Hope

“Let Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping for You.” Psalm 33:22 (AMP)

Hope in Hebrew is yachal (phonetically pronounced yaw-chal’). It means to wait, to have hope, to wait expectantly. Waiting never seems to be the easiest thing for us to do. We live in an instant microwave society and expect we instant results for everything. We are a “I want mine and I want it now” society.  When we choose not to wait expectantly on the Lord, our hope becomes impaired.

Jesus is our reason for hoping and waiting. Hope in Him helps us to overcome any amount of doubt we have about our circumstances. When we hold to our hope and don’t let go, it is a supreme act of faith.

Reasons to have hope in God:

• God spoke and the world came into existence

• He is our Shepherd

• His eye is on all those who fear and revere Him

• He is our help and our shield

• He is faithful in everything

• He is strong and mighty

• He always in control

 I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1 (AMP)

Serve The Lord With Gladness

It is a privilege to serve God and for that reason serving Him should be done with gladness, vim, vigor, and vitality. But sometimes there are barriers that interfere with us from serving God.  One of these barriers that keeps us from serving God successfully is self-centeredness. By nature, we are selfish people. We want it to be all about us, what we need, what we want, and what we’ve just got to have. This selfish attitude places a huge gap between us and the Lord. Philippians 2:4 (Amplified) says, “Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others.”

Image:  www.freedigitalphotos.net

Another barrier or roadblock to serving God is materialism. Dictionary.com defines materialism as: “preoccupation with or emphasis on material objects, comforts, and considerations, with a disinterest in or rejection of spiritual, intellectual, or cultural values.” Don’t get me wrong, God does not mind His children being prosperous, having needs not wants met, and having the best that life offers. But, as the definition states, when it becomes a preoccupation and your spiritual life takes a back seat, it then becomes a barrier between you and God.  Luke 16:13 (Amplified ) says, “No servant is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon (riches, or [a]anything in which you trust and on which you rely).”

Serve God with gladness and thankfulness. Don’t let it be a chore to serve Him. Don’t become preoccupied with things of this world because they will soon perish.

Psalm 100 (Amplified) – Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come before His presence with singing!  Know (perceive, recognize, and understand with approval) that the Lord is God! It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]! We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!  For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.

Birthday Blessings

Image: www.freedigitalphotos.net

Today is my birthday and God said Happy Birthday Betty and because I love you so much Happy Birthday Faye. He smiled at me and told me that I am the love of His life and He gave me another year.

I woke up in good health, breathing, moving, talking, and walking, all without the help of another. My God is an awesome God. He is my friend, my father, and my all.

Birthday Blessings

B = Blessed – I am blessed with all spiritual blessings. Spiritual blessings are eternal blessings. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,…” Ephesians 1:3 (NKJV)

 I = Image of God. – I am created in the image of God. “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26-27

 R = Righteous – I am made righteous through Christ. “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:18-21 (NKJV)

T = Thankful – I am thankful for all that God has done and been in my life. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:15-16 (NKJV)

 H = Happy – My joy and happiness are in the Lord. “All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].” Proverbs 15:15 (Amplified)

 D = Day – Psalm 118:24 (NKJV) “This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

 A = An Abundance – God desires us to have an abundant life. He wants us to have an abundance of love, joy, peace, forgiveness, guidance, mercy and grace. John 10:10 (NKJV), “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

 Y = Yoke – God wants our yoke and burdens to be given to Him. “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.” Matthew 11:29 (Amplified)

Thank you Lord for a wonderful and blessed birthday!

I’m Still Here

Do you ever think about how far you have come and that you’ve gone through or all that you are currently experiencing? Marvin Sapp’s,  song Here I Am says that he almost gave up but he’s still standing.  It is by the grace and mercy of God that we are still here.  In the Psalm 23, David concludes the Psalm by saying “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Into every life a little rain must fall but through the rain and the storm we can come out brand new.

Here I am – Marvin Sapp

 

Grace is Powerful

I know that I wrote about grace several post ago, but doing what I usually do (listen to gospel music while driving home from work), I heard this version being sang by T.D. Jakes and the Potter’s House Choir. Listening to Pastor Jakes powerful and dramatic voice makes you really see and feel the grace of God.

I found the song on “You Tube” Published on May 21, 2012 by elderharris3. Elder Harris said: A Revisionary of Bishop T.D. Jakes and the Potter House Choir “Grace”, a homemade video project. A home production with wonderful scenery to go with music.

I hope you enjoy  the song as much as I did.  If it wasn’t for God’s grace where would you be.

 

Thank you Lord for grace.

Image: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

 

 

“Thankful Tuesday”

 

Today is “Thankful Tuesday” because to be thankful is to be happy.  Psalm 107:1 says, “O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!”

Today I am thankful that I woke up and was able to dress myself.  I am thankful that I had food to eat. I am thankful that I arrived at work safely. I am thankful that I can see, hear, feel, walk, talk, and think. Today I am thankful that God allowed me another opportunity to share His word with others.

“It is a good and delightful thing to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises [with musical accompaniment] to Your name, O Most High,” Psalm 92:1 (Amplified)

“Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (Amplified)

30 Days Of…Day 20 – “Captive Thoughts”

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have a hard time with my thoughts. I was reading one of  my Christian fiction novels and one of the characters was thinking some thoughts about someone she was having difficulty with. Then she thought to her self, “God, you said to take every thought captive unto Christ. How do I do that?”  I have often wondered the same thing. Sometimes I read a scripture and it is clear as a bell to me and there are those scriptures that it takes a little longer for me to interpret and to activate in my life such as this one about taking thoughts capture. My pastor sometimes says we need to “practice the principles”.  In other words, what we learn from the scripture, we must put it into action. We must also be careful about the books we read, the music we listen to, and the television shows and movies we watch. All of these things affect our thought life.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, “ (New King James Version).

So many times I have built up a scenario in my mind about something that I think the another person has said or done and I let my imagination run wild with these thoughts. Most of the time what I am thinking is not reality and never even comes to pass. So the question is how do we take thoughts captive when we they can so easily run away from us?

My research on this topic gives good biblical advice on how to grow in this area. The first thing I found is that taking thoughts captive is a choice. We have a choice to choose right thoughts or wrong thoughts. We have a choice to recognize unhealthy and negative thoughts and turn from them. This goes back to what I said earlier in the post about practicing the principles.  What do we need to practice to be able to take thoughts captive?

  1. We must be diligent in reading and studying the Word of God
  2. We must actively focus our thoughts on God
  3. We must speak the Word of God
  4. Listen to praise and worship music
  5. We must pray and ask God to redirect our thoughts when they go astray

Prayer, faith, hope, God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit are all effective weapons to use in the battle against thoughts that are negative and are not of God.

Philippians 4:8 (Amplified Bible)“For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].”

Looks like I have some more work to do in this area of my life. I am a work in progress with rough edges that are being ironed out every day. I thank God for His mercy and grace.