The Benefits of a Walk that is Pleasing to God

Paul was praying for the Colossian Christians in a very specific way. He wanted to see them walking and experiencing an authentic life with Christ. He envisioned them, and us too, living a life worthy of the calling of Jesus. In today’s passage, Paul lists the benefits of such a worthy walk with Christ and how it truly pleases Him. Colossians 1:10-12 “ so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Wow! What a list of benefits Paul is praying for the Colossian Christians to experience in their daily walk with Jesus!

Bearing fruit in every good work. A life indwelt by the Holy Spirt, focused on Jesus shows fruit. Which of these is the Holy Spirit producing in your life as you seek to know and follow Him? Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” James 3:17 “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

Increasing in the knowledge of God. Is this your goal, to know God more fully? Could this be said of you? 1 Chronicles 28:9 “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.

strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. Do you feel God’s strength, have endurance during the difficulties that arise each day or do you see and feel joy when you wait upon Him? Nehemiah 8:10 “for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Hebrews 10:36 “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Are you thankful for your heavenly inheritance to come and grateful for hope-filled life Jesus is providing for you right now? Ephesians 1:18 “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 1 Peter 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,

I pray as you study and meditate on these benefits provided to us through our faith in Jesus that you will be blessed with a deeper knowledge of Him and be encouraged in your walk. Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can receive benefits of faith that lead to greater knowledge of Him, strength, endurance, patience and joy! Thank you Jesus!

Linda

Thankfulness Day 30: a recipe for peace

As I end this month long journey of thankfulness, I am more content and satisfied with my present circumstances because of all of the wonderful promises and truths we’ve seen. My final choice this last day of November 2020, which has been a particularly difficult year world over, is Philippians 4:6-7. I like the Amplified translation as it makes it very clear, Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

This promise of not needing to worry about anything is very reassuring. To really believe this, one must believe God exists and is Sovereign over all things in His creation. God is in control and I need to pray specifically about my concerns and needs and leave it to God. Worry or anxiety is human but is not what God wants for us. He wants us trusting in Him, releasing our worries to Him and living with His peace in our hearts. His peace for our mind, body and soul comes from and through Christ Jesus. He promises to guard our hearts and minds and give us a transcending peace. All this comes as we commit ourselves to being thankful in all things and believing in faith that God has things handled.

May the thankful promises of November carry you into December so you can rejoice in the Advent season. The reason for our thankfulness is found in Christ!

Linda

Thankfulness Day 26: Hard times, there is Hope

Are you in a hard spot this Thanksgiving Day? The prophet Habakkuk gives us words for difficult circumstances that bring hope and thanksgiving to our lips, no matter what.

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
    and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
    and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
    and the cattle barns are empty,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
    I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength!

    He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
    able to tread upon the heights. Habakkuk 3:17-19

The situations that are described in verse 17 are about as bad as it could get for an ancient agrarian society. Famine, crop failure, animals dying, no oil for lamps or cooking or wine for pressing and barren fields would mean complete destruction of life as they knew it. What devastating circumstances are you experiencing- loss of job, illness, Covid-19, death of a loved one, aloneness this Thanksgiving? Then Habakkuk’s words of hope and resolve in verse 18 and 19 are meant for you today.

Realign your thinking and focus on the goodness and provision of God. He alone is to be the source of our joy and strength and He is eternal. No devastating circumstances can remove or diminish God’s love for us. We are saved through faith in Jesus and salvation is a permanent state of being. Through God we can have the strength to endure hardships both physical and emotional. By concentrating and relying upon His strength, we can and will endure. My go to verse is 2 Corinthians 12:9 ” “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” God gives me exactly what I need each day to endure with and in Him.

May we live each day dependent upon God’s Grace and be filled with Thanksgiving in our hearts.

Linda

Thanksgiving Day 24: Wow! God! There is none like YOU!

Psalm 34: 7-10 hold many truths about God that cause my heart to sing praises to Him with thanksgiving.

The angel of the Lord encamps God protects.
    around those who fear him, and delivers them. God delivers. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! God is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! God is our refuge.
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, God is to be revered.
    for those who fear him have no lack! God provides abundantly.
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger; God is tireless.
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. God wants us to seek Him and promises to provide all we truly need.

Who is like God? No one or nothing can compare to the riches we have in Jesus. God is our provider, protector, a refuge in times of trouble, giver of all good things and tireless on our behalf. Do not these wonderful truths about God cause you to be thankful and want to praise and worship Him? He desires that we experience His love and goodness and have a relationship with Him.

Share your love for God with someone this season out of a heart filled with thanksgiving.

Linda

Thankfulness Day 22: God can use you to bless others!

Have you ever thought, I don’t have the energy, time or money to do another good thing for someone else? Or I’m used up so let God choose someone else to do this or someone else to meet this need? Today’s verses from 2 Corinthians 9:7-9 address these questions and needs and shows us how to keep our priorities straight and God focused.

Paul writes, Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” He was mainly addressing the giving that Titus was going to be collecting when he arrived in Corinth. The churches were collecting moneys for the destitute Christians in Jerusalem. Paul knew that the Corinthians were generous but wanted to remind them of how much their giving pleased God and the benefits of giving to both the giver and receiver.

I want to focus on verse 8 “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” This principle of blessing when we give is applies to all things- money, time and our talents. God promises to meet all our needs from His great riches and give abundantly- not just adequately, but abundantly so we can abound, thrive and excel in doing His good works. If we look to Jesus, He will supply all our needs. That is cause for thanksgiving and celebration!! God blesses us as we give out of what we have. We don’t do His work for the blessings that will come but out of our love for Him. The blessings are a byproduct of serving Him.

Thank Him today for His blessings and the opportunities He gives to serve Him.

Linda

Thankfulness Day 5: we are well cared for!

Gentle readers, I want to apologize for the typo in yesterday’s text- the reference was 1 John 1:5-7. I was able to correct or update the blog online but not to my followers. As much as one tries to avoid such errors, they happen and there does not seem to be a way to resend a correction. Thanks for following and know that I try to be as accurate as possible.

Today’s verse is one that is dear to my heart, Isaiah 58:11. “The Lord will guide you always;  he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden,  like a spring whose waters never fail.”
I first encountered this verse during a bible study as it was our memory verse for the week. As I sought to imprint it upon my heart, I was captivated by Isaiah’s images of how God cares for me. I love to garden and the thought of always being well-watered with His living water always bolsters my spirit. The thought that He is watching out for me and will see that my needs are met when life gets hard, dry and seems to tax me to the limit. God will see that I do not flag in strength and He assures me that He is my guide. Lastly, the promise that His living water will always be there to quench my thirst for all eternity is amazing.

I pray that the thoughts and truths expressed by Isaiah in this verse will empower you to live more thankfully today.

Linda

Thankfulness Day 4: The Lighted Pathway

Today’s verses from 1 John 1:5-7 cause our hearts and minds to lean in to Jesus with thanksgiving. “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

These verses hold a promise from God: walking with Jesus puts us in fellowship with one another, brings purity from sin and places us on a lighted pathway in life. The light Jesus brings to our life shows us His truth and helps us to live in harmony with one another. Who doesn’t want to live without strife and turmoil in their relationships? Who doesn’t want to be clean, pure and presented holy before Holy God? Who doesn’t want to know that Jesus brings us harmony, peace, and assurance, so our lives can be stable and grounded when trials or troubles come? We do not live in a protected bubble but in a sin-filled world. Sin and its temptations are always around us and seek to lead us from the pathway of truth that we find in Jesus and His Word. Entanglements are Satan’s specialty as he seeks to keep us from the peace God truly desires for our lives.

I give thanks today for His light in my life, the purity that comes from knowing Jesus and His guidance. I can stand firmly rooted in God’s promises and His Word of truth. No doubting! God’s Word is true and Jesus is our Savior. Let Him shine His light of truth into your heart, your relationships and your future as you seek Him today with a heart of thanksgiving.

Linda

Thankful in all things, really Lord?

1 Thess 5 18Paul’s final words to the Thessalonians in his first letter to them shows his pastor’s heart.  He told them to take care of one another, be patient, not to seek revenge and always try to do good.  Then in 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 he includes these thoughts: Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”  He concludes this passage with admonitions to them to not try to block the Holy Spirit’s work and always seek to do good. 

What would our lives be like if we really tried to do these things?  Being patient with those who frustrate us, seeking to take care of those who are weak or in need, not being vengeful, always being filled with joy, thanks and praises to God, being known as a prayer warrior, seeking to do the will of God in all things and always looking for the good.   But that is what Paul is saying is God’s will for us.  God wants us filled with joy, always looking to Him in prayer and being thankful in all circumstances.   Scripture does not say being thankful for all things but in all things.  We do not need to be thankful for the hurricane, car accident or someone’s death,  but we need to be thankful during those times of stress, deprivation, sorrow or calamity.  We need to have an attitude of gratitude towards God at all times.  That can be very hard in difficult times but as Paul says this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”   This is the key to having a grateful heart which God desires of us.  I love the way David expresses this is Psalm 86:11-13         Teach me your ways, O Lord,
    that I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart,
    so that I may honor you.
12 With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.
    I will give glory to your name forever,
13 for your love for me is very great.
    You have rescued me from the depths of death.

psalm 86 12Is this you in all circumstances?  Let David’s words be your prayer today.

Lindar

Prayer, is it your habit at meals?

prayer-thank-you-lordOne area of giving thanks that has seemingly slipped away in America is the practice of giving thanks at meals.  It is a rare occurrence to see people praying in restaurants as they are served food.  Why has this habit begun to disappear from public view?  I really don’t have an answer just some conjectures:  **In today’s world, people seem overly concerned with how others view them and do not want to do something considered ‘politically incorrect’ and offend someone.  **They have gotten out of the habit of doing this regularly.  **Or perhaps thanking God for the food they are about to eat, never crosses their mind as they earned the money to pay for it, so why give thanks?  Whatever the reasons they have for not praying- giving thanks is very biblical.

Jesus’ giving thanks is recorded in the gospels on various occasions.  Matthew 14:18-19 Jesus is preparing to feed 5,000 people and He said, “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people”   Again when 4,000 had gathered and had been with him for days, He had compassion on them and gave them food.  Matthew 15:35-36 “He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.”   After Jesus’ resurrection, he met the men on the Road to Emmaus.  They did not know who he was but He spoke to them about himself from scripture.  They begged him to stay and eat with them on their journey.  Luke 24:30-31 records this encounter, breaking breadWhen he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.”   Paul also followed Jesus’ example under the hardest of circumstances.  He was a prisoner being transported to Rome and they were in a great storm.  All on board the ship feared for their lives.  Paul brings calm into the situation, Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. 34 Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” 35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. 36 They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37 Altogether there were 276 of us on board.”  Acts 27:33-37

What should be our response to these biblical examples of giving thanks?  Jesus in his humanity gave thanks to God for the provision of food for the gathered crowds.  Paul gave thanks in a desperate situation that could have totally consumed his thoughts and prayers.  They did not ‘forget’ to pray when they were busy and consumed with other things- they stopped, gave thanks and then ate.  No matter where we are, we need to acknowledge God when we eat.  We need to thank the creator of all things for the provision of food for our bodies.  Physical food is essential for our bodies to run well just as spiritual food is essential for our growth and development in Christ.  Our spiritual food is the Word of God.

Thanks with grateful heartI must confess that I am convicted by this blog today.  I often do not pray when I am out in the company of unbelievers or get out of the habit of praying when by myself at meals.  Knowing Jesus was in the habit of thanking God for his physical provision of food, convicts me that I should do the same out of respect for God and His provisions in my life.  I pray that you are led to do likewise.

Linda

Seeing God’s response to me, brings thankfulness!

A-Thankful-HeartPsalm 28 is a thankful response from David for God’s deliverance.  I want to focus on the verses 6-9.   What was David thankful for in these verses that we know to be absolutely true of God?

Praise the Lord!                                                       
For he has heard my cry for mercy.                 God is accessible, He hears our prayers.
The Lord is my strength and shield.                   God is our protector.
I trust him with all my heart.                                  God is trustworthy.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.                    God gives us joy.

The Lord gives his people strength.                     God gives us strength to meet the day.
    He is a safe fortress for his anointed king.
Save your people!                                                    God saves those who believe in Him.
Bless Israel, your special possession.                 God blesses.
Lead them like a shepherd,                                     God is our good shepherd.
    and carry them in your arms forever.               God is eternal and saves us for                                                                                                                        eternity with Him.

attributes of GodFor which of these attributes are you most thankful today?  I had a friend tell me yesterday that when times are hard she focuses on her joy in the Lord.  What about you?  As you go through today, meditate on God’s goodness and blessings towards you, then take time to thank Him.

Blessings,

Linda