Thursday, November 29, 2012

But Be of Good Cheer

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Jesus said that "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) It is most critical that we never lose our focus on God, as the results may not be good. When hard things come our way, we must never lose heart, for God is with us. When we become believers in Christ Jesus, God's primary purpose with us is to transform us into the image of His Son. It is during these hard times we grow. While we all desire smooth sailing in life, often these are the times we lose sight of God because we feel as though we do not need Him. It is good to remember Job during the trials in life. Job lost his property and children, yet he still praised God.

20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped.  

21 And he said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
 (Job 1:20-22 NKJV)

Instead of the "poor little me" attitude leading to discouragement, look to the promises of God and know He is working in and through this situation. No, we do not have to like the pain, but we may always rejoice in the grace which He gives us to get us through.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Photo courtesy of: Ian Britton /

Happy Thanksgiving

On Thursday November 22, it will be Thanksgiving here in the USA. I hope and pray all of my readers have a joyful and blessed Thanksgiving.  For those who live elsewhere, I also hope and pray you have a joyful and blessed day.

Have you ever drove by a multi million-dollar home and thought: "Why can't I have that kind of wealth?" What about becoming a bit jealous at times while viewing rich and famous people on television? The thoughts come to mind, "here I am hoping to have enough money to make ends meet, yet they have soooo much." While I am dreaming about a rich life, little do I realize what misery many of these people experience. They maybe worried to death for fear of losing their fortune while constantly protecting themselves from those who would rob them blind. All the while, they dedicate their lives to obtaining more, yet never becoming satisfied.

The wonderful thing as a Christian, I have so much more to be thankful for. At one time, I was living in the kingdom of darkness. But now, God has brought me into the kingdom of light. I have an inheritance worth more money than all the wealth in the world could buy. This Thanksgiving I will remember and be thankful for all the wonderful blessings He has bestowed upon me while laying to rest any covetousness I may have over the things which I do not have.

"giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,"
(Colossians 1:12-13 NKJV)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Joy in the Fellowship of the Gospel

Thankfulness and Prayer

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. (Philippians 1:3-7 NKJV)

As I look read this passage I must ask of myself, how much do I rejoice over the good work the Lord is doing in other peoples’ lives? Do I get excited when I have the opportunity to bless someone else? Do I look forward to these opportunities? How thankful am I to God for my church family? How much of my prayer life is dedicated to praying for those diligently serving the Lord, thanking God for all they do?

So much of the time, it is the hard and terrible things which draw our attention. When I know of someone who is sick or hurting, I am quick to pray. When someone is in need of help which I can offer assistance, I give it. The world is full of hurting people. My heart breaks when I see a child suffering from some disease, and that it should. I find joy when I see a criminal taken off the streets by the law, so that we citizens are safer. These are things we all should do.

I do not say to ignore the pain someone is suffering nor care if whether the police make our streets safer, or not. But let’s also rejoice over the good things in life. What a precious thing it is to have fellowship with the saints. Let’s lift up our voice in praise and thanksgiving to our God giving Him thanks for the godly people we are blessed to know. Let’s rejoice in someone else's victories. Let’s lift up our voice in praise when we see a pastor standing firm on the gospel, not compromising for the sake of being politically correct.

Thanksgiving is next week here in the USA. However, be it Thanksgiving, or not, let’s be thankful to God for other believers and their commitment to Christ. Let us all rejoice in the good things in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and thus, experience the joy of the “Fellowship of the Gospel.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Where is My Treasure?

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Just how long is eternity? Just think for a moment, imagine your home being packed full of sand. Now each grain of sand represents 100 years. Every one hundred years, one grain of sand is removed. After all grains of sand in your home are gone, (an incalculable number of years), you are no closer to the end than when it began. Just think of the number of years it would take for your home to be cleared of all that sand. That’s a mind boggling number of years, isn’t it? The Bible is quite clear, what we do with this life will determine our eternity. Our eternity begins the instant one’s life here on earth is over. At that time, our fate is sealed. If this is true, does it not make since to determine what is required of us in order to have the best possible future once this life is over? Of course, if we do not follow through with action, that knowledge does very little for us.

Many people plan for their future first with education and skills building; which helps them succeed. Then they work hard, advance and grow in their career of choice. Many people also take a portion of their hard earned income and invest for their future. These are wise things to do. Others take the attitude; “I am going to live for the here and now. I will eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow I will die. I am going to have as much fun as possible while not worrying about the consequences of my actions.” This foolish person will pay the price, for whatever a man sows, he will also reap.

It is wise for people to learn, grow and prepare for their future here on earth. However, this person is also a fool if they do not prepare for eternity. I believe everyone should be good stewards of what God has given them and managing it well. Advancing ones career, starting a business, saving for retirement, building an emergency fund and the like are wise things to do. However, first and foremost, each of us should store up treasure in heaven. All of our earthly treasure will come to pass. The treasure we store up in heaven will never perish. Are you storing up treasure in heaven, on earth, or none at all?

Someone may ask, how do I store up treasure in heaven? First you must be saved. Then abide in Jesus, read the Bible and apply what you have learned to your life. If you do these things, you will store up treasure in heaven.

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  
(Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV)