Wednesday, November 21, 2018

"Thanksgiving"

"I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving." Psalm 69:30
Tomorrow we will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day here in America. Hopefully, we won't be so caught up in the traditional meal, the family gatherings or our own unique customs, that we forget why we are celebrating. I realize that this is an American celebration commemorating a time in our history, but whether you live in America or another country if you are a born again child of God you have something- so much- to be thankful for. Thanksgiving is not just a day on a calendar, a holiday celebrated by a certain nation or a historical commemoration, it should be a lifestyle for those of us who have surrendered our lives to and placed our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Is it for you? Is it your lifestyle? Is everyday a day of thanksgiving? Do you live with a praise of thanksgiving on your lips? Do you reserve your thanks for special occasions only such as when things are going well, once a year, during church service, when the Lord answers your prayers? Each day that we wake up is cause enough to give God thanks. Knowing that your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life is more than enough reason to thank Him daily. As a matter of fact, that fact alone is enough to keep a praise of thanksgiving on your lips morning, noon and night.

Have you lost your thanksgiving? Have you allowed the cares of life, it's problems, discouraging news, bad reports, personal trials, disturbing circumstances and unpleasant situations to rob you of a heart of thanksgiving? Has it been replaced with grumbling, self-pity, ingratitude? Then you need to get it back. You need to begin to bring a "sacrifice of praise" to the Lord. If you can't do it sincerely, then do it by faith... just start doing it. He is worthy and you have been too blessed not to!! "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Have a great day. Everyday is a day of thanksgiving... so thank the Lord today.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

"Facing It"

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philipines 4:11

Have you ever thought about all the things that we can face in a day? We never know what a day may hold- good or bad. Here are some of the things we might face: giants, mountains, fiery trials, temptations, illness, broken dreams, obstacles either large or small, grief, pain, suffering, persecution, failure, discouragement, disappointment, fear, doubt, unbelief, disillusion, weakness, hunger, thirst, strife, affliction, conflict, broken relationships, overwhelming odds, remorse and the list goes on. Oh, how depressing.  I have to stop because it sounds like every thing we face is "gloom, despair, and agony". Thank God that life isn't completely full of misery, all though it may seem like it at times. We also face times of great joy, happiness, victory, peace, rejoicing, strength, hope and encouragement.

The Apostle Paul probably faced more than the average person, but listen to what he says about what he faced. (I'd like to read it from the Amplified Bible.) "Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency]. (Phil.4:11-13)

Like us, he faced good and bad times, but he had learned something that got him through them all. It was the confidence in knowing that regardless of what he faced- good or bad, happy or sad, victory or defeat, feast or famine, weakness or strength- he wasn't facing it alone. "Lo, I am with you always." (Matthew 28:20) We have that same hope- that same promise. We never face anything alone-- "For Thou art with me." The Lord is with us, never leaving us, nor forsaking us.

Have a great day. I hope what you face today is all good, but whether it is or isn't you aren't facing it alone.

Monday, November 19, 2018

"God's Wisdom Is Greater"

"Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee." Jeremiah 10:7
 
There is no doubt that there are some pretty wise people in the world- in each nation. Daily we hear wisdom displayed from many walks of life- politicians, news reporters, educators, pastors, entertainers, and so on. We hear lots of learned people give their views, opinions and predictions. We hear from analysts, columnists, the financial savvy, professors and many many more each experts in their field concerning world affairs. Some have had great wisdom, some just thought they were wise but their comments proved otherwise. The wisest man to ever live, the wisest head of any nation, the wisest king to ever rule was King Solomon. His wisdom was so great that even the Queen of Sheba said that only the half has been known.
 
All the wisdom of all the people on earth- who have lived, who are living or who will live in the future- their wisdom combined cannot compare to the wisdom of the Most High God. King Solomon recognized this, therefore, he prayed for God's wisdom in order to rule God's people. We must always remember- whether it is in the affairs of a nation, or a culture of people, or a certain sect of society, or in running a business, or in our own individual personal lives-- we must lean upon the wisdom of God. We can't look to man's wisdom to guide us, to direct us, to give us an answer or to provide what we need. James tells us that man's wisdom is "sensual"- fleeting, changing, of no value, it's even foolish compared to the wisdom of God.
 
This morning, I don't know what you may be experiencing, but you need wisdom to make the right choices, to go in the right direction, to know what to do and what not to do, to follow God's will, and to get victory in the situation, but don't look to man's wisdom for your solution. "Forasmuch as among all the wise men in the world (paraphrase added)... there is none like unto God." God is your answer. His wisdom is endless, and it will always guide you in the right direction.
 
Have a great day. Trust in and lean upon God's wisdom... there is no one else who is as wise as He is. God's Wisdom is greater... it far surpasses the wisdom of man.
 
 

Friday, November 16, 2018

"Impossible, Not Impossible"

"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

The fact is, there is so much that it is impossible for man to do- the list is endless. But with God nothing is impossible- the list of what He can do is endless. I can't create a world, but He did- just by the word of His mouth. I can't part a sea and make it stand up like a wall- but He can and did.

But when we read another passage it says: "And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." (Matthew 17:20) Here is says that nothing shall be impossible unto you. It almost sounds like a contradiction-- "with men it's impossible"; "nothing shall be impossible to you".

Whatever it is you are dealing with, in your own strength it is impossible- you aren't strong enough, wise enough, big enough. But the key is- "if you have faith". Faith in what, faith placed where? In the God with whom all things are possible. If you put your faith, trust and confidence in God, if you connect with Him, if you invite Him into your life, then because of Him, nothing shall be impossible for you. Let's look at a mountain for a moment. A mountain is a powerful thing. It's stationary, solid, unshakable. In order to move it or effect it at all you have to put a force against it that is greater than it is. The same when dealing with our "spiritual mountains", you have to put a force that is greater than it is in order to remove it. I am not a greater force than a mountain, I have no power, it is impossible for me to remove it.... but when I connect with a force that is greater, then it's not impossible any more for me to remove it. It will remove easily, all I have to do is "speak" to it. That greater force is the All Powerful, Almighty God, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think.

Are you trying to move a mountain on your own- in your strength, in your wisdom, in your ability? You won't do it- it's impossible. But if you put your faith and trust in God and connect with Him, it's very possible. You can do all things through Christ which strengthens you.

Have a great day. What was once impossible for us is now possible when we put our faith in God.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

"The Sun Is Shining - Part 2"

"My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?" Psalm 42:3

Yesterday we talked about God still being in control and the evidence was that the sun still rose that morning and it's still shining. One of my precious email friends wrote me back and told me that the comparison wasn't working on her end because bad storms were coming where she lives. I thought about that this morning and the Lord wants me to encourage you further in this area.

True enough storm clouds do seem to block out the sun. We have gone for days during the winter where the sky was gray and gloomy- not even one small beam of light penetrated through. But, you know, just because all I could see were clouds, gray and overcast skies... the sun was still there. Just because I could not see it did not mean that it wasn't there.

The first covenant that God established was with the sun. (Genesis 8:22) Since God is not only a covenant maker, but a covenant keeper, the sun will rise everyday until He returns and we live with Him in that city where the Lamb is the light and there will be no need for sun or moon. But until that day comes, the sun will always be there- even if you don't see it, even if storm clouds hide it, even if night covers it, even if the conditions in the atmosphere hinders it's rays from breaking forth... it's still there. And that is still proof that God is still in control.

God made a covenant with the sun, but He also made a covenant with you his child. If God is faithful to keep His covenant with the elements, He will be faithful to keep His covenant with you... and much more so because you are more precious to Him. It may be "dark" where you are today. Storm clouds may be covering God's promises, you may not be able to see the light of His presence because of the darkness of your situation, but He is still there, He is still in control and He is still faithful.

Have a great day. The sun is always there even if you can't see it for the storm clouds... so is God.