The harvest is near

While gathered together with family and friends to enjoy food and fellowship this Thanksgiving holiday, let’s also take time to remember the ones who are suffering for their beliefs and pray that God would abundantly bless them with his peace and provision.

In America, our blessings are so abundant that even the poor are considered rich compared with others around the globe. The word tells us in 1 Timothy 6:8 that if we have food and raiment, we should be content.

With thanksgiving in their hearts, the early settlers gave praise and honor to the Lord for many things, most notably, a liberal harvest. William Bradford wrote:

“…And afterwards the Lord sent them such seasonable showers, with interchange of fair, warm weather as, through His blessing, caused a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing. For which mercy, in time convenient, they also set apart a day of thanksgiving… By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty … for which they blessed God.” 

When we stop to think about all that we’ve been blessed with as believers, the list should begin and end with Christ. Having Jesus as our Lord and Savior is our fruitful bounty. Everything else is but a garnish. For the Lord is our everything, and all that we have stems from his never-ending supply of love and mercy—his grace!

May your Thanksgiving be a joyous reminder of all that is Jesus!

In every season…

To everything there is a season…winter, spring, summer and fall. Each is part of the pattern of life which God has established on earth.

The book of Ecclesiastes talks about the seasons of life. With everything under the sun, there is a time—a time to reap and a time to sow; a time to mourn and a time to laugh; a time to gather and a time to cast away.

With everything the Lord brings to us, whether to our delight or adversity, it’s for his purposes. Whether it pleases or not, there is really nothing to lose or gain compared to the fulfillment of a God-centered life, as only God brings us true contentment even apart from the situations in which we find ourselves.

Whether in good times or bad, the blessings of his hand in our lives is what sustains us. The surpassing joys or sorrows will fade in time and our spirits are sustained through it all as we remain focused on the power of his presence in our lives.

As with anything earthly, it passes. Though, the riches of the spiritual gifts designed by God for us are meant to be life sustaining and everlasting.

May the joy of the Lord be yours today and forever in every season.

 

Pray for the persecuted

Living for Jesus is not the world’s primary interest. To be one with God and walk the straight and narrow path is opposite of what the world endorses. “Live your best life today for tomorrow you may die” is their mantra.

In the midst of David’s persecution, he sought the high road by seeking God’s path in Psalm 27, while dodging the enemies surrounding him, who wished to do him harm. Such as it is with the persecuted Christians around the world who suffer for their faith by the enemies of God.

As believers, we attempt to walk a path that is pleasing to the Lord, and in America, thus far, our path to worship is still protected. We may have our challenges, struggles, and trials, but often, our issues pale in comparison to what other Christians around the globe are facing when their actual faith is challenged…or their very lives.

In the midst of spiritual warfare, we join our hearts in prayer  while keeping in mind Matthew 5:44, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” and Romans 12:14, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.” 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “…all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…”

Although all of us who claim the name of Jesus will be victimized to some degree, we know the good Lord remembers our frames and will not allow us to suffer beyond what we are able to bear through His strength working inside us. May those suffering servants around the world feel God’s grace poured out on them today, and may his spirit carry them into tomorrow.

WORST YEAR YET: Global Persecution Of Christians Hits ...

In God we trust

So fortunate we are to live in a nation where its citizens are the sovereign and have the opportunity to partake in our God-ordained government. By casting our vote, we exercise our rights under the Constitution as well as our free will. By holding our leaders responsible, by keeping their feet to the fire, we can demonstrate our desire to be a Godly nation by being the salt and light that God calls us to be.

God ordained the government and its leaders, and WE THE PEOPLE are to carry out the protocols set forth. Even Jesus has allowed us to “…render under Caesar the things that are Caesar’s…”

As a Christian defined by Christ, our liberty to vote is not thwarted nor precluded by anything in the Bible. What if NO Christians ever voted…especially, when our future liberties are at stake now more than they ever have been?

While it’s incumbent upon every U.S. citizen to vote for the leaders whom we are to elect, it is no sin not to vote nor should there be judgement. And while our government is important, we must always realize that the president is not a sacred position nor our first line of defense against what may hinder us.

Should rafters quake and mountains tumble into the sea, it’s the Lord to whom we turn. We put our trust not in man or government but in God alone.

An all sufficient grace

Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians that he’d rather boast in his weakness, so that the power of Christ can abide in him. Why? Because then he can be made perfect through the Almighty’s strength since his own efforts inevitably fail.

How often do we believe things could sometimes be different in our lives…when we are just not pleased with our lot in life or with the way the Lord has made us and the cross we have to bear? We can compare ourselves with others and bemoan, or we can be filled with gratitude that the Lord has created us in His image and loves us beyond our imagination.

Moses stuttered. Apostle Paul had vision issues. Jacob had a limp, and Leah was deemed ugly. There’s plenty more examples. So many figures in the Bible suffered in the flesh and yet the Lord used them mightily for his plans and purposes.

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong ~ Apostle Paul, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10