10 Scriptures On Being Thankful

1. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! (2 Corinthians 9:15 NLT)

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

3. We thank you, God, we thank you— your Name is our favorite word; your mighty works are all we talk about. (Psalm 75:1 MSG)

4. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name! (Psalm 100:4 AMP)

5. At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. (Ephesians 5:20 AMP)

6. Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. (Colossians 4:2 NLT)

7. Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 MSG)

8. Sing praise to the Lord, all his faithful people! Remember what the Holy One has done, and give him thanks! (Psalms 30:4 GNB)

9. IT IS a good and delightful thing to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises [with musical accompaniment] to Your name, O Most High, (Psalm 92:1 AMP)

10. Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. (1 Chronicles 16:8 NLT)

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Active Faith

I’ve always enjoyed reading the miracles that Jesus performed. There are a lot of similarities in them. A lot of the times Jesus tells the person, “Your faith has made you whole.” That phrase has always stood out to me because it puts the power of the miracle in the hands of the one receiving it. Other times, Jesus tells the person to go and do something and as they turn away to do it, they receive their healing. Again, it was their action that triggered the healing. In the miracles that I can think of, it’s always a partnership between the person in need and Jesus.

The disciples found five loaves and two fish and jesus fed 5,000. The blind man at the Pool of Siloam had to go wash his eyes for sight. The invalid lowered through the roof by his friends had to pick up his mat. Peter had to cast his nets on the other side. The woman with the issue of blood had to touch the hem of His garment. The ten lepers had to go show themselves to the priest. Each of these required action on the person’s part. They had to act in faith to receive their miracle.

At work, I study Brian Tracy philosophies in sales. One of the things he talks about is the Law of Belief. It says that your beliefs become your realities. He adds to it that people always act in a manner consistent with their beliefs. I immediately translate that to a life of faith. Peter believed if he got out of the boat, he would walk on water. No one else got out of the boat. It makes me think that he was the only one who truly believed he could do it. Each person in that boat acted on their belief. I quickly realized that my beliefs are not what I say they are, but rather what I act on.

There’s a difference in saying I believe in something and in acting on that belief. My actions speak louder than words. James put it this way: faith without works is dead. You could also say, “Faith without action is dead.” The Bible is full of miracles and promises of God that require action on our part. You and I are part of the equation that God uses to solve problems. When we truly believe that He can use us, we start acting in a manner consistent with that belief. We actively become His hands and feet. Until that point, as James put it, our faith is dead.

What has God asked you to do that you’ve been holding back on? Where has He asked you to go, but you still haven’t moved? Put your actions where your words are. Step out in faith and act on what you believe. Peter did and he’s the only disciple that can say he walked on water. It’s time we got out of our boats and started trusting God to do the impossible. If we truly believe that all things are possible with Him, we’ll act in that manner. Believe what God tells you, trust in His Word and put your faith into action. Your life will forever change at that moment.

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Down On Your Luck

Have you ever said, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all”? There are times in life when nothing seems to go your way. The odds are stacked against you. Your burdens seem heavier than you can bear. The thought of quitting or giving up can seem like the best option during those times. I understand what it’s like to wonder what did you ever do to make the world be against you. If you’re living in that moment right now, there is hope.

Psalm 145:14 says, “God gives a hand to those who are down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit. (MSG)” Sometimes that fresh start is really what we need. God knows that. But a fresh start usually means an end to the last start. We want the fresh start, but we also don’t like to go through the closing of the previous one. It can often be painful. Walking through those difficult times is what helps create the new beginning though.

I like to tell people that the height of joy I know now is in direct proportion to the depths of sorrow I have faced. I can only experience as much joy that is equal to the suffering I’ve endured. It’s kind of like when jesus asked Peter which person loved Him more. Peter replied, “The one who has been forgiven most.” I believe the one who has experienced the most trouble can experience the greatest freedom. The one who has been forgiven the most is the most free. That person understands more than anyone where they were and what God has set them free of.

When we are under a heavy load or the world seems to be against us, we are in the prime spot to experience a greater depth of God’s grace. He does not want you to stay in the valley. He wants to help you up the mountain, but He understands that the valley is where we learn to appreciate the mountain top experiences. The valley is a dark place that blocks your view of the horizon. Without having been there, you cannot appreciate the light or view from the top of the mountain. There is purpose in the hard times. There are lessons to be learned when we are down on our luck.

God is not content to leave you down on your luck or without hope. His desire is to give you a hand, a nudge or push to get you where He wants you. He needs to close the last chapter before He opens the next. A fresh start is what God offers. Giving us a clean slate from our past is His specialty. He is there for you to help pull you out from under the load that weighs you down so you can experience freedom like never before. He wants you to experience joy like you’ve never known. He wants to take you from the place where you can’t see tomorrow to the mountain top where you have 360 degree views of the horizon. Trust Him to be faithful to His promise in Psalm 145.

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A Time And A Season

Most of us are familiar with Ecclesiastes 3 either from hearing it read at church or from The Byrds 1965 song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” featuring its text. It says that there’s a time for everything in life. There’s time to tear down and time to build. There’s a time to laugh and a time to cry. A time to speak and a time to keep quiet. Solomon was essentially telling us that no matter what we are facing right now, we can expect change to come. The good times won’t last forever. That also means that neither will the bad times.

Solomon was very frank in the verses that follow the famous portion of this chapter. He says that it’s hard for us to know what God is up to. We can never see the full picture of what God is doing in our lives. That leaves us with a choice to make: we can be miserable in the circumstances we’ve been placed in or we can choose to be happy knowing that God is in control of our lives. Solomon chose the latter and we should be too.

He understood that there are things in life that are beyond our control. Life comes in waves. There are good times and bad times. I’m reminded of my visits to the beach. I like to wade out about waist deep where the waves are crashing and try to lean into them. Inevitably a big wave comes and knocks me off my feet. I go under, struggle for a bit and then remember to stand up. Then I go at it again. In life, we can choose to stand there and lean into the waves with our shoulders hoping we don’t get knocked down or we can ride the waves the way surfers do.

I’ve never been on a surf board, but my understanding is that the trick is having a good balance. I think that’s true in life too. We have to find that balance knowing that there will be times of joy and times of pain. To offset the difficult times in my life, I choose to look at the positive side of bad things. I know that God is working on my behalf even in tough times. I know that He is using them to shape me into the person He wants me to be. He uses them to push me to the places He wants me to go.

Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” I like the way the Amplified Version takes it a bit farther. It says, “All things work together and are fitting into a plan for good to and for those who love God.” There is a plan for your life. What you experience today is part of that plan. It may be a time of sorrow, but those times don’t last forever. Whatever you are facing, it fits into God’s plan for you. It will change soon enough. You can be upset about it or happy. You can try to fight the wave or ride it. Ultimately, it’s your choice.

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3 Reasons To Be Thankful

When is the last time that you stopped what you were doing and truly thanked God for all he’s done for you? In I Thessalonians 5:18, it tells us that no matter what your circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks. Even if nothing seems to be going your way right now, there is reason to give thanks.

Having a thankful heart is a mindset that you have to create. We are not naturally thankful creatures. You need to practice being thankful with others and with God. When you truly make being thankful a part of your life, you will find that your attitude, your outlook and your perspective will change for the better.

Here are some reasons I have found to give thanks.

1. For salvation

Each of us should be eternally grateful for what Jesus did on the cross for us. There is nothing that we could ever do to earn our way to Heaven. It is only because God loved us so much that He sent His son to die for our sins that we have that ability. I don’t have to spend my life hoping and trying to be good enough one day. The price for my sin was paid for by Jesus.

I love how 2 Corinthians 9:15 says it: “Now thanks be to God for His gift, precious beyond telling, His indescribable, inexpressible, free gift!” We have a very good reason to be thankful today. You do not have to spend eternity separated from God if receive His son into your life.

2. For God’s faithfulness

I’m thankful every day that God’s faithfulness doesn’t rely on my own faithfulness. 2 Timothy says that even if we are faithless or are untrue to Him, He remains faithful and true because He cannot deny Himself. What God has promised He will do, He will do no matter what.

One of my favorite promises in scripture is found in Philippians 4:19. I remind myself of this scripture when things aren’t going my way. It says that God will supply all of my needs according to His riches. I often want Him to supply all of my wants, but He has promised to take care of my needs. I have air in my lungs, a place to sleep and food to eat. That is something to be thankful for.

3. For what He has done

How many times have we prayed and asked God for something and He’s done it? Too many to count I’m sure. I often thank Him for the big things when He does them, but what about the little things? Have we thanked Him for a good night’s sleep, help on a test, safe travels or for food to eat? We constantly petition God in prayer and rarely thank Him.

When He healed the 10 lepers in Luke 17, only one came back to thank Him. Jesus asked him where the other 9 were. How was it that only one came back for something as big as a life giving healing? I want to live my life like that one who came back and worshipped Him and thanked Him.

I know it’s hard to do sometimes. I’ve been at points in my life where it seemed I had nothing to be thankful for. The truth is that I had a lot to be thankful for, but I wasn’t looking for it. Wherever you are today, stop and give thanks to God. You will find that it will change you when you live with a grateful heart.

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10 Scriptures On Obedience

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1. An undisciplined, self-willed life is puny; an obedient, God-willed life is spacious. (Proverbs 15:32 MSG)

2. Samuel said, “Which does the Lord prefer: obedience or offerings and sacrifices? It is better to obey him than to sacrifice the best sheep to him. (1 Samuel 15:22 GNB)

3. [Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel]. (1 Peter 1:14 AMP)

4. Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. (Ephesians 6:1 NLT)

5. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; (Isaiah 1:19 AMP)

6. Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, (Titus 3:1 ESV)

7. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:19 NLT)

8. For as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so faith apart from [its] works of obedience is also dead. (James 2:26 AMP)

9. “Preach to the people of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem. Tell them this: ‘This is GOD ’s Message, the Message of Israel’s God to you. Anyone who does not keep the terms of this covenant is cursed. The terms are clear. I made them plain to your ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt, out of the iron furnace of suffering. “‘Obey what I tell you. Do exactly what I command you. Your obedience will close the deal. You’ll be mine and I’ll be yours. This will provide the conditions in which I will be able to do what I promised your ancestors: to give them a fertile and lush land. And, as you know, that’s what I did.’” “Yes, GOD,” I replied. “That’s true.” “‘Obey what I tell you. Do exactly what I command you. Your obedience will close the deal. You’ll be mine and I’ll be yours. This will provide the conditions in which I will be able to do what I promised your ancestors: to give them a fertile and lush land. And, as you know, that’s what I did.’” “Yes, GOD,” I replied. “That’s true.” (Jeremiah 11:4-5 MSG)

10. I will give them a new heart and a new mind. I will take away their stubborn heart of stone and will give them an obedient heart. (Ezekiel 11:19 GNB)

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Double Rainbows

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It wasn’t long ago that I was driving home from woke when I saw this double rainbow. It was so brilliant that people (myself included) were pulling over to take photos of it. Anyone who has read the Bible knows that God placed the rainbow as a sign to remember His promise to not flood the earth again. But, when I see a double rainbow, I think it must mean something extra special. When I I think of two promises side by side in the Bible, I think of God’s promises to care for orphans and widows because they’re usually mentioned together.

One of the promises is found in Psalm 68:5. David wrote that God is a father to the fatherless and a protector of widows. He knew God as much as anyone in the Bible and he wrote that about Him. In Deuteronomy 10:18, Moses said, “God ensures orphans and widows receive justice.” He wrote that after spending forty days and nights in God’s presence. It’s clear that God Himself has made a covenant with both orphans and widows as much as He had with Noah.

God has used ordinary men and women throughout history to be a father to the fatherless and a champion of widows. He has always looked for men and women who would step up and answer that call. Today is no different than any other time since the world was made. God wants to use people who are willing to say, “Here am I. Use me.” His invitation goes out, but only a few ever respond. What God does with those few is nothing short of amazing. Just like Jesus multiplied the fish and the bread, He multiplies the affect one can when fulfilling His promises to others.

Every day people choose to give of their time, their resources and abilities to help Coreluv make a difference. What started as one family responding to that call has led to thousands giving to defend orphans so that the fatherless could have fathers. The defenseless now have advocates working tirelessly so that they have food, shelter, clean water, education, job skills and the medical care they need. God is fulfilling His covenant to the orphan and the widow through people like you and me when we partner with organizations like that.

There is no greater joy than to be the very fulfillment of God’s promises. There is not a better way to store up treasures in Heaven than to be a father to the fatherless and a champion of widows. When I see a double rainbow, I smile because I know that God is reminding me that He has promised to care for orphans and widows and in some small way, I get to be a part of it. My hope and prayer is that the next time you see a double rainbow, you’ll think of orphans and widows and answer His call with, “Here am I. Use me.”

November is Orphan Awareness month. If you would like to find out more about how you can help defend orphans and widows, click here and select “Get Involved”. I personally partner with this organization and have seen first hand how my money is put to use. Pray and ask God how you can be a part of fulfilling His promise to orphans and widows.

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