much smoother. Will they be completely trouble-free?  Of course not, but they will be peaceful and we will find that we have plenty of time to accomplish everything that God wanted us to accomplish. Either before or after we have presented our petitions to God, we need to take time to add adoration, praise and thanksgiving for all that God has done, is doing and will continue to do for us.

*perpetual – occurring repeatedly; so frequent as to seem endless and uninterrupted.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-07-2018

Give Gladly and Graciously

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12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. – 2 Cor. 8:12 NLT


2 Cor. 8:8-12 NLT

God is not impressed by the amount of money that we give.  He is impressed by the attitude that we have toward giving into His work.  We see this from the story of the widow who gave her mite. A mite is thought to be equal to about one half of one of our pennies.  Regardless of what the world thought about it’s worth, because of the attitude and the sacrifice the woman made, Jesus thought it was much more valuable than the gifts of those who gave out of their abundance.  God doesn’t need us to return a portion of the money He has allowed us to be stewards over.  He wants us to give out of love and a grateful heart.  He wants us to give with joy and hilarity because of our relationship with Him. Just as we give gifts of time and money to those around us that we love, we should offer up the best of both to Him. Would we invite a special guest to dinner and give him/her leftovers? We have the most special guest that lives with us all the time. Why do think that He is happy with our leftovers? He gave His life, we must make every effort to give Him the best of what we have simply because we love Him.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 06-17-2018

Singing Comes Easy When Our Cup Is Overflowing

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15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
– 2 Cor. 4:15 NLT
“I believed; therefore I have spoken.” is a reference to Psalm 116 (KJV). The Psalmist is referencing a time when God had delivered him from death either physically and/or spiritually.  Paul says that we who have this same spirit of faith can have confidence, believe and therefore speak of the saving grace of Jesus, our Savior and Lord.  We know that the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead has already raised us from spiritual death. Since we know this, we can be confident of the hope we have that one day He will raise us from the dead physically. We will die as mortals and be raised as immortals clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  If we were not changed into His image, we would not be able to stand before God. This knowledge of God’s amazing grace and our hope for the future should cause us to continually give thanks and explode with joy and praise that overflows to the glory of God.  Through this power, we can be over-comers and participants in the abundant life with which God wants to bless us.  Our rejoicing will bring more and more people to the Kingdom!33 I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. 34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.  — Psalm 104: 33, 34 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 06-09-2018