Thankfulness

James 1.pngEvery good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change life shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.   James 1:17-18

This week we will be celebrating Thanksgiving here in America are we can take the time to remember the history behind the first Thanksgiving celebrate with the Pilgrims and Indians years ago. However, as you think of that time we learn in school do you also take the time to celebrate the many blessings that comes from our Heavenly Father, our Creator, the “Great I Am” I truly believe that too many times we as humans take for granted our blessings that we do have. Take the time to take a walk to see all the beauty that our land has to offer, the beauty that God has created for all of to enjoy. Everything that we have, everything that we own truly are God’s bless to all of his children. Try to think for a moment just imagine you standing in the presence of God, the “Great I Am” the Alpha and Omega, our Creator. His very name at times my soul shakes because I am unworthy to look into his eyes because I am a sinner. I am standing in His presence and I take my shoes off because I am standing on Holy Ground with My Great Redeemer. I can hardly breathe or simply say a word for I am totally amaze as I look into his eyes. His love for me his child, can I simply and honestly  put it into words within my heart, what I am truly feeling at this very moment at this very second.  I stand in the presence of the “Great I Am”, in His embrace, I loose all sense of time and all my problems I may have brought to him in this place as all but disappear for I am in His presence. Whenever I feel tempted to grumble I will simply go to you and simply talk it over with you. As I open up to you my Lord, give me your peace to calm my spirit down, so that all the cares of the world simply fall away. Help me to trust you by opening up to you each and everyday. I can’t wait until I become so discourage I just need to come to you with all of my concerns. As I talk it over with you, I will remember to thank you for all that you have done, for all the prayers that have been answered and the ones that will be answer in your time. My gratitude will provide a helpful framework for the things that concerns me. As you and I talk about everything, I think of looking into your face with all of its beauty and amazing light and my worries simply disappear forever. When I spend this time with you my Lord I will come away with joy and peace spending the time with you and this world that I have come to know can never rob me of that anymore.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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Through the Eyes of God

James 4b.pngNow listen, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to this city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that. As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it sin for them.    James 4:13-17

Have you ever taking the time to think of how God sees you? I would say we have all been guilty of this as well, because we can see the good in others, there talents, but when we come to us to see what God sees our view and opinion of ourselves falls pretty short. I believe that this happens after we have been hurt by another, from a situation that takes place in our lives we begin to believe the lies from the devil himself, I am not good enough. The way you see your life shapes your life. Your perspective will influence how you invest your time, spend your money, use your talents, and value your relationships. I have read more than once the book call The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren a well known author, if you haven’t read it as of yet I do encourage you to do so. As Rick Warren shares in his book, we don’t know all the test God will give us, but we can predict some of them, based on the Bible. You will be tested by major changes, delayed promises, impossible problems, unanswered prayers, undeserved criticism, and even senseless tragedies. I know that in my own life that God test my faith in many ways, through having a chronic ill child, times of challenges in my marriage, the disappointments I went through with people, but during these times my faith gets tested over and over again of being faithful to my Creator, my Lord and Savior, and through these times as I look back on my life I have grown closer to Christ more than I could ever image I would be able to do. Every time you or I pass a test, God notices and makes plans to reward you in eternity. In the book of James he tells us “Blessed are those who endure when they are tested. When they pass the test, they will received the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.                                                                                                   Our culture today says, “If you don’t own it, you will not take care of it. But Christians live by a higher standard, “Because God owns it, I must take the best care of anything I have because all gifts are a blessing from God, in other words everything and I mean everything I have and own comes from God and God alone. Rick shares with us in his book that Christians should carry spiritual cards (called a green card), to remind us that our citizenship is in heaven. God says his children are to think differently about life from the way unbelievers do, all they do is to worry about life here on earth, and for us as Christians is to look forward to the day when we are reunited with the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. If you are not sure how God sees you and how precious you are to him, a simply suggestion for you to do is ask him, and believe me he will tell you. He loves you so much that he sent his one and only son Jesus into this world to die for us all so that we will never be separated from him once we leave this world. Remember when life gets hard and really hard for you, and you are overwhelmed with doubt, remember you are not home yet, and when the time comes and it will in a blink of an eye you will return home to the Father, “The Great I Am”

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Will You Follow

mark 1As well read in the gospel of Mark 1:16-20 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fisherman. “Come follow me, ” Jesus said, and I will send you out to fish for people. At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little father, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Jesus knows that we are all a work in progress, however even thro we are, he is calling all of us to follow him. Are you willing to give up all the earthly pleasure and to say yes to Christ to do what he has ask you to do. It will not be an easy choice my friends however I can say that it will be the best choice that anyone will ever make. Once you decided to follow him you will never regret the choice you have made, because it is the right one. The disciples truly didn’t have to think about what Jesus was telling them was to “Come and follow me.” As Christian we are the disciples of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ and we all are called to make disciples for his kingdom. How can you do it believe me it is not hard at all, first you need to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior if you have not already, and if you did Praise His Name, begin seeking out a church so that you are able to grow and learn spiritually. Attend a Bible study and begin reading a Bible and if you don’t have one I know that the church you are attending will be more than willing to give a Bible to you. Begin spending time alone with your Heavenly Father he has so much to share with you and he has been waiting a long time for you to come to him with a willing heart (that is all it takes) This world is only our temporary home, however your home for all of eternally will be with our Lord Jesus Christ, however in the meantime you and I have much needed work that he has called us to do. Are you willing to follow, are you will to say yes Jesus I am willing to follow you for today and always.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Difficult Times

James 4.jpgThere are many times in the life of a Christian that we go through difficult times, and sometimes it seems that at every corner we are being attack spiritual, and it is when we know that we are the words of James comes to my mind. James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you, as well as Jeremiah 6:16 This is what the Lord says; Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient paths; and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Instead of us running from our Lord we need to run as fast as we can towards him, to rest our tired soul. When we are feeling sad, Jesus wants us to anticipate feeling joyful again. This takes the sting out of our sorrows, because we know it is only temporary what we are going thru. Sadness tends to duplicate itself along the timeline-convincing us that we will always be unhappy. But that is a lie! Jesus is telling us to turn away from the lies we are hearing and to turn to him and more important to trust him and all that he has promised us. The truth is, all of his children have infinite joy ahead of them, reserved in heaven, guaranteed through-out eternity. No one can take this away from us, which is wonderful to know. While we are journeying towards heaven, our earthly path has many ups and downs. Through your down times are uncomfortable, they are not worthless. Pain and struggle can be highly productive when we trust Jesus in the midst of our sufferings. Our anguish is comparable to a woman enduring labor pains. Her suffering is very real, and she wonder how much longer she can bear this pain, and this is the way we truly feel at times. However, all this agony produces a wonderful result-a newborn baby. The memories of her suffering retreat to the background of her mind as she begins to focus on her child. While we labor through earthly afflictions we need to keep our eyes on the promised reward in Jesus, and the wonderful joy we do have in knowing him no matter what we are going thru.

Grace and Peace to you My Friends

Devotion for Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday.pngBe patience, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming.  (James 5:7)

Having patience is never easy however, on this Holy Saturday the day before Easter we sit and wait for Easter Sunday for we know that when the new day we know the good news of our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But let us think back to more than two thousand years ago as all of Jesus’ disciples fear for their own lives they hid for the did not know what a new day would bring to them, would others seek to find them and also try to kill them as they did Jesus.  Jesus did tell his disciples what would happen, as we look back into the Gospel of John 16:16-18 “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” At this, some of his disciples said to one another” What does he mean by saying. ‘ In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me, and Because I am going to the Father?” They kept asking, “What does he mean a ‘little while’ We don’t understand what he is saying.”

Jesus was explain that they will grief because of his crucifixion, then their grief will17903627_1579314462079236_5626167077670983588_n turn to joy when they see him once again. Death could not hold him, for “He Lives” and even thro today we may be upset for the death of our Lord tomorrow our grief will turn to joy, for his tomb will be empty. Praise His Name for Ever and Ever because He Lives we can face tomorrow.

 

Grace and Peace to you my friends

Jesus Praying in Gethsemane

Jesus Praying.pngAs we continue with the Gospel of Matthew 26:36-46, Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ” Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubles. Then he said to them, ” My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayer. ” My Father if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as your will. Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?”, he asked Peter. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, ” My Father, it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. The he returned to the disciples and said to them, ” Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer.
According to all four Gospels, immediately after the Last Supper, Jesus took a walk to pray. Each Gospel offers a slightly a different  account with regards to narrative details. Matthew and Mark identify this place of prayer as Gethsemane. Jesus was accompanied by the Apostles, Peter, John and James, whom he asked to stay away and pray. In the Gospel of John, Jesus prays to Be Glorified, (John 17:1) “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. Jesus then prays for his disciples.(John 17:6) “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours, you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Jesus also prays for all Believers ( John 17:20) My prayer is not for them alone, I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one.  An angel then came from heaven to strengthen him. During his agony as he prayed, his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down upon the ground.  (Luke 22:44)

Even thro the disciples had no idea what was about to happen to their friend, their teacher, the Master, but Jesus did, all the pain he would suffer for the sins of the world then and even now. What great Love He has for You and Me.

The night is no where over for Jesus.