The season of giving and thankfulness is upon us – My favorite time of the year!
9bCling to what is good. 10Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; ~ Romans 12:9b-10 NKJV
Is that even possible in our society today?
Of course it is. And no better time than now. Tis the season to invite friends over for food, drink, and conversation by the fire. Give cheerfully – not expensively. Bake cookies. Be kind. Mend fences.
Some folks suffer from depression during the holidays and my heart goes out to them. It isn’t easy to be cheerful when your heart is heavy or the budget does not allow for much gift giving. Toss the materialism and enjoy giving the most valuable gifts: Time, love, laughter and hope. God does not want any to suffer pain or fear.
Be of the same mind to one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. ~ Romans 12:16 NKJV
Continue to pray for God’s strength while clinging to good. He is faithful and your example will bless others.
Do I have enough faith to serve God? Absolutely! Am I being conceited to make such a statement? NO! – For God gave each believer just the right amount of faith.
3For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. ~ Romans 12:3 NKJV
No believer is greater or lesser than another brother or sister in Christ. To think so WOULD BE conceited. Our Father in Heaven has given each of us a calling, or gift of the Spirit, or any one of a myriad of special assignments in order to serve Him during our life here on earth. What is important is that we serve humbly and that we bear fruit – and not compare spiritual fruits within the Church.
There have been many times that I felt intimidated instead of encouraged by the exemplary service of other believers. The Holy Spirit is quick to remind me that’s stinkin’ thinkin‘!
The reality is that Jesus has done it all and simply allowed His followers to participate in His victory. He supplies redemption, transformation, divine purpose, and a customized, perfectly individualized measure of faith to each one of us. For without faith, there is no hope; prayer isn’t answered; and we are still disconnected in our relationship to Him. So faith has very little to do with us and everything to do with Him. Mostly, it seems that we just need to be willing to show up for duty and be ready to do our part.
4For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. ~ Romans 12:4-5 NKJV
Hey, I have no idea how much faith exists in the universe. But I don’t need to know. All that matters is that God knows, and that in love and grace He measured out just the right amount of faith to get me through – and you, too.
This year is my 60th birthday in Christ Jesus! I wish I could testify that my life was powerfully transformed the moment I accepted Yeshua as my personal Savior and that I lived according to His perfect will this past 60 years.
Truthfully, I have been more conformed than transformed.
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ~ Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
Most of my life was not spent serving God, but in serving myself. As a new believer, I was eager to learn God’s ways, but my enthusiasm waned as I progressed through childhood and on into adult life. I became primarily focused on personal achievement, starting a family, and “the cares of this life” took over. Focusing on the cares of life became such a priority that I slowly conformed to cultural “norms” of this world. My body was not a living sacrifice to God. I sporadically walked out my faith by thinking I was keeping the Ten Commandments, but for the most part I was “missing in action”.
Encouraged by the Apostle Paul, my focus now is to finish my faith race much stronger than I began. To know the heart of God, read Romans 12. The whole chapter spells out in plain language how to live a life that is pleasing to Our Holy Father God. He states what our reasonable service should look like:
We should be transformed by the renewing of our minds. How do we do that? – By reading His Holy Word, the Bible. We are to live, serve, and forgive fervently by the power of His love and Spirit. So praying the sinner’s prayer puts our names in The Book of Life, but real transformation requires more from us. We must draw close to Him and learn His ways. That, dear friend, is accomplished through the daily reading of His “Good Book”. There is no short cut to learning how to behave like a Christian. Don’t waste valuable time missing the mark like I did. Jump into Romans 12 with me and next time we will continue studying what God says about finding His perfect will in our lives.
Until then, HAPPY 60th BORN-AGAIN BIRTHDAY TO ME! and thank you for following
As I look upon the state of our nation and the entire world I am sad to recognize the fulfillment of Bible prophecy regarding the end times. The stage is set for the Restrainer to be removed from planet Earth so that the Antichrist should be revealed. He will spread his wicked agenda across the globe.
7For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the One who is holding it back steps out of the way. 8Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and destroy him by the splendor of His coming. 9This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. 11So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. 12Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth. ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 NIV
Every heart of every person is driven by love. Yes, even the wicked love something.
15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. ~ 1 John 2:15-17 NKJV
Mankind is now standing on the edge of a timeline precipice. We have a unique viewpoint of world events via media technology. Those who are watching can view approaching fulfillment of God’s prophecy regarding the end of the age of man governing himself. Soon Jesus Christ will return to Earth, conquer Satan, and set up His kingdom. Yeshua, our Messiah Jesus, will reign for one thousand years upon this Earth. He will reign with strong power over evil. As we have seen, the wicked who do not love truth shall be destroyed at His coming.
Now would be a very good time to be sure that you do not believe Satan’s lies. If you have not surrendered your love of worldly things to Jesus, there is no better time to take care of eternal business than right now. Helpful guidance is available here, talk to another believer or Pastor that you respect, or email me with questions.
Prayer – Father, as we lift Your Name above the heavens and all of the planets, stars, and galaxies of Your creation, convict hearts today that love the lie rather than Your Truth. In the Matchless and Wonderful Name of our Redeemer, Jesus, thank you for such an awesome gift of salvation for those who sincerely choose eternal life over death by asking You to replace love of the world with Your love of Truth in their hearts. Amen.
These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. ~ 1 John 2:26 NKJV
As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children’s children;