“Wonderful Things”

8 Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. — Psalm 107:8 NLT 

Psalm 107:1-9 NLT

When something really good happens to us do we take the credit for that event or do we give the glory to God?  Do we say “look what I have done” or do we say “look what the Lord has done for me”?   When He chose us, called us and redeemed us, did we tell everyone we knew? The Psalmist encourages us to “tell others” just as Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples.  After a bout with satan, when we are feeling all alone and distressed, who came to rescue us?  Did we take the time to thank Him or was it “just another day at the office”?  When we are hungry and thirsty and we receive food and drink, do we stop to thank Him before we eat or do we act like this is something that we deserve?  We are all pretty good at asking God to watch over those we know who are about to leave on a trip or are presently traveling. But when we or they return safely from the trip, do we gather around and thank God for the safe return?  Does our lifestyle reflect an “attitude of gratitude” or is it more like “I’ve worked hard and I deserve this ___________” (fill in the blank).  We need to heed the reminder found in James 5:17, “every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father above”.   Let us be careful to always give Him praise for His goodness toward us.

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

Post 04-13-2019

Body Parts

even-smaller-bug-light1

27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. – 1 Cor.12:27 NLT
 
Paul, using the comparison of the physical body to the Spiritual body of Christ, continues to emphasize over and over, the importance of each part. The parts of the Spiritual body are the gifts that the Holy Spirit has placed in each of us. Each smaller body of Christ, the individual congregations, must have the parts to function in unity. All of the gifts are given to edify the complete body.  Each congregation must have those with gifts of leadership. But not everyone can be a leader, so there are other positions to fill. God has given each of us a specific gift that is necessary for the body.

 

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. — 1 Peter 4:10 NIV

Each of us should study, meditate and pray so that we might know our gift and use it effectively. The gifts are not given to us for our own possession, but for the benefit of the whole body. Unless we share the gift, it is of no value to us or to our congregation. The gifts are given to each of us to share with others.

33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. — Luke 11:33 NIV


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

Post 04-02-2018

Oh No! Where’s My Toe?

even-smaller-bug-light1

If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 
​- Romans 12:7 NLT
 

If you have ever had a problem with your big toe, then you are aware of some of the issues it can cause. Our toes, especially the big toe, help us balance and propel us forward when we are walking or running. So, when we have toe problems, our body will naturally try to compensate for that and pretty soon, it will affect the ankle, then the leg, the knee, the hip and the back.  If the toe issue continues long enough, we will develop other skeletal problems. Other parts of the body have varying functions. Just try to pick up anything substantial without using your thumb. It doesn’t work so well, does it?  the point is for the body to function efficiently, it needs every part doing what it is designed to do. The body of Christ, the Church, is the same way. We are each a part of the body and God has given each one of us a gift to help the rest of the body.  If any of us refuse to use the gift we have been given, then, eventually the whole body suffers. If the church we attend isn’t functioning properly, is it possible that we are the malfunctioning body part? Whatever gift God has given you, the body needs it to complete the mission God has given to the Church.


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

Post 03-14-2018

Give and Give Generously

even-smaller-bug-light1

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others–. 2 Cor. 9:8 NLT


It is important for us to remember that everything we have here on earth is a gift from God. It doesn’t matter who signs the paycheck, God is ultimately our resource. We are to be good stewards of all of the resources God gives us. This includes our time as well as our finances. Just as He has the authority to raise up leaders and put people in positions of authority, He can raise us up financially or He can bring us down if we trust only in our finances. Any gift that God gives to us is to be used not just for our benefit, but for the benefit of those He puts in our paths each day. The ultimate use of the resources God has put under our authority is to expand the Kingdom of God. It isn’t that God “needs” us or our finances, He has chosen to use us in His work. That requires us to be obedient to His precepts. Unless you are using more than 10% of your time and money for God, you haven’t started giving yet. Give generously and cheerfully and be prepared for a great blessing from the Lord.

38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. – Luke 6:38 NLT

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

Post 11-27-2016

Gifted to Give!

even-smaller-bug-light1

 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.– Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV
 

Our salvation is a gift from God, we didn’t earn it by works and we didn’t purchase it with favor or money.  It was God’s plan before the foundations of the earth were laid.  As Paul said, if we boast, we must boast in Christ Jesus alone.  Does this negate works?  Not at all, we are saved to work, not by our works.  Just as it was God’s plan to send Jesus to purchase our redemption with His blood, it was always God’s plan that we would have a part in His kingdom work here on earth.  God has gifted each of us with a spiritual gift to be used in His work.  Some of us are preachers, others are teachers, others encourage, others have gifts of helps.  The list of gifts is lengthy, because we all have a part in God’s plan and purpose.  Make a commitment today to ask God about your gift and how to use it in His plan.

1 Peter 4:7-11 NKJV


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

Post 11-10-2016

It Is THE Win-Win Situation!

even-smaller-bug-light1

25 The generous will prosper;  those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
— Proverbs 11:25 NLT
From the Old Testament to the New Testament, we are encouraged (if not commanded) to help those around us who are in need.  In the Old Testament, the harvesters of the crops were to leave any of the grain that was dropped for the poor and needy.  They were also instructed not to glean the corners of the fields. They were also supposed to leave clusters of the fruit on the vine for the poor to pick.  In the New Testament, Jesus tells us that those who help the poor and needy, visit the sick and in prison in His Name will be blessed.  If a needy person comes to our door and asks for food and we have food in the house, we are never to send that person away hungry.  Whatever we give up for Jesus and the sake of the Gospel brings hundred-fold blessing here on earth and eternal life in the age to come. It is truly the win-win situation of all times.
Post 09-05-2016

Gift After Gift After Blessing

even-smaller-bug-light1

16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. — John 1:16 NLT
16 Because he was full of grace and truth, from him we all received one gift after another. — 1 John 1:16 NCV
All the blessings and gifts that we receive while we are here on earth are because Jesus was and is full of grace and truth. There is nothing we can do to earn these blessings.  If we could earn them, they would not be called gifts.  Every blessing and every gift is given for one purpose and one purpose only.  They are to be used to further the works of the Kingdom of God.  We do not need to be worried or concerned that God will run out of blessings and gifts.  No matter how much He gives, there is always more to be given.  As we use these blessings and gifts to further God’s work, we lay up our rewards in heaven.  God has given us everything we need to live a Godly life here and has given us promises of an eternity with Him.  The fulfillment of those promises is the hope that helps us to endure persecutions and to share His Divine nature while we are here on earth.
Let us be thankful for all of the blessings He pours out for us and rejoice that we can share in His goodness every day.
Post 5-6-2016