Monday, November 9, 2015

A Season of Joyful Thankfulness and Deep Gratitude

Please join me at Internet Café Devotions today.

Warm winter branches.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
November comes with all sorts of opportunities to express thankfulness. The things at the top of my “Things I’m Thankful For” list are not surprising. They include salvation, family, friends, church, home, and career.  These have not changed in years and I doubt they will change in the future. However, the things further down my list have changed significantly as time has passed.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

What do you believe?


Sunday Morning we were asked “What do you believe?” and told that we answer that question by looking at what we do. I’ve been thinking about this and asking myself this question for the past few days. Actually, these are the questions I’ve been asking….
  • Do I believe that there is power in prayer?  
  • Do I believe that Studying God’s word is beneficial to me?
  • Do I believe that all sin grieves God’s heart and puts a rift between Him and me?
  • Do I believe that Jesus died to save ALL people?
  • Do I believe that my children look to me as their example of what it means to be a Biblically Christian Adult?
  • Do I believe that people need Jesus more than they need anything else?
  • Do I believe that what I do for God is the only thing that matters?
  • Do I believe that my children need to be encouraged and guided with love?
  • Do I believe that my husband needs me to encourage him and support him and speak kindness to him and about him?
  • Do I believe that, as a Christian, I should pattern behavior, decisions, lifestyle, and the way I treat all people after Christ?
  • Do I believe that God takes all sin seriously?
The list goes on and on and on (and also contains all sorts of non-spiritual things about laundry and house work and naps and TV and my phone and bills and cooking that I wont go into here.) I ask myself these questions and then look at my life and the choices and decisions I make and my heart aches. If my daily routine, the choices I make, the way I talk to and treat people, & the ways in which I choose to spend my time all point to what I believe, then in reality, I believe that I am very important, that My feelings and My needs are important, and that I shouldn’t be uncomfortable or do without. This makes me very sad and it needs to change. It must change if I truly believe the things I think and say that I believe.
For the longest time I thought that striving to be a good person was at least aiming in the right direction. Truth be told, I feel like, overall, I do okay by “good person” standards. I certainly have a long list of rules about things I do and don’t do because I am a Christian and honestly, I love living a life that serves my Savior. By “the world’s” standards, I suppose I am a decent person but as Christians, Christ is our standard, so I’m nowhere close to where I want to be. I blogged sometime recently about how "being good" isn’t enough and I feel that today more than ever. Trying to be a good person isn’t working. I need Christ to change my heart so that I am more and more a reflection of Him.
I'm pretty blue right this minute because I am feeling the weight of my sin and the many ways I fail every day. It makes me thankful that Christ died for my sin and thankful that He defeated death so that we can spend eternity in heaven. I am thankful for all the many ways He has changed me and grown me to look more like Him. I am thankful that He reveals my need for more of Him every single day. I'm thankful that HE still takes time to shape me into someone He can use. I am so vey thankful that He does not give up on me.
It is my prayer that I continue to grow spiritually so that those who know me, know what I believe.