What if...

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Am I thankful?  I like to think that I am, but every now and then I get caught up in comparing myself to others. 

Well, I ran across the question above and it stopped me in my tracks.  I mean, think about it. 

What IF you woke up today with only the things that you thanked God for yesterday?

What would you have and what would you miss?  Or the better question, who would you have and who would you miss?

When we get caught up in that “comparison game” or the “woe is me pity party”, we lose sight of all that we have to be thankful!  We begin to lose sight of how BIG and AWESOME our God is!

I have found that when I start getting the mulligrubs, I need to look up and thank God for all the ways He has blessed me.  After being thankful for my salvation, I’m thankful for people!  That list can get pretty long…family, friends, acquaintances and more.

Then the praise starts!  After all, what a God who desires a relationship with us!  How awesome is that?  When mankind, you and I, could have cared less, He cared for us.  And He proved it by sending Jesus to pay a debt we could never pay so that we might become His sons and daughters! Hallelujah!

So today, take a few minutes and consider the question.

What IF you woke up today with only the things that you thanked God for yesterday?

Grace and Peace to you as you count your blessings,

 

“Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father”  Ephesians 5:20

Early in the Morning | Plus Canvas discount code

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I took the above photo while on a trip to Hot Springs, AR with a friend.  That is Lake Hamilton at sunrise.  It was a very relaxing and renewing few days.

My friend has been a Southern Baptist missionary in Africa most of her adult life. She and her husband were home on furlough when she and I took this get away trip.  It was fabulous!  We agreed to have supper together and enjoy one another’s company in the evenings, but the mornings and afternoons we retreated away alone to seek the Lord.

We took time to have our own person devotions and quiet time with the Lord in the mornings.  She would go to one part of the house we stayed in and I went to the other.  We seldom saw each other in the morning. We usually took breaks at the same time for lunch so we shared our lunch meals together.  Then we would retreat back to our personal quiet space until evening. During this time we would seek God’s guidance for particular areas of our lives and work on goal and plans.

It was funny that every morning we each walked around the neighborhood, but neither of us realized the other was walking until we talked about our days.  I’m telling you, we seldom saw each other in the mornings.  Of course, the first morning I slept in (I won’t say how late – I was ashamed of myself). That must have meant that I needed the rest, right? 

I’m telling you, I would love to do this a couple of times a year.  It was great to spend uninterrupted time with Jesus and to pull away from the business of life to focus on Him and His direction for my life.

When I looked back over my photos from the trip, this one really caught my attention.  I was reminded that we truly are without excuse.  After all, the heavens declare the glory of God. So I looked up the verse, added it to my photo and found canvasdiscount.com to have the canvas made. 

I love how that one turned out so much that I had several other photos printed on canvas. If you want to check it out for yourself, just click on the link below. Plus recieve 15% off your order of $30 or more if you use this link:

Pray At All Times

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Our final direction on suiting up in the armor of God is “with all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” In other words: Pray all the time.  Be on alert. Don’t quit. Pray for each other.

Pray all the time.  I Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” So how do we pray all the time?  We start and don’t stop.  It’s an attitude of always being in constant conversation with our Lord.  Even when we are not talking to Him, He is there and we can pick up our conversation right where we left off.

Be on alert.  I Corinthians 16:13 says, “Be on alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” We are to be on guard all the time in this war as battles spring up from out of nowhere.  Remember our war is not against flesh and blood, but with spiritual forces. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.”

Don’t quit.  As believers, we are called to persevere. Keep on keeping on.  The Lord is on our side; who can stand against us?  2 Chronicles 15:7 says, “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Pray for each other.  I’ve heard it said, ‘anything God can do, prayer can do.” We must pray for each other.  My rule of thumb is if someone comes to mind, I say a quick prayer for them. If I can’t stop thinking about them, I pray long and hard for them.   Matthew 18:19 says, “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.” And Hebrews 4:16 says “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

I don’t know about you, but I need your prayers for me.  I have been in situations that I could not even express and a brother or sister will be praying for me. I will literally feel God’s presence in a stronger way and later find out that they were praying for me at that time.  It’s awesome that our Lord sends help, even when we have yet to ask!

We are in a war as long as we are on this earth.  But don’t lose heart; the victory has already been won! Our enemy, the devil, has been defeated. We are overcomers because Jesus has already overcome the world!

Suit up!

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,          Ephesians 6:10-18

Sword of the Spirit

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In a battle, swords are welded for defense and for the offense.  Our sword is the Holy Bible.  In this war against principalities and powers, we MUST be proficient with the Sword.

You will not know God’s Word by simply listening to a preacher on TV or in Church.  You must read and study it for yourself.  The book of Acts teaches us that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things.  God’s Word is living and actively instructing us through the Holy Spirit as we study.

You may find that if you and a friend study the same passage of scripture you both will have a slight variation of what that scripture said to you.  This is what I mean by it’s the living Word of God.  So long as both instructions measure up to the total teaching of the Bible, the Holy Spirit through the Word instructed you both based on where you are in your walk with Christ.

When the devil comes at you with lies like “God really didn’t mean…” or “God could never forgive you for…” you must be able to weld the Sword in defense.  The only way to do that is by studying the Bible for yourself!

What about offensively?  Philippians teaches us to think on things that are pure, true, trustworthy, and honorable and so on.  When we do this, we are being offensive in our use of the Sword by actively keeping our minds on pure things the ways we were instructed.

Matthew teaches us to seek God first.  This is using the Sword offensively.  When we seek Him first, all our needs will be met.

The Sword tells us things we should not do but it is full of things we should do:

  • Love God with all your heart, soul and mind
  • Love your neighbor as yourself
  • Honor your father and mother
  • Keep the Sabbath holy
  • Give to those in need
  • Take care of widows and orphans
  • Take up your cross daily
  • Make disciples
  • The God’s precepts and statutes to your children

If we just concentrated on the first two of these we would be busy on offense in this war.  And the best part is that as we love God supremely and others sacrificially, we will be seeing people added to the kingdom of God as we go!

Take up the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God!

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,          Ephesians 6:10-18