Thankful for Grace

1 Cor 1:4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus,

Another reason to give thanks to God is for His grace.
Without it, you could never have salvation.
It is by grace through faith you are saved.
The Bible also says to give thanks to the Lord for His mercy.
Grace and mercy travel hand in hand.
Mercy is described as deserving what you do not get – which is death.
Grace is getting what you do not deserve – which is salvation.
Through it all, you can then give God what He deserves – your praise.

Be blessed and give thanks

1 Thess 5:18 …in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

What is God’s will?
This verse says it is for you to give thanks in everything.
That seems difficult.
Can you truly give thanks for bad things that happen?
Heaven forbid, but if I was shot I don’t think I could give thanks for it.
On the other hand, if I think about it, I could give thanks for living.
I could give thanks for the prayers I know would go forth for me.
If I die because of it, I give thanks I know Jesus as my Savior.
Therefore, it is possible although it could take some thought.
Perhaps if you begin to give thanks for everything now, then if something does happen you will find it easier to give thanks when it does.
No matter, it is God’s will in Christ Jesus for you.
Be blessed today and give thanks!

Give Thanks

1 Chron 16:34 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

It is Thanksgiving week but every day is a day to give thanks to the Lord.
First, because He is good.
In Him is no sin and the Creator does no wrong.
Give thanks for His mercy.
Without it there is no hope for any of us. But His mercy gives grace to pass over our sins through the blood of Christ.
Give thanks because of His endurance.
There are some people I struggle with enduring. They can wear me down.
Not God! We can never weary Him because He endures.
Finally, give thanks because He is eternal.
Nothing lasts in this life.
Not the life of your friends and family.
Not your vehicle.
Not your home.
Not your president.
But God does not grow old, break down, rust, or go away.
And the salvation He offers is as eternal as He is.
Give thanks!

Our Jewelry

Job 22:25-26 Yes, the Almighty will be your gold And your precious silver; For then you will have your delight in the Almighty, And lift up your face to God.

My grandson isn’t into jewelry.
He doesn’t wear necklaces or rings, that is, until he got his senior ring this year.
It’s the only ring on his hand and he wears it all the time.
It’s a source of pride and accomplishment for him.
I remember a portrait session from many years ago. Linda and I were there to get our portrait taken.
The lady before us was wearing a brooch and I remember the fuss she caused to make sure it was portrayed prominently in the portrait.
The brooch was a sense of pride for her.
Our scripture says God is our gold and silver.
We should delight in God more than our jewelry.
God should be seen proudly and prominently in our lives, after all, Jesus gave Himself for us and His jewelry included nails and a crown of thorns.

Full Joy

1 John 1:4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

How often do you read the Bible?
I know there are parts that bog you down.
There is scripture that seems to make no sense.
The Bible has stories that seem to have little relevance for today.
And, yet, it is a day like today and a time like this time when you need more hope and joy.
The Bible is written so your joy may be full.
You can’t get full from a meal unless you eat.
And you can’t get full on joy unless you read your Bible.

A Masterpiece

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

I was awakened a little after midnight with this thought.
There are those gifted with skills.
With those skills, they do marvelous things.
Paints and canvas in the hands of the right person will create a work of art.
Lumber in the hands of a carpenter becomes a cabinet or baby crib.
A chef can turn flour and eggs into a cake, crepes, or a souffle.
With the right materials in the right hands, anything can happen.
However, God does His best work with nothing.
He created the heavens and earth with no materials whatsoever.
So next time you are down to nothing, get ready!
God is able to make a masterpiece out of you.

Love does not hurt!

Rom 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor;

I remember a song from 40 years ago.
It was called Love Hurts.
The lyrics tell you Love hurts, scars, wounds, and marks any heart not strong enough to take a lot of pain.
The song should say it hurts when you love someone more than they love you, something that many people experience.
Our verse says love does no harm to a neighbor.
Love does not hurt anyone.
If I see a stranger in need, have compassion for them, and help them in some way, then love does no harm.
As Christians, we are commanded to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
That won’t hurt you either.

Keep it shut

Titus 3:2 speak evil of no one

What does that mean?
The NLT says they must not slander anyone
NASV – to malign no one
Message Bible – No insults
The Greek word translated to speak evil is blasphemeo.
That sounds familiar.
It’s the word that is also translated into English as blasphemy.
So the scripture is saying, “do not blaspheme others!”
That throws a new light on it.
The mouth is a fire, a world of iniquity – with it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. James 3:9-10
So with our mouth we say something nice about someone and then talk behind their back.
It is not an easy feat to do.
The only way I have figured out to accomplish it is to keep my mouth shut.

The Offense and The Gift

Rom 5:15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

The offense is the transgression of Adam.
His sinful nature has passed to all people through all ages.
You do not need to do anything to have it.
You do not need to teach sin to your children. They will just do it on their own.
Adam died and sin permeated all mankind.
Jesus died to end sin for all mankind.
He came and reconciled what Adam had done.
But the free gift is not like the offense.
The offense is automatic – you will sin and you will die in sin.
The free gift must be taken – with it you put sin to death and live eternally.
But you must accept Jesus as your Savior.

He came to our aid

Rom 5:7-8 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I was there at the time three different wrecks took place.
I never hesitated to stop and render aid.
Not once did I think of the danger I might place myself in.
I didn’t think of the vehicle catching fire.
I did not think about another vehicle speeding along through the accident site.
At one time I actually climbed on top of a vehicle on its side to get the occupant out. Not once did I think of the possibility of the vehicle toppling on over with me on it.
My only concern with all the accidents was the safety of the occupants.
It did not matter if the occupant was a murderer, drug addict, child molester, Baptist, Muslim, or atheist.
I did not ask. I jumped into action.
In emergencies, most of us will jump into action without thought of personal safety.
God jumped into action in a worldwide emergency.
Jesus put Himself in harm’s way for us.
We are a wreck and He came to save us.
He already knows we are murderers, drug addicts, child molesters, religious, non-religious, and a number of other things. Basically, He knows we are sinners – but He came to our aid anyway.