6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. — Col. 2:6-7 NLT
How many times a day do we thank God for His goodness and blessings? Were you filled with joy at the dawn of a new day? Did you say, “good morning, Lord!” or “good Lord, it’s morning!”? Did you thank Him for keeping you safe through the night? Did you thank Him that you have eyes that can see the light of dawn? Did you thank Him that you have ears to hear the birds singing? Did you thank Him that you live in a country such as ours? Did you thank Him for the clothes you wear and also the clothes that you will probably never wear again? You don’t think that it is necessary to thank God everyday? Did you know that a lot of God’s anger at the children of Israel was because of their ingratitude for all that He had done for them? And He has done so much more for us. Do a word search and see how many times the words, “thank”. “thankful” and words that have similar meanings appears throughout the Bible. We should always be thankful because we could lose all these good things in a second.
Do you remember the first person you were infatuated with or really in love with? Do you remember how often and how much you thought about them? From morning to night to morning, they were the last person on your mind before you went to sleep and the first person on your mind when you woke up. You couldn’t wait to get to school just to see that person. Do you remember walking down the hall carefully watching to see that person and to see if they were looking for you? If they smiled at you, do you remember that feeling you got? As that relation grew and liking turned into loving, do you remember never wanting to let a day go by without telling that person that you loved them. That is what God wants from each of us. He wants us to go to sleep talking to Him or thinking about Him and wake up in the morning with our hearts and our spirits longing to spend time with Him. Do you imagine God watching you sleep and smiling? We should because He really is a “good, good Father, that’s who He is”. We should make sure that we speak to Him early and often. We need to tell Him out loud that we love Him and thank Him for all of His goodness throughout the day. If we practice doing this, we will have that “peace that passes all understanding” and the joy way down deep inside that no one can take away.
“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
God has an abundant supply of Love and Mercy. As we arise each morning and acknowledge Him as our Savior and Lord, His Spirit renews us and prepares us for the battles of the day. Immediately, satan attacks our minds filling them with fearful thoughts of what the day will bring, reminding us of all the things we have failed to accomplish in the past. The devil, the father of lies, begins to tell us that we will not be able to make it through the day without some sort of catastrophe. The Holy Spirit speaks peace, love, and joy, telling us to lean on Jesus and He will fight our battles for us. We must learn which voice to listen to and heed. Jesus said that His sheep know His voice, they follow Him and He gives them eternal life so that they will never perish. If we listen to His voice, we will learn to live in peace. He will restore all the things that satan has taken away from us and replace the evil with good. Let us learn to listen and live the abundant life that Jesus died to give us. Let us spend less time each day focused on the lies of the evil one and more time on the goodness of God. Those around us will see that and get a glimpse of the glory of God.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
When God created the world, after each day’s work,we are told that “God saw that it was good” .
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day – Genesis 1:31 NIV
Everything in this world was created good and perfect to last forever and was given to man by God to enjoy and have dominion over it all. Then man sinned and decay and rot started in all of God’s creation. But God had a plan to fix all that even before He laid the foundations of the earth . So, He gave us “THE good and perfect gift”, Himself, to die on a cross to redeem all of creation. He is still in the business of giving good gifts to us. This very moment is called the “present” because it is a gift from God. The good earth we enjoy, the very air that we breathe, every particle of food that we eat are all gifts from God. When He gives them, they are good gifts, but we have chosen to belittle and desecrate those gifts by refusing to give thanks to the Creator of all things. Every second of our life is a gift from God and we need to give Him praise, glory and honor for those precious seconds. Our attitudes should always be an attitude of humility and thankfulness. We should stand in awe of our awesome God.
Do you ever sit and think about the time you answered the call of the Holy Spirit to “come and see”? Come and see the forgiveness of God, come and see the goodness of God, come and see the love of God. Come and see with your spiritual eyes, the One Who gave His life for you on a cross? Do you remember that experience? Do you remember when you invited Jesus into your heart? Do you remember the peace you felt? Do you remember just wanting to stay in His presence. just as the men “remained with Jesus all that day”? When times are tough and the going is rough, I would like to invite you to sit and remember that experience. Just sit in the presence of Jesus, loving Him and allowing Him to love you. The most amazing thing about knowing Jesus is that every day, we can “come and see”. Or as the Psalmist said, “taste and see”;
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!—Psalm 34:8 (NLT)
And when we do that, we find that His mercies are new every morning. Today, once again, take the time “to come and see”.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. — Luke 2:36-38 NIV
What faithfulness and perserverance was shown by Anna. We don’t know how many years she was at the temple, but if she married at the normal age for that time, it could have been sixty years or more. She “worshipped night and day, fasting and praying”. Anna had given up everything to fast, pray and worship God Her faithfulness led to her being allowed to speak to the parents and others telling them that Jesus was the long awaited Redeemer of Israel. It also led to her being one of the first few people to see Jesus and to her becoming one of the characters in the story of the greatest birth ever recorded. What a reward for her faithfulness.These three verses are probably the least known of the verses in the story in Luke, yet, they announce the fulfillment of the prophecy that a Redeemer would come to Israel and His name would be Emmanuel. Anna’s words became part of the basis for one of the most well-known Advent carols ever written. This short passage is a great encouragement for us to remain faithful to God through the good times and the bad times. God is always faithful and He always rewards faithfulness.
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.” — Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV
Let us use these two passages of scripture to remind us to be faithful throughout the year, through the good times and the rough times. In the fullness of time, our Redeemer will come again to ransom us and our reward will be an eternity spent with Him.
28 After Martha said this, she went back and talked to her sister Mary alone. Martha said, “The Teacher is here and he is asking for you.”29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to Jesus. 30 Jesus had not yet come into the town but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 The Jews were with Mary in the house, comforting her. When they saw her stand and leave quickly, they followed her, thinking she was going to the tomb to cry there. 32 But Mary went to the place where Jesus was. When she saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw Mary crying and the Jews who came with her also crying, he was upset and was deeply troubled. 34 He asked, “Where did you bury him?” “Come and see, Lord,” they said. 35 Jesus cried. 36 So the Jews said, “See how much he loved him.” 37 But some of them said, “If Jesus opened the eyes of the blind man, why couldn’t he keep Lazarus from dying?”—John 11:28-37 (NCV)
Mary made the exact same statement that Martha had made, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died”. The weeping of Mary, Martha and their friends clearly upset Jesus. So much so that Jesus began to cry. The crowd thought He was crying because Lazarus had died. Little did they realize that the death of Lazarus had nothing to do with His tears. Jesus was heartbroken because of the lack of understanding and faith displayed by these people including Mary and Martha. You can almost hear Jesus asking them the same question He asked His disciples. 17 Jesus answered, “You people have no faith, and your lives are all wrong. How long must I put up with you? How long must I continue to be patient with you? Bring the boy here.” –Matt. 17:17 (NCV)
We have to ask ourselves the question: How many times have we broken the heart of the one who loved us enough to die for us? Has our lack of faith and our disobedience caused a river of tears? But God has already forgotten all those sins and mistakes. Let each of us pledge to do the same and press forward with a renewed faith that brings gladness and joy to our Lord and Savior. It would bring joy to His heart if each of us truly “cast all our cares upon Him” and let Him carry us through every situation. His mercies are new every morning. 22 The Lord’s love never ends; his mercies never stop.
23 They are new every morning; Lord, your loyalty is great.–Lamentations 3:22,23 (NCV)