1 Chronicles 16:8
King James Version (KJV)
Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
What are you most thankful for (today)?
It is another Thanksgiving Day, and as usual, I am excited. All across America people are visiting family and friends to celebrate the big day. There is going to be lots of eating and drinking and merrymaking.
But, amidst all that eating and drinking, I encourage you to pause awhile and think about how fortunate we all are to live in the USA. Despite of its problems, and there are many, it is good a time as any to be an American.
Naturally, It would not be Thanksgiving Day if I did not put a ‘thank you’ list together. There are so many things to be thankful for. The world would run out of paper and ink by the time I am through jotting down my blessings. Nevertheless, number one on my list is “spared life.”
I thank God for keeping me alive. Being alive with all my faculties intact means I have another chance to prepare for the Bridegroom. God has given me more than my fair share of chances to prepare for His appearing. Therefore, if He comes today and I am not ready; I have no one to blame but myself.
I thank God for my family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, my employer, and all those people whom I come in contact with on a daily basis. And last but not least, you, my friends in the blogosphere. You mean more to me than you will ever know. I pray the good God above will continue to bless and keep you.
Happy Thanks Giving! God blesses.
King James Version (KJV)
“… Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest”
The parable of the sheep and the goats that Jesus told in Matthew 25:31-46 seems to convey a simple message. And why not. Jesus was and is known to make things simple. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that Jesus used this parable to clear up any ambiguity in an earlier point that He made: “Love your neighbor as yourself”.
As you read through the parable (the sheep and the goats), you will notice that as Christians and as a society in general, we are charge with the responsibility to care for the less fortunate. Further, according to the parable, every crying voice for help that we ignore will be held against us when we stand before the righteous Judge.
New International Version (NIV)
The Sheep and the Goats
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, He will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then He will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Temptation is something we all face as Christians, no matter how long we have been following Christ. There are a few practical things, however, that we can do to grow stronger and smarter in our struggle against sin. We can learn how to avoid temptation by practicing these five steps.
Recognize your tendency toward sin.
James 1:14 explains that we are tempted when we become enticed by our own natural desires. The first step toward avoiding temptation is recognize our human tendency to be tempted by our own fleshly desires. Temptation is a given. Do not be surprised by it. Rather, expect to be tempted. Be prepared for it.
Run away from the temptation.
I love the New Living Translation of 1 Corinthians 10:13. It says, “But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others 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.”
Whenever you are faced with temptation, look for the way out that God has promised and then run as fast as you can.
Resist with the Word of truth.
Hebrews 4:12 says God’s Word is living and active. Did you know you can carry a weapon that will make your thoughts obey Jesus Christ? If you don’t believe me, read 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 One of these weapons is the Word of God.
Though it can be helpful to read God’s Word when you’re being tempted, sometimes that’s not practical. Even better is to practice reading the Word daily, so that eventually you have so much of it inside, you are ready whenever temptation comes. If you are reading through the Bible regularly, you will have the full counsel of God at your disposal.
Refocus with praise.
How often have you been tempted to sin when your heart and mind were fully concentrated on worship to the Lord? Praising God takes your focus off of self and puts it on God. You may not be strong enough to resist temptation on your own, but as you focus on God, He will inhabit your praise. He will give you the strength to resist and walk away from the temptation. May I suggest Psalm 147 as a good place to start?
Repent quickly when you fail.
In several places, the Bible tells us the best way to resist temptation is to flee from it (1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22). Yet still we all fail from time to time. We fail to flee. Notice I didn’t say, repent quickly if you fail. Having a more realistic view—knowing that, at times, you will fail—should help you to repent quickly when you do. It is not the end of the world when you fail, but it is very dangerous to persist in your sin. Going back to James 1, verse 15 explains that sin “when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
This article was originally published on http://www.onewaystreetministries.org
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.