Thanksgiving and Praise

“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!” (1 Chronicles 16:34)

Yes, Lord, You are so good! You are good and do only good (Psalm 119:68 NLT). I praise You for Your total goodness. I also thank You for Your goodness to me.
Thank you for your unending mercy and loving-kindness! How I need Your mercy! If I continued to look at how often I’ve failed to show love or have gone my own way, surely I would faint from discouragement. But Your mercy is fresh every morning (Lamentations 3:23), and it endures forever! Thank You!

In the New Living Translation, “loving-kindness” is translated “faithful love.”Thank You, Lord, for Your faithful love! Your love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).

“Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! Who can put into words and tell the mighty deeds of the Lord? Or who can show forth all the praise [that is due Him]?” (Psalm 106:1-2)

“All the praise that is due God”—indeed, Lord, You are worthy of unending praise. No matter how many praises I sing or say, You are worthy of more.

“Bless (Affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!” (Psalm 103:1)

O my soul, when you are tempted to feel sad or discouraged, remember God’s goodness and mercy and faithful love. Put into words some of His mighty deeds. Then affectionately and gratefully praise your Lord and bless His holy Name. And remember that His mercy and faithful love (even for you) ENDURE FOREVER!

(Scripture quotes are from the Amplified Bible.)

 

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Refuge in the Storm

I don’t like going through difficulties, but I suppose I couldn’t know God as my refuge if I never went through a storm. Jesus, You are my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust (Psalm 91:12). Today I will trust You, God, as my refuge.

Psalm 139:9-10 “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.”
Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Both verses NIV)
No matter where we are, God will guide us and hold onto us. He will strengthen and help us and hold us up. So why do I whine, complain, or try to run from the troubles God allows for me? Do I imagine that God is going to train me and use me without getting me out of my comfort zone? Or do I cling to unbelief so that these sure promises become just words and wishful thinking in my life? Sadly, sometimes I do. These foolish thoughts, bad attitudes, and lack of faith don’t please God, nor do they bring Him glory. So I repent. I turn from these old ways and choose to believe the truth of God’s Word.
Gracious Father, Your ways really are better than mine. Mighty Holy Spirit, please help me change. Amen.

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Only a Tent

My body is only a tent, a temporary dwelling place. I can try to take good care of it. If I should need things like medicines or eye glasses, they are like tent patches. They help my physical body. When my body dies, the real me will live on.

From 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.” (NKJV)
Romans 14:8 “For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” (NKJV)

Whether I live or die, I am the Lord’s. I trust in Him.

Psalm 29:9: “The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’” (NIV)
My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 6:19). Let all within me cry, “Glory! Glory to the Lord God almighty!”

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Revelation #32. The Harvest of Grace & the Harvest of Wrath

Even if you never read a post written by me on this blog, I pray you will read this reblog from Pastor Tom’s “Clear Bible” blog. I wish everyone knew that “God isn’t mean or vindictive. But he is Absolute.”

Clear Bible

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The wilderness is beautiful and awe-inspiring. But if you cross it, it will kill you in a heartbeat. The wilderness doesn’t kill you because it is mean. It kills you if try to do something that is contrary to its nature, because its nature is unyielding. It is what it is. In the same way, God isn’t mean or vindictive. But he is Absolute. His nature is the foundation of everything that exists. It doesn’t change. And that means those who rebel against his Holiness & Righteousness, or even ignore it, will break themselves to pieces on God.

To listen to the sermon, click the play button:

To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer:
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Revelation #32. Revelation 14:14-20.

This is the last of part four, the seven…

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They slapped Jesus right in His face!!!

This is an excellent post by Tanya Nemley.

God Speaks I Listen

slapping jesus

Matthew 18:22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.

Matthew 26:67 Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him

Matthew 27:30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.

Mark 14:65 Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and beat him.

Immanuel עִמָּנוּאֵל‬ means “God with us”.

So let me get this straight…God Himself came down to the earth that He created and fixed things so we could straighten out our relationship with Him so that through Jesus Christ we could be holy and clean enough to be presented to God and live with Him forever in heaven? Yes!!!

 

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More Relationship, Less Religion

Dear Father, all too often my relationship with you reverts to more religion than relationship. Praying, reading Your Word, Bible study, keeping rules, fasting, and quiet time with You are all good things. However, their value in getting closer to You diminishes if I do them as just routine, something more to check off my list of to-do’s.
One lure that draws me toward the religion trap is the foolish idea that I need do all those things so I can earn Your love, favor, attention, and approval. But of course these things (love, etc.) are gifts of Your grace, not things I earn. You already love me to the max. Jesus showed that when He suffered and died so I could be forgiven and reconciled to You. You are my Father, and I am Your child (John 1:12). Your Word overflows with declarations of Your favor for and attention to those who belong to You. Besides these, You’ve given us Your Holy Spirit so we have power and resources to live purposeful lives that please You.
I want to keep doing those good things, but let me do them because I love You and because they draw me closer to You. May I throw out any hint of earning anything. Thank You for reminding me of the wonderful truth that You desire relationship rather than religion. Amen.
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” (Psalm 27:8 New Living Translation)

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Cleaning My Thought Closet

The other morning as I walked along, one of those old “if-only” thoughts popped into my mind. I used to torment myself with those a lot. I’d whine, “If only I had gone God’s way instead of mine, then I wouldn’t have hurt so many people, and I would be enjoying ‘X’ benefit that I don’t enjoy now.” Possibly true, but I can’t change what I’ve done, and there’s no longer room in my life for “if-only.”

That kind of regret focuses on me, not on Jesus. It brings no honor to God. In fact, it hints that I have hindered His power to forgive and heal. It hisses that God is somehow limited by my failure. How ugly! I’m going to my thought closet right now to yank out every one of those if-only garments that the Holy Spirit will show me. That will make room for more praise and thanksgiving and additional attractive spiritual clothing (like humility and patience).

 

Hebrews 12:2a “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith….”
2 Corinthians 5:15 “And [Jesus] died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for [Him] who died for them and was raised again.”
Ephesians 4:17, 22-24 “…[You] must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. …You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
(All Scripture quotes NIV)

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