Thursday, April 24, 2008
Monday, April 07, 2008
What difference do you think it made
when the Pilgrims invited the Native Americans to that first Thanksgiving dinner?
What happened after they thanked God,
who supplied the fish, the deer, and the corn
-- and even the Native Americans who helped them survive? Did life become significantly easier
or the winters less cruel?
But the attitude of gratitude that was cultivated kept those Pilgrims' eyes fixed upon the many blessings they enjoyed and upon the one who provided them.
FROM THE BOOK
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good!
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
Make a list of things that you can say thank you to God about, and give him a "thanksgiving feast." Then make a list of things you're worried about. As you ask God to provide for these things as well, thank him again.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
The New Jerusalem
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.* 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.
8 “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
9 Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls containing the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come with me! I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
10 So he took me in the Spirit* to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal. 12 The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates. 13 There were three gates on each side—east, north, south, and west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 The angel who talked to me held in his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long. In fact, its length and width and height were each 1,400 miles.* 17 Then he measured the walls and found them to be 216 feet thick* (according to the human standard used by the angel).
18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass. 19 The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve precious stones:* the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.
21 The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass.
22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. 24 The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. 25 Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. 26 And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. 27 Nothing evil* will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
"You just have to play the hand you're dealt."
"Keep a stiff upper lip."
It's the advice we get and give when times are tough. Others would have us pretend that
"it's not as bad as all that. "
But sometimes it is!
So how can we remain hopeful when troubles surround us? When we recognize that God is in control!
FROM THE BOOK
Evil does not spring from the soil, and trouble does not sprout from the earth. People are born for trouble as predictably as sparks fly upward from a fire.
Job 5:6-7 (NLT)
We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NLT)
Remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what other's experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
Today, when a trial or temptation comes your way, stop ! Ask God to show you a way through the trial or away from the temptation. Then follow his direction, and experience the victory you have in him.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Sometimes the most difficult people to forgive
"If only" hounds us,
robbing us of peace and piling on the guilt.
We carry around 1,001 hurts and bear so many grudges, filling us with bitterness.
Oh, to be cleansed and freed
- to forgive and be forgiven!
FROM THE BOOK
"Come now, let us argue this out, " says the LORD. "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool."
He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us as the east is from the west.
You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.
1 John 1:9
English poet Alexander Pope wrote, "To err is human, to forgive divine." Ask God today to help you get free from your load of hurts and anger. Start by accepting God's forgiveness, and then try giving it away to someone today.
So many singers sing about it.
So many writers write about it.
Poets long for it, and heroes die for it.
What is this thing
that the world needs now?
As human beings, we all need to love and be loved. God made us to experience love, and God, the source of love, can fill our need for love as no other person or idea can.
FROM THE BOOK
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God -- for God is love.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
1 John 4:7-11
If I had the gift of prophesy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn't love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn't love others, I would be of no value whatsoever.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13:2-7
I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.
Tell someone today that you love him or her, not with your words but with your actions. Tear up that list of wrongs you've been keeping, and believe and hope the best about those you love. Your feelings will soon follow your actions.
All scriptures are taken from the New Living Translation of the Bible.