A Life of Thanking Others

Too much can not be said about being grateful to the Lord.

Psalm 118:21 I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me,
And You have become my salvation.

Have you thanked the Lord for what He has done in your life?

Psalm 30:12 That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

No one makes it on their own. There are always other people that the Lord has used who helped you get where you are today. The Lord is for you through those who help you.

Psalm 118:7a The Lord is for me among those who help me;

Have you recently or ever thanked the Lord for the people who have helped you in your relationship with the Lord and who have helped you in life?

I Thessalonians 1:2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;

A lack of thanksgiving in one’s life is a lack of God in that person’s life. Ungratefulness is a sign of ungodliness.

Romans 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks,

Give thanks to the Lord for what He has done and give thanks to the Lord for the people that He has brought into you life and who have helped you. Thanksgiving is a great encouragement to those who have loved you and pointed you to the Lord.

Hebrews 13:7a Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you;

Remember those who have diligently labored among you and show appreciation to them. When you show appreciation to someone then it is a confirmation to them that what they did met a need in your life or made a difference. People don’t know if what they do makes any difference at all unless they are told.

I Thessalonians 5:12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,

Has the Lord helped you through anyone else? Take the time and effort to thank them. Thanksgiving is a gift that you can give to the one who receives the appreciation. We are not to do anything for the gift of being thanked but when it is received then it is a great encouragement to continue helping others.

 

 

A Life that Is Remembered

Jesus was very kind to women and treated them with equal respect as He treated the men. There were a number of women who followed Him and loved him while He was on earth.

Mark 15:41 When He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and minister to Him; and there were many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.

The women also remained with Him, looking on from a distance, when He was crucified.

Mark 15:40 There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome.

Mary Magdalene was probably the oldest of the women since she is mentioned first and so she had to be around fifty years old. Mary, mentioned here is the mother of Jesus and Salome is the mother of James and John and was Mary’s sister. Mary was either in her late forties or in her fifties since Jesus was thirty three years old at this time. The disciples honored these women and they were included in His ministry and afterwards.

Acts 1:14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

However, there was one woman who the Lord honored by mentioning how she will be remembered wherever the Gospel is preached.

Mark 14:3-9 While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted?For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

She did what she could to honor and minister to Him. Simple as that. She did what she could. Jesus did not ask her to do anything but out of her love for Him she did what she could. We all have different gifts and abilities. When we do what we can then Jesus takes note of it and remembers it. Don’t worry about doing something great for the Lord. Do what you can do. Whether it is giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty person or helping the fatherless in Jesus’ name, either in your hometown or across the world, just do what you can out of love for Him.

John 12:3 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

In all likelihood it was probably Mary, who sat at His feet, who anointed His head and his feet. The house was filled with the sweet fragrance of her love for Him. Also, since this happened before His crucifixion, her offering was a fragrant aroma to Him during His suffering. That is how it is, when we do what we can in our love for Him then the house of God is filled with a sweet fragrance and we are a fragrant aroma to Him.

Ephesians 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Our love for Him is expressed in our love for each other. When we consider others more important than us and love others as He has loved us then we will be like Christ and an offering to God as a fragrant aroma.

II Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

The Lord is the One who leads us in victory in Christ and He is the One who manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. As we learn to walk with Him, He will lead us and make Himself known through us to the world. You are the one the Lord wants to use to make Himself known to a hurting world.

 

 

 

 

A Life Filled with Joy

We all want to have joy. Sometimes it may seem that joy is not possible all of the time but actually it can be. Is not it possible to have peace all of the time and also love? Yes, the Lord wants our lives to be filled with His fruit. Joy is not just an emotion even as love, peace, patience and kindness are not merely emotions either. Joy is a well being or satisfaction and pleasantness in the spirit. It is part of the fruit of the Spirit and comes with no guilt or regret. Emotions come and go and we are not to live by them but the fruit of the Spirit is an expression of Christ in us.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Joy is knowing His presence and having His favor on your life. Joy comes from the Lord. It is a security that comes from His presence and knowing that the Lord will be with you, will guide you and has a pleasing future for you. You can try to please yourself or you can have His pleasures which last for eternity.

Psalm 16:9 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

The Lord has also given us something special in this life which will give us great joy and that is the privilege of serving Him through the spiritual gift that He has given to you. There is no one like you and although others may have the same spiritual gift as you, it will not be expressed in the same unique way. The Lord has a job for you to do and only you can do it.

I Peter 4:10,11 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

There are two types of gifts, a speaking gift and a serving gift. If your gift is speaking then you are to speak the utterances of God, which is His Word. His Word has the power and you are the mouthpiece to speak it. If your gift is serving then He has given you supernatural strength though His Spirit. If you are filled with His Word and His Spirit then He will be glorified in your life and the church will be built up.

II Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

You must know His word if you want to be used by Him. He uses His Word. We are only His vessel through which He speaks. If we know His Word then we will be prepared for the goods works that he has planned for each of us.

II Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

You must keep a clear conscience so that the Holy Spirit is not quenched in your life. The Lord uses His Spirit and His Word. Sanctified means to be cleansed and set apart for a holy purpose.

II Timothy 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

Finally, we must continually humble ourselves before the Lord, for He give grace to the humble. Jesus was full of grace and truth. The Word of God is truth and grace allows us to live out the truth and therefore be full of truth through the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

When you are prepared and set apart and obedient to His Word then the Word becomes flesh through you and Jesus Christ is glorified. You are a part of His body and the spiritual gift that He has given you is meant to be an expression of Him to others. The word joy has the same root as the word grace and gift. You will have great joy when you exercise your spiritual gift through the grace that He gives to you.

John 17:15-19 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.

Jesus has sent us into the world. He has prayed that we would be cleansed and set apart through His Word. He wants to use you. When He uses you to fulfill His plan for the world then you will have great joy. When you are faithful to Him and obedient to Him and His will for your life then your life will overflow with joy. May you be blessed by entering into His joy and hearing His words to you, “Well done, My good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master.” What has He called you to do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Loves

The greatest of all is love and love is the most powerful influence in the world. When we learn to love as Christ did then our world will be changed. We will be willing to die for each other even as Christ died for us.

Romans 5:7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.

This word good means the highest form of love. What the Lord is saying is that someone would not be willing to give up their life for someone who does the right thing  but perhaps maybe someone would die for a person who loved them. Love is the greatest power in the world. We will always want to be around those who love us.

I John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

We know that Jesus loves us. He died for us and He would do it again. He did not die for us because we were good but He died for us because He is good. Jesus Christ is the expression of the highest form of love.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The only way we can love with the love of Christ is if we die to ourselves first.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

We must deny ourselves and follow Him. It is a daily dying to ourselves and it is the path to freedom and to Christlikeness.

Luke 9:23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

This life is only possible through His Spirit and by His Spirit. He will only lead you where He has gone before you. There is no fear in a life of dying to self and following Him. In your dying you will begin living and in your death others will find life.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Jesus went before us. He was crushed for our iniquities and by His scourging we are healed. He died for us.

Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

The Lord is pleased when we offer ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice. How is it seen by others? It is seen through our love for others as we are poured out as an offering to Him.

Isaiah 53:10-12 But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

You have the opportunity to be like Jesus when you intercede for those who have sinned against you. You may not be able to bear their sins as Jesus did on the cross but when you pray “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”, you will be more like Him than you will ever know and others will see Jesus in you.

Luke 23:24 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

The greatest is love and those who love are the greatest.

I Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

A Life that is Sweet and Good

The Lord has a plan for our lives and it is sweet and good. He wants us to live in and on His promises. We are to live by faith in the land of His promises. In the Old Testament when He described the promised land He said it was a land flowing with milk and honey. Milk is good for you and honey is sweet. That is how it is when we walk by faith with the Lord. Fellowship with Him is sweet and obedience to His Word is good for us.

Exodus 3:17 So I said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt…to a land flowing with milk and honey.

Egypt was symbolic of slavery and the land flowing with milk and honey was the land of promise which they were to possess by faith. Are you enslaved to sin or the flesh? Are their any habits that you are struggling with and know you need to be set free? He came to set you free.

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

If you have been set free then don’t go back into the bondage of slavery. There are two things that will hold you back from your goals and desires. They are snares and snags. Snares are sins that have ensnared you and that Jesus can set you free and wants to set you free. Snags are things that you have no control over and they cause you to cry out to Him for help. Just as if you were walking down a path and a branch from a tree were to snag you and you could not free yourself. He allows obstacles and snags in our life to cause us to realize that we can not make it on our own. We need His help. By faith we look continually to Him.

Jude 1:5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.

The Lord died for you and rose again so that you might be set free from the snares of the devil. However you must trust Him and learn to live by faith or you will end up being destroyed.

I John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

The Lord made you to be an overcomer. He wants life to be sweet and good for you. It is possible only through Him. Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

A Life that Reaches Out

Jesus Christ has touched your life if you are a Christian. He reached out and touched you through someone else. When Jesus walked on earth He touched the lives of many people. He was not afraid to reach out and touch others.

Psalm 72:13 He will have compassion on the poor and needy, and the lives of the needy he will save.

The godly lady learns how to reach out to the poor and needy. Some of us have to learn how to reach out and touch but for others it comes more naturally or they were brought up in an affectionate and loving environment. Either way, however we learn to touch and reach out, it is something God has called us to do and will bring healing and love to others.

Proverbs 31:20 She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy.

The Lord has called us all to reach out to someone. Ask Him to put someone on your heart who He wants you to reach out to. The guilt of Sodom was that she did not reach out to the poor and needy, thus she became haughty and immoral. She and the other cities around her had abundant food, arrogance and time but rather than reaching out to the poor and needy she became prideful, indulgent and self centered.

Ezekiel 16:49,50 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.

Jesus did not reach out to everyone but He touched the poor and needy and the children.

Matthew 19:13-15 Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” After laying His hands on them, He departed from there.

Jesus even touched the lepers who were considered the untouchables.

Luke 5:13 And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him.

Jesus allowed Himself to be touched by His disciples. John wrote at the beginning of His letter that they touched Jesus. Jesus was the Word of Life that became flesh and dwelt among men on earth. He reached out and touched and He was allowed to be touched.

I John 1:1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—

All of us are at different levels of maturity in our Christian life and have different gifts. If you are beginning to grow in the Lord, ask him to help you. If you need healing so that He can use you to bring healing to others then ask Him for healing. He is the Great Healer and He restores us. He has blessed you and He wants you to bless Him and be a blessing to others.

Psalm 103:1-4 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

 

A Life that is Created

Your life did not just begin in a random sort of way. You were planned and skillfully made in your mother’s womb. The Lord planned you before the foundation of the world and He chose your parents because He wanted you to be the unique and special person that you are. You are beautiful in His sight and there is nothing that you can do to make yourself more beautiful to Him.

Psalm 139:13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.

You have no flaws because He does all things well. Whatever imperfections that you think that you have are marks of His ownership in your life. There is no one like you and nothing was done in accident.

Psalm 139:15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Not only did He form you but He also knows all the days that you will live on earth. He knows all about you and He was pleased with how He made you.

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

You were made in His image. His image is not in physical appearance because that is temporal but His image is in the unseen and reveals the glory of God. The physical will pass away but His image in you will live on forever.

Genesis 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Man is the only creature that was created in His image and yet man is the only one who has rebelled against his Creator. We don’t want to do what He has created us to do and that is to have fellowship with Him in a relationship with Him. We wanted to go our own way and the image of God was no longer seen the way He designed. Man violated
God’s Word and the word “violate” means to change, so we were changed and no longer showed His glory to the world. How can we be changed back so that we can reflect the image of God in our lives? There is only one way and that is to return to our Creator and be restored to Him. When this happens then we will become a new creation in Christ and the old things will pass away.

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Once we are restored then we will understand more fully His creation of us and how we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our soul will know it and we will give thanks to Him.

Psalm 139:14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

Give thanks to Him today for how He made you. Give thanks for the unchangeable characteristics in your life. Give thanks for the parents he chose so that you would have the unique genetic makeup that you have. Give thanks to Him for making you in His image. Give thanks that you are beautiful.