Give Thanks -Psalm 107:1

Give Thanks Psalm 107:1

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
                              Psalm 107:1

A few years ago, I was sitting in Monday night Bible study and a young woman there shared something that totally changed my life. She quoted a saying you may have heard before, “What if tomorrow, you only had the things that you thanked God for today?” I thought about this for several days afterward and decided that I needed to start thanking God for what I have today. It’s easy for me to dream about tomorrow or get caught up in all of the things that I wish I had. But God is good to me right now and I need to show Him my gratitude for all that He does in my life today.

A little bit of thankfulness goes a long way. Imagine if you did everything for someone and they never once said thank you to you. It wouldn’t make for a long lasting relationship. Over time you would lose interest in helping them and then distance yourself from them too. Thankfully God isn’t like this. No matter how we act He always loves us and promises to care for our needs. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t say thank you to Him.

So, I begin thanking God each night for the things He has given me today that I can’t live without tomorrow. Here’s a list of some of them.

#1 Salvation

Where would I be if I didn’t have salvation in Jesus Christ? I would be lost and condemned. Salvation is definitely the top priority on my list of things I can’t live without and the one thing that I am most grateful for.

#2 My family

Every day I pray that God will take care of my family, and I’m sure that you do the same for yours too. I mention them each by name and ask God to take care of their individual needs. But I have also started saying thank you to God for them as well. This has made a big difference in my relationship with my family. I see them in a different light now because I recognize how thankful I am for each of them and the unique qualities they bring to my life.

#3 My home, food, car, clothes, etc.

Food, shelter and water, these are the basic necessities of life and I certainly don’t want to live without any of them, especially food. Nobody wants to go hungry. God has always been faithful to provide for me and my family. We may not always have everything that we want, but we always have what we need.

#4 My Country

What a privilege it is to live in a country where I am free to worship God! I am so grateful for the opportunity to live in a nation where I can express my views and practice my religion without fear.

#5 Answered Prayers

Like everyone I ask God to do certain things for me and then when He does them I conveniently forget that He has just answered my prayer. So, I have started to put into practice thanking Him in the moment for that answered prayer. But I also want to remember, during my nightly prayers, to say thank you again because I am truly grateful that He has heard me and cared enough to answer.

There are usually a few other things that happen throughout the day that I say thank you for but this list represents the things that I don’t want to live without the next day.

Saying thank you to God has had a huge impact on my life and my relationship with Him. I feel different, better in so many ways. The depression that I sometimes feel is diminished and I feel closer to God. Instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I choose to focus on what God has blessed me with already. That gratitude has changed my way of thinking and my outlook on life. God is good. Always good.

I hope that this will help you in some small way as you grow your relationship with Christ. My prayer for you today is that you will see all of the wonderful things God is doing in your life right now, give thanks to Him and be blessed by that thankfulness.
May God bless you greatly this Thanksgiving!

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By | 2018-02-07T19:15:44+00:00 November 16th, 2016|Fall, Thanksgiving|0 Comments

What is the Purpose of Life? -Matthew 28:18-20

What is the Purpose of Life? Matthew 28:18-20

Last week we discussed, “What is the Meaning of Life?” People have searched for the answer to this question since the beginning of time. They are hoping to find a meaning to all of the chaos we face. They mistakenly believe that if they can answer this one question, then all of their problems will fade away. As Christians we know that God gives us the answer in His Word. It’s surprisingly simple, yet powerful. If you missed last week’s post, you can read it here.

This week, I’d like to take the discussion one step further and look at the Purpose of a Christian’s life. Because we are followers of Jesus our purpose is different from the rest of the world. While most people are working hard to buy expensive possessions or rack up their 401k, we are called to achieve a more important goal.

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
                                                                                       Matthew 28:18-20

This passage of Scripture we all know as “The Great Commission”. But what does it mean in our lives right now? This verse is our purpose and our calling as Christians. It is a commandment from our Savior about how we should be living every day. Within this one commandment there are three distinct points about the purpose we have been given, and how we are to grow God’s kingdom.
Go and make disciples…
Some of us will have the opportunity to serve God in foreign countries. But most of us will serve God here in our own country. We don’t have to go to a far off land to follow the Great Commission. Wherever we are, and whatever we are doing it is our responsibility to tell people about Jesus. We can’t leave it to chance that someone else will do it for us. God puts us where He wants us to be and we can win souls for Him right here in our own backyards. All we have to do is look around us and we will see that there are so many people who are already in our lives that need Jesus. Whether it is our calling to serve God at home or abroad, we have been given the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill our purpose to make disciples.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
                                                                                            Acts 1:8
Baptism is an outward showing of our faith. It is a symbol of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Being baptized doesn’t save us, instead it shows the world that we are changed and have a new life in Jesus. When someone is saved, the next step is baptism. We need to make sure that we following Christ’s command to baptize people in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit once they have received Jesus as their Savior. As always, Jesus is our example. He was baptized by John the Baptist and in doing so, fulfilled God’s will.
It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
                                                                                        Mark 1:9-11
Once someone that we have witnessed to is “saved”, our job isn’t over. They need to be taught the Bible and about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I’m very grateful for all of the wonderful people who poured their knowledge of Jesus into my young mind while I was growing up. Of course, my parents, but also many Sunday School teachers, VBS workers, Deacons and friends. They invested in my life and discipled me along the way. Now it’s our turn to be the teacher. All of the things we learned, probably many years ago, God tells us to teach to the new Christians in our lives. Jesus spent time, one on one, with people. He taught them all that God wanted them to know. He is our example of how to be a teacher, and how to invest in the lives of the people around us. Just as He gave His knowledge to the twelve disciples, we must pass on our knowledge to the people that we have witnessed. Then one day they will be ready to teach all that they have learned to the next batch of new Christians.
And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
                                                                                       2 Timothy 2:2
While other people are worried about their place in life, we can rest easy. Our loving Heavenly Father has given us the answers the most pressing questions we face. What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? And what is our purpose? We now know that we were created for His glory and our purpose is to share Him with everyone we meet.
I’m so excited to bring this post to you this week! And I hope that it will encourage you, as you go out into your personal mission field, wherever that may be! There are so many people in our lives who are lost and need Jesus. I pray that you will be able to show them Christ’s love. May the God of hope guide you as you fulfill the Great Commission!
Again, if you missed the first part in this series “What is the Meaning of Life?” you can find it here.

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What is the Meaning of Life? -Isaiah 43:7

The Meaning of Life Isaiah 43:7

It’s the age old question that scholars have pondered since the beginning of time…

What is the meaning of life?

For a Christian the answer is very obvious. God doesn’t leave us in suspense. He tells us, in His Word, exactly why we were created.

Everyone who is called by My name,
Whom I have created for My glory:
I have formed him, yes, I have made him.
                                    Isaiah 43:7

So the simple answer is this, we were made for God’s glory! We were put on this earth not for our own glory, but to bring glory to the One who created us. This revelation leads us to another, more important question…

How do we bring glory to God? Let’s take a look at a few verses that tell us some of the ways we can glorify Him.

#1 Praise God.

Whoever offers praise glorifies Me…
                                     Psalm 50:23

If we want to bring glory to God then the first thing we need to do is to praise Him. It’s easy to praise God when life is good. But sometimes praising God is the last thing in world that we want to do. Maybe times are tough and things aren’t going so great in our lives. But God doesn’t ask us to praise Him only in the good times. When we praise God, in good times and in bad, we bring glory to Him. No matter what our current circumstances are, we can rest assured that when we praise the God who made us for His glory, He will lift us up.

#2 Live our lives in a way that pleases God.

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
                                 1 Corinthians 10:31

The way that we conduct ourselves can either bring glory to God or dishonor to His name. The world is watching us to see how Christians react. Most of us probably don’t think about if we are bringing glory to God when we are at work or school or wherever we are spending our time. It’s not really about what we are doing at these places, it’s if the people around us can see that there is something different about us. Do they see Jesus when they look at us? Or do we act just like the rest of the world? Sometimes I live up to that standard and sometimes I fail. But what’s important is to keep trying to set an example of why we are different. And that brings us to the last verse I’d like to look at today.

#3 Let your light shine.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
                                   Matthew 5:16

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 #MeaningofLifeClick To Tweet

I’m sure there is an unsaved person in your life that you know is watching you. They ask questions that they think you can’t answer or they point out the things that you do wrong and say, see they aren’t so perfect after all. We all have a few of those people in our lives and it’s our job as believers to shine our light in a way that shows them Jesus. I have people in my life like this too and I want so badly to show them the Savior. I try to be a good example of Christ’s love, but somehow I always leave feeling like I said or did the wrong thing. I wonder if I’ll ever get it right. But it’s a humble reminder that I am living my life not for myself but for Jesus, and whatever I say or do should bring glory to our Father in heaven.

We no longer need to ask the question, what is the meaning of life? If we are saved, then we already have the answer. So, let’s start living our lives to glorify God. He will surely bless us for it!

Now that we know the Meaning of Life let’s take it one step further and discover the purpose of a Christian life. Check out Part 2: “What is the Purpose of Life?”

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By | 2018-02-13T13:32:05+00:00 November 2nd, 2016|Bible Study, Christian Life|0 Comments