Being Thankful – Part 1

In order to truly be thankful there are three things we must be seeking according to I Chronicles 16:11.
I Chronicles 16:11 – “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.”
We must first be seeking the Lord for salvation. Without salvation there is just not much to be thankful for in this life.
Secondly, we must be seeking His strength to make it through trials and temptations. If we try to go through life on our own strength we will become weary and fail.
Isaiah 40:31 – “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
When you are tired you might find it hard to find much to be thankful for, but the Lord will provide you with the rest you need to make it through. Elijah was taught this very lesson in I Kings 19.
Thirdly, we must be continually seeking fellowship with Him and remain in close contact. When out of fellowship with the Lord our life becom…

A Turkey for the Church

The Butterball Turkey Company has a telephone hotline to answer consumer questions about preparing holiday turkeys. One year a woman called to inquire about cooking a turkey that had been in the bottom of her freezer for twenty-three years. That’s right the turkey could be in college now. The Butterball representative told her the turkey would probably be safe to eat if the freezer had been kept below zero for the entire twenty-three years. But the Butterball representative warned her that even if the turkey was safe to eat, the flavor would probably have deteriorated to such a degree that she would not recommend eating it. The caller replied, “That’s what I thought. We’ll give the turkey to our church.”
So many times we are reluctant to truly give our best to the Lord. Yet, we have no trouble giving that which we want to get rid of in the first place, and then we wonder why we are not blessed because of it. God wants your firstfruits not your rotten tomatoes.

You’ll Never Be the Same

Jacob is an interesting character in the Scriptures. One of the more interesting accounts in his life, however, happens in Genesis 32 where he wrestles with an angel. There are all kinds of ideas and theories as to who this angel was, but to cut to the chase I believe the angel was God Himself. Jacob referred to this account later and called the angel somebody who redeemed him and no mere angel can do that. Then Hosea refers to this account and makes the statement that He, referring to God, spoke with us through Jacob on this night he wrestled with the angel.
My point to this whole thing is not to get into a debate but to point out one simple fact. When a person truly meets with God they will never be the same. After this account with God, Jacob’s name, which means deceiver, was changed to Israel, which means a Prince with God. He also was never able to walk normally after that since the Angel, God, touched his side and Jacob halted on it from then on.
So many today make the statement…

Faith in What?

The real question in life is not if you have faith but what do you have faith in? Everybody lives a life of faith in something. Maybe you have faith in your job to pay you regularly, faith that your car will start every morning and get you to work, faith that your doctor can heal you if you get sick, and faith that your loved ones would never hurt you.
The problem is that faith in all these things will fail at some point. Yet faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is a faith worth having. Placing your faith in Him will become a stronghold for He will never leave us nor forsake us. Since He is the same yesterday, today and forever we don’t have to worry about a faith that changes with circumstances or culture. Faith in God can be an unwavering faith that provides us a solid rock upon which to stand in the struggles of life. Faith in everything else changes with the seasons and circumstances, and leaves us cold and alone in the storm struggling to survive.
Real faith not only says…

An Attitude of Gratitude

In Numbers 21 we find the Lord sending fiery serpents into the Israelite camp to punish them for their sins. The Israelite people were committing the sins of murmuring and tempting the Lord their God.
I Corinthians 10:9-10 – “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.”
Israel was murmuring and tempting their God because they did not realize the blessings of that were already upon them and they felt they deserved more. They were not grateful to the God who had delivered them and who was protecting them in the wilderness.
It has been said, “The foundation of gratitude is the expectation of nothing.” When you expect more than you deserve that is when you will be ungrateful for what has already been given to you.
The Israelites were going to find out the hard way, through the fiery serpent punishment, that God had been supplying protection and provision for…

Where are Your Priorities?

For the Christian, God must come first before all things. When we put God first He will be faithful. When we put His work ahead of our desires He will bless and provide.
Matthew 6:33 – “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
When we put ourselves first then our priorities are out of order and God cannot bless us as He desires. If we simply seek God first He will supply all our needs. If our priorities are straight and not just toward self, but toward the Kingdom of God, then we will have no trouble walking through the deserts of life because God will be by our side.
Elijah challenged a widow woman with this very thing in I Kings 17. The country was experiencing a famine, and this widow was gathering sticks to make her last meal. After this meal she thought she and her boy were going to die. Elijah asked her to bring him water and bring some bread to him first. He also said that if she did this she would not lack for b…

Loving Others

Do you ever have trouble loving others? I do! As a matter of fact I would be kind of ashamed to admit how many times I struggle with getting along with others. Yet, I believe, many struggle in this area. I think because when people come to me seeking help, it is often seeking help on how to deal with somebody else. I really never see people in my office for counseling because they are having car trouble or financial trouble. Those things might come up but the real reason they are there is because they are having people trouble. They might ask me to tell their wife to drive the car right so that they don’t have car trouble, and they might ask me to help them control their husband’s spending so they don’t have financial trouble, but it always boils down to people problems.
Let’s face it. It is easier to love ourselves than it is to love anybody else.
Ephesians 5:29 – “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:”
It is easy to lo…