Gratitude Day #14 I am thankful that God’s blessings are everlasting.

 

GratitudeDay#14EverlastingBlessings

When I think of the price that was paid for me and the mere fact that all I have to do is “Love the LORD my God and walk in obedience to him.. and keep His commandments” It is not much for Him to ask of me. Because His promise of blessings and increase are not rhetorical statements. No, they do not just apply to the Old Testament (OT) children of Israel. James 1:25 declares the same promises.

But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

Paul in Phil 4:19  reiterates the same promise of blessings.

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Not to forget the spiritual blessings that come from obedience to God. Ephesians 1:3  presents a clear picture of that blessing.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ

Finally, I am thankful for the fact that even in my imperfections He continues to bless me with friends who love me, and family who cares about me, and the richness that comes from feeding on His precious word. I am thankful for the gift of eternal life!

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Is He serious? Me a Saint!

The Living Stone and a Chosen People

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. …But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 

Can you imagine that the sustainer of the universe, “the Holy One” of The Canon of Scripture calls us…

like living stones, … a holy priesthood,  …But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession,”

Am I a saint or am I a sinner?

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies [sinners], we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Ro 5:9-11 (NIV)

Reconciled to God but reconciled as what? I Pet 1:16 declares “for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” To be “holy” means to be set apart. [Hebrew definition.] Strong’s Concordance renders a Greek definition that presents the same meaning. So God declares that we are “set apart” from the world through the reconciliation that the blood of Jesus Christ offers to us. Christ was the ultimate person who was set apart. When an individual becomes a Christian and a follower of Christ they take upon themselves His identity-“holy/set apart.”  As a follower of Christ, the process of transformation began at the second that we declared Him Lord of our lives. However, we are human being and subject to thinking sinful thoughts and or deeds. Paul offered an explanation of who we are as human beings  “24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind, I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:24-25 (NKJV) If the Apostle Paul had challenges living a sinless life so will we. But that does not make us a “sinner.” Strong’s concordance defines a sinner as an “impious, ungodly, wicked” person.

In spite of our humanness and our failings, Paul strongly stated that we are “saints.” If any church deserved to be called anything other than “saints” it would be the Corinthian church-in human terms and judging with human eyes-that is what we would state. But just look at what Paul called them

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s: 1 Cor 1:2 (KJV)

 

This statement was made before he started to tell them about the divisions and confusion present in the church. This is before he addresses them about the ignominious sin of fornication being practiced, and accepted, by the leaders of the church who refused to follow his directives on how to handle the situation. Furthermore, this is also before he addressed the fact that brethren were suing each other in a court of law. He was appalled at their behavior and reminded them that in this present time

Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? I Cor 6 2-3

Now in this day an age we would declare that any person in any church who committed fornication is a sinner and should be “damned to hell!” Here Paul tells the Corinthian “saints”

20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

We are so ready to label ourselves as sinners – as if that makes us more pious. No, it does not. We were once “sinners” but we are “saved by grace”.  Am I declaring that we are saints and therefore we can continue in sin? In Romans 6 Paul made it quite clear that we cannot live a sinful life and declared that “grace makes us a saint.”

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.

James 2 speaks to our Heavenly Father’s expectations of us

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.  25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Finally, not only dead people who have done extraordinary things are called ‘saints.” In Romans 10 Paul professed that

if thou ..confessed with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and ..believe[ed] in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

So, because we have done all of the above our good, good, Father calls us “saints” in the same manner in which He called the Corinthians saints.

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s: 1 Cor 1:2 (KJV)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gratitude Day # 13 Thankful that God sustains the universe.

I had a conversation with a friend two days ago and they were literally afraid of what China, The Muslims, and or Northern Korea could do to this world and to us. The Book of Revelation came to mind . He alone holds the destiny of this earth in His hands. Yes, some horrific things are ahead for humanity, but the earth will not be destroyed by any political or human hands by a nuclear holocaust. I am grateful that The Great God of Heaven and Earth is my good, good, father. So, go to your weekly God Family Reunion this weekend knowing that He controls His plans for this universe!

Gratitude Day #12 I am so thankful that God is slow to anger and quick to listen..

While praying this more I thought about how thankful I am that my Good, Good Father is so patient with me. I am impatient with myself sometimes and I scold myself because I can’t “fix” me. The reality is that I cannot fix what is going on with my leg but He can. Right now He is teaching me to listen to Him more, wait for Him physical healing to be present in my life and He is teaching me how to be even more patient with the craziness that surrounds us each day. His quick listening ear is a servant’s ear one that endears people to Him.  I want to be more and more like that each day. Thank you for your patience with me Father.

Gratitude Day #11 I am so thankful for His substitutionary death!

We live in a get “I am going to even world.” A world where forgiveness after being wronged is not the norm. If anyone deserved to punish for having “wronged” a person it is Joyce. I ignored God for years. I did what was right in my own eyes even when I knew better. But before I was even born He forgave me. My deepest desire is to love others as He loves me. His death on the cross for me was priceless. So, the least I can do, in an expression of my gratitude to Him for His substitutionary death for me, is not do to wrong to others even after they have wronged me. Taking the high road is not easy. But it gives me peace. It will give you peace too. Thank you, Father, for the priceless gift of your Son.

I was reading a testimony online today about the power of this song. This is how God sees us.

These words express my thankfulness for His gift.

So when it’s late
You’re wide awake
Too much to take
Don’t you dare forget that in the pain
You can be brave
Hear me say
THIS IS HOW HE SEES ALL OF US!
I see you dressed in white
Every wrong made right
I see a rose in bloom
At the sight of you
Oh, so priceless
Irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable
Darling, it’s beautiful
I see it all in you
Oh, so priceless
Remember that you are valued, my dear friends.

Gratitude Day 10: I am thankful that when I slip He upholds me.

A slip could be an actual fall, our a spiritual slip either one I have experienced His hands when those things have occurred in my life. I still remember walking into the ER with the chest pains September 2013, and the fibromyalgia was so out of control that my mind was gripped with anxiety. His words of grace and peace came to me. “My grace is sufficient to keep you Joyce – fear not!”

Gratitude Day #9 His Peace

#TYLORDFORURPEACE
it is on Him that I can move on this tumultuous world and still have peace!

Gratitude Day#8 Fellowship is a great gift,

#fellowship

Many people sit on a room everyday and they see and speak to no one who truly loves them. I am thankful for a church family that demonstrates His loves to me every week!

Gratitude Day #7 Thankful that holding fast to Him….

#GratefulthatHeChoseME

I am grateful that the Lord chose me and taught me that it is to Him that I owe absolute reverence and no one else. He revealed Himself through His commandments and obedience to His commandments maintains my closeness with Him. No matter how challenging life becomes I will hold fast to Him. I am thankful that remembering that being willing to be held by Him preserves me in every way.

 

Ask, seek, find!

#HeandonlyHe has the answer

Trust Him to provide you with an answer to life’s problems. Seek Him first!

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