- 2019Nov 01
Thought- Gratitude is the attitude that lifts your life’s altitude.
Scripture- “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”- Colossians 3:16
Insight: Being grateful for all God has done for you is a pleasant response and brings joy to God in heaven. King David understood how to continually express all his feelings to God, as if in a continuous, intimate, relational dialogue that never waned throughout his life which included expressing great joy and thanks for all God had done for him. In Psalm 100:4-5 David inspires us to: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Also, in Psalm 147:7 when he says, “Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.”
So, what has God done for you? Instead of focusing on all that you feel you are lacking or blaming God for why your life isn’t the way you should be, choose to be grateful in your heart towards him and see how your mood elevates. Not just with God, but in relationship or dialogue with anyone, when we are grateful, we attract people to us and when we are filled with ingratitude, we repel people away from us. People like to be around grateful people because they are generally happy people. They are contented people. There’s a peace about them, even in the midst of difficulties. They realize that what they have is enough, they lack nothing. They are not focused on having what they want but are happy wanting what they have. Their gratitude is an attitude that leads to a higher latitude in their life because it makes them attractive to others. Being grateful is also contagious. Start spreading the gratitude around and see how others around you change and hop on board the gratitude train with you. It is like a gravitational pull coming down right from Heaven.
Prayer: Father God, thanks for all you have done for us, we are truly grateful. Because you Son died the death that our sin deserved, we are set free. That alone should be cause for a non-stop heart of gratitude. It is amazing to even consider that you could love us that much. Amen!
- 2019Oct 31
Are we in alignment
Thought- Alignment is key in all aspects of our life. We must constantly be asking do our words and our actions align?
Scripture– “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” – James 2:14-17
Insight: We can claim many things with our mouth, but the real proof is in our actions. Do we do what we say we believe in? In the Scripture above, James is imploring the readers to be sure that where our faith is concerned, that it is illustrated through our deeds and not just our words. His example in James 2:16 cuts to the core of what is required; while it is great to wish someone in need well, it is much better to actually intervene in their situation with actions of kindness and love that reflect the love of Christ. In this case, it is offering warm clothes and some food to someone who is in need. God never asks us to provide what we can’t give, but only what we can. We can’t do everything, or help everyone, but in many cases, we can do something. Sometimes a prayer or a word of encouragement is all we can offer and that is fine. Other times, we may be asked to intervene with real tangible items such as food and clothing.
Just like a car needs to be in alignment to drive the way you want it to, so also alignment in all areas of our life between our words and deeds is critical for success and impact. Someone can boldly proclaim that he will be the greatest QB of all time. But if he spends all his time on the couch, eating bon bons and popcorn and never working out, or trying to improve his skills, his chatter is meaningless. I have been taught many critical lessons throughout my life about alignment, or lack thereof, and making sure my heart is right before God prior to expecting Him to respond to any of my prayer requests. All aspects of our walk with God require us to be in alignment with His will, and most importantly we must put him first, before all things, or we are fundamentally out of alignment with His will. Matthew 6:33 states this truth clearly when it says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Are you out of alignment in your walk with God? Do your deeds match your words of faith? God is waiting to help you get back into alignment. Just ask Him and He will show you where some changes might be in order. Is God first in your life? Are you prioritizing him in your life by spending time in his word and through prayer, or are you making excuses as to why that is not the case? If so, this is a critical place to begin to get your alignment in order. Good fruit will naturally flow out of this positioning of putting God first in your heart.
Prayer: God, help us to ensure our deeds do match our words out of our deep love for you. We do good things for others to show them your love, because you loved us first. When we are aligned with you, good deeds should flow naturally from our wellspring of life that reflects our close proximity to you. If there are obstacles in the way of our relationship with you, please reveal them to us, and then help us to remove them. We ask all of this in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen!
- 2019Oct 30
Be kind to each other!
Thought- Be Kind! For everyone we meet is going through a tough battle we may know nothing about.
Scripture- “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Insight: I heard the thought above while driving in my car and it caused me to stop and ponder how many times am I too busy to notice that someone I have just interacted with may be going through a tougher battle than I could have ever have known. Would that effect the way I would have interacted with that person if I came into the moment with that mindset? In other words, if I entered every encounter, I have throughout the day, with the mindset that each person is going through a tough battle which I will most likely never know about. It should lead me to being more graceful, more patient, more kind! Sometimes we hear things that we need to hear when we need to hear them for, they change our perspective or cause us a moment of reflection.
That was the response I had to what I heard on the radio. I want to be more available to others, and not be too busy to notice or care what others are going through. I want to make extra efforts to just be kind! That is impossible when I rush through each day, pre-occupied with only what I am trying to accomplish or focused only on my own struggles. It takes a concerted effort to widen the lens through which I notice things around me, including the struggles that others may be having. This whole world could use more kindness right now. More compassion, more grace, more tolerance and less judgement. I am going to try my hardest to keep my mind open to the idea that each person I encounter is going through a tough battle right now, that I may never know about. It could be a battle with addiction. It could be a broken heart or a broken home. It could financial stress. It could a health issue for them or a loved one. It could be a myriad of things. I hope it changes how I view each day and each moment of every day. How about you? Are you too busy to notice what others may be going through? Stop and reflect and be kind!
Prayer: Father God, help us to live out one of Jesus’s great commands to us to “be kind to one another.” When we are too pre-occupied with ourselves, we many times fail to notice the struggles that others may be facing. Help us to slow down and be aware that everyone we meet is facing a tough battle right now. Help us to be aware of others by being less aware of ourselves. We pray for this selfless attitude to permeate all of our interactions. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!