As we read in the books of the Old Testament, we find that the children of Israel were inconsistent in their faithfulness to God. There would be times when they would worship Him faithfully and God would bless them abundantly. In those times, they were blessed with peace and comfort. Then they would become prideful and forget that it was God who gave them victory over their enemies and fed them abundantly. Then God would send plagues and enemies to defeat them. Then there would be times of lack and constant troubles in their land. Eventually they would turn back to God and he would bless them again. Our nation is repeating history in doing the same things. God cannot and will not bless us until we turn back to Him. As long as we are stubborn and rebellious as a nation, we can expect our problems to increase until we humble ourselves and return to Him. Let us continue in prayer that we will do that today. Then and only then will we receive the comfort that comes from honoring God and lifting up the Name of Jesus.
4 You can pass through his open gates with the password of praise. Come right into his presence with thanksgiving. Come bring your thank offering to him and affectionately bless his beautiful name! – Psalm 100:4
What more can be said about giving thanks to God than has already been written in the Bible and expounded upon by thousands? It is time to stop discussing and talking about it and just do it! Let us lift up our voices and hands and praise the Lord. Every prayer should include praise and thanksgiving. This combination is the key that unlocks the doors of heaven and blessings stream out.”Come right into His Presence with thanksgiving”. Amen
”The Gospel has come to you because it is on its way to someone else” – Anonymous
Even when we sin, God still loves us. He wants to bless us all the time. But He can’t bless us if we do not confess our sins. When our relationship with God is broken because of sins that we have not confessed, His heart is broken. He leaves the 99 sheep to bring back the 1 lost sheep when we confess. We are never alone, He hears our prayers and knows our situation, but He is limited in what He can do for us because of our sins. God is always faithful to forgive us when we confess and then our relationship with Him is restored and there is joy in heaven. What amazing grace and love that God would love sinners enough to die for us!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
God wants to bless us all the time. He gave us His Son, so why would He withhold any good thing from us? For this to happen, we must stay “prayed up”, instantly repenting for any sin that we do, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally. When God’s Spirit brings conviction, we must agree with God that we have committed a sin and ask His forgiveness. He is always faithful to forgive us. Then we must thank Him and praise Him for that forgiveness. God inhabits the praises of His people. He is within us, with us, surrounding us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. His mercies are new every morning. Let your first words every morning be praise and thanksgiving. Your attitude will be sweeter and your day will go more smoothly.
God made the plan of salvation very simple. Believe that He sent His Son to die for our sins. The name of Jesus is the only name in heaven or earth that can save us. We say, this is easy, I know all this, but we need to be reminded daily that our redemption cost more than we can ever repay. We need to be reminded that we are bought with a price. A price that only God’s great love could pay. Often those in the world and some Christians, as well. have the idea that God is looking down on us, just waiting for us to mess up, so He can zap us. Nothing could be further from the truth. He is looking for someone who is obedient and faithful. Someone that He can bless. Someone who is spreading His story. Make it a habit to tell someone every day about God’s great love.
6 My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land,That they may dwell with me;
He who walks in a perfect way, He shall serve me. — Psalm 101:6 NKJV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
The Bible says that Jesus went about doing good. He was our example of how to live our lives. We have many, many opportunities to do good everyday. It is up to us to take advantage of the opportunities that Jesus puts in our paths. If we sow goodness and the other fruits of the Holy Spirit then that is what we will reap in our lives. We all have the same excuses, “I can’t talk to people. I don’t have time” and the list goes on. God has given each of us a talent to use for His glory. Ask Him to show you how to develop that gift that He has given you. And when you ask, don’t forget to wait for His answer. He really and truly loves each of us and wants to bless us. He loves the fellowship and the communication with His children. God has given each of us twenty-four hours a day and it is up to us to take the time to talk with (not to) Him. He is waiting to hear from each of us. Speak to Him now and listen for His voice. He will direct our steps so that what we sow will honor Him and we will be blessed and be a blessing to others and He will receive the glory.
As we tell and retell the Gospel story and talk about all the marvelous things God has done for us, we are filled with joy. The more we tell the old, old story, the more sure our hope becomes and the more joy we have to help us get through each day. That old liar, satan, comes around every day telling us how bad things are and pointing out all the things we don’t have. But all we need to do is stop and consider all the things with which God has blessed us. Then we need to thank Him and praise Him for all that He has done, is doing and will continue to do for us. We need to remind ourselves and satan about Paul’s admonition to us in Philippians on the things we need to focus on in our daily thought patterns.
God tells over and over that we should not worry, fear or be discouraged, yet, we spend more time considering what we are going to do when bad things happen than we do praising God for what He has done, is doing and will continue to do for us. Just as we don’t want to hear our kids complaining about what they don’t have all the time, neither does God want to hear our murmurs and complaining every day. It was this kind of behavior by God’s chosen people that caused Him to be angry with them on their trek through the desert. Do we want best friends who only tell us about their problems or those who share their concerns and their victories with us? God is our best friend, let us treat Him like we would our best friend. Talk with Him, not just to Him every day and praise Him for all of His goodness, then we will be filled with HIs peace and His joy, which is His gift to us.
20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.–Eph. 5:20, 21 (ESV)
God knows that we have work to do and relationships to maintain, so how can we “always” be giving thanks? I think we have to put this verse with the verse in 1 Thess. 5:17 where Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing”. To give God thanks always and to pray without ceasing are not commands for us to go around orally praying and giving thanks at all times. Neither do our prayers and thanksgiving have to be with lots of fancy words. One of my favorite prayers in the Bible is Peter’s prayer when he takes his eyes off Jesus and starts to sink in the sea. “Lord, save me”. That prayer was very short and effective. Our lifestyle, which is determined by our thought patterns, should always be one that is ready to pray and give thanks. We should be as quick to say “Thank you, Lord” in the good times as we are to say “Save me, Lord” in the rough times. 1. I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.–Psalm 34:1 (ESV)
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,–Psalm 63:3-5 (ESV)
8 Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard–Psalm 66:8 (ESV)
1 The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3 The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” 5 But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons.[b] 7 Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.”When the jars had been filled, 8 he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions. 9 When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!” 11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.—John 2:1-11 (NLT)
As a man, Jesus first revealed His glory to the world at a wedding. There He performed His first recorded miracle by turning the water into wine The Master of the Ceremony was amazed that the best wine was saved until the end of the ceremony. If we do as these servants did and follow the leadership of Jesus, we will be at the wedding feast when Jesus reveals His total magnificent glory to his Church. The magnificent splendor of His glory is beyond our imagination. We will also find that Jesus has again saved “the best wine” for that time. He blesses us every day but it is nothing compared to what we will receive when we get to heaven. 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.–Ephesians 3:20, 21 (NLT)
7 People can tame every kind of wild animal, bird, reptile, and fish, and they have tamed them, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is wild and evil and full of deadly poison. 9 We use our tongues to praise our Lord and Father, but then we curse people, whom God made like himself. 10 Praises and curses come from the same mouth! My brothers and sisters, this should not happen. 11 Do good and bad water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree make olives, or can a grapevine make figs? No! And a well full of salty water cannot give good water.–James 3:7-12 (NCV)
We must always be careful with our words. Somehow, we have gotten into the bad habit of thinking that every word said to us needs a quick reply. It is those knee-jerk responses that get us into trouble most times. We need to take the time to consider what we have just heard and weigh its meaning. What is the situation? What is the tone of voice? Did we hear correctly? In our “busy” lifestyle nowadays, we have to have a lot more patience and consider the other person’s perspective.
Our words should always be uplifting and encouraging. Our lips should bless and not curse. The words we say should always be a “sweet, sweet sound” in the ears of God, then we know they will be pleasing to others. God listens and hears every word we say. Let our words be sweet cool water to a tortured soul. Then people will know what we have in our hearts. For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.–Matt 12:34b (NLT)