Tag Archives: Christ

The Blessing of Purpose

planner-md…because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. Ephesians 1:11 NLT

As another year comes to an end, many of us begin to look back over the months and days of our lives. Often, we begin pondering our purpose.
Why are we in the place we are in? Are we making a difference with our life? What has been accomplished in the nearly 365 days we have just lived?

If you are pondering such thoughts, or asking God such questions, I want to encourage you that each moment you have spent this year was not in vain.
…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 NKJV

As a believer in Christ, God has a plan and purpose for you—one that is good–one that He will bring to fruition in His time.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremaih 29:11 NKJV

Psalm 138:8 ESV says: “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;” Therefore, you can be sure that He is always at work day and night to bring about what is needed in your life to fulfill His purpose for you.

Perhaps your circumstances were not as you thought they should be this year. Perhaps you suffered setbacks, adverse situations, or delays.
Perhaps you encountered obstacles that you had a hard time overcoming or perhaps you were slowed down from moving forward because of some difficulties.
Just trust and believe that God was with you through it all and know that He is working all things out to accomplish His purpose in your life.
Know that nothing can stop the plan and purpose He has for you.

So, as you look back over this year, I encourage you to pause and praise Him for what He has done, is doing, and will still do for you.

For we [believers] are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

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The Blessing of Strength

"Blindsided" Lanturne poemRecently I was “blindsided.” Blindsided means an attack that seemly comes out of nowhere, because the impact hits in such a place where vision is limited, or in an area where a person is vulnerable.
I am sure you have heard the phrase, “ Wow! That came out of nowhere!” or “I didn’t see that coming!” Also, if you are a football fan you know that blindsiding is often practiced in that sport.

My recent blindsiding experience was not physical, but spiritual, and it was aimed at shaking my faith, however, it also did affect me physically.

One evening I was talking with someone whom I love dearly about a totally positive prospect. This person was planning to fulfill a long desired dream and they were relating recent happenings that they thought might lead them to achieving their goal. As I listened in agreement, all of a sudden—“out of the blue”—they said something totally off subject and out of character for them! Instantly it was as if my breath was knocked out of me! When I was able to recover my speech, I shouted “What! What are you saying!” Yet this person, whom I am sure now was someone other than the person I loved, continued speaking of this outrageous, ungodly idea. At the time, I was so totally confused, hurt and shocked that I had to end the conversation. Then, feeling completely overwhelmed, I began to cry.
I found myself so debilitated that I was not even able to pray. Quickly, I called a godly sister in the Lord, who “just happened” to be at her weekly bible study/prayer meeting. “I need help” I said. She instantly prayed for me for strength and then said she would have her group pray also. Soon, my tears ceased and I felt my strength returning.
I was able to “pick myself up” from where I had fallen by opening my bible and reading words of help and hope. As I grew stronger I was able to cry out to the Lord in prayer and stand firm in His power and strength.

Later, when I talked with my sister in the Lord about the experience, I told her how I felt I had been completely knocked off my feet, breath taken away, unable to speak or pray, yet the Lord did renew my strength. I realized since my faith was in Christ, that I was standing on the Rock, and even though the blindsiding knocked me down, I fell onto that firm foundation of Christ, where I was able to regain the strength in my inner man that I had been blessed with in Christ. Therefore, I was able to rise again renewed and refreshed in my faith. As His word says I was “strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man…” Ephesians 3:16.
I wanted to share this experience with you, so that you could see how these spiritual blessings are indeed alive and active in our daily lives. Isaiah 40:29 says: “He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.” Thanks be to God, who has blessed us in Christ with a firm foundation in which to stand in this Spiritual Blessing of Strength!

As a follow up note to this experience, a few days later I did talk with the person again. When I asked them about our previous conversation, they said they wanted to totally apologize for what they had said. They said that they didn’t understand why they had said what they said that evening, because it was not really what they meant at all. That, to me, was a testimony that the enemy had indeed somehow entered the conversation that evening just to blindside me. In the future, I hope that I will be more aware of his tactics and be better prepared to handle his attacks. However, what he meant for evil, God used for good in many ways in my life, and for that, I am grateful for this experience.

 

The Blessing of His Riches

Lastblue diamond month I remember reading in the news about the discovery of a rare blue diamond in a mine in South Africa. It was the size of an acorn and was worth millions of dollars.  Previously, other rare diamonds had been found in that same mine which were also very valuable.  
I am sure the company that owes the mine is very pleased to have found such riches.

Many people would love to have found such monetary wealth, however, as we have often seen, money and/or material possessions are not something that automatically brings happiness, for many people with such wealth are not happy.
Money is necessary in this life to purchase the things we need, however, many people who “have it all”, money and material wise, often say their life is empty or unfulfilled. 
So what good are riches if they don’t bring happiness ? 

There are riches that do offer happiness. 
They are God’s spiritual blessings in Christ.

As believers, we have many riches in Christ, in fact, scripture tells us that we have “exceeding riches” ! (Ephesians 2:7)
Riches are not just defined as monetary, they can be large amounts of possessions, but not necessarily material possessions.
Riches are also good things that are available to use.  Scripture tells us that “every good and perfect gift comes from abpve” (James 1:17)
Therefore, believers have been given many good and perfect gifts, treasures and riches from God, our heavenly Father.
Some of them are the redemption we have through Christ’s shed blood, the forgiveness of sins, the riches of God’s grace and mercy. 
They are the blessings of God’s kindness and favor towards us, the peace we have in Christ, and the wisdom, power, and might of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.

God has richly blessed us everything we need daily to live successfully in this world.  We are rich in Him.  We need nothing more.

gemsSo let’s think upon this and stop looking to the world or our flesh for our supply.  Let’s begin using the riches God has provided us with. Let’s begin digging deep in His word where we will find golden nuggets of truth that will be even more valuable than any blue diamond ever could be. Let’s walk in the many blessings we have been given and we will soon discover how rich we really are!

The Blessing of His Birth

ChristmasChristmas….it comes into our lives and changes things…once it enters, nothing is the same.

Those were my thoughts yesterday as I packed away the rest of my Christmas decorations. 
Nothing interrupts, invades, or changes my life and surroundings like Christmas does.
My ordinary days, surrounded by everyday mundane things, are suddenly transformed by Christmas!

A tiny Christmas village completely overtakes the table in front of my window, and the other table in my hallway holds a small Christmas Tree filled with various sentimental ornaments collected over the years.  Varied other decorations are placed here and there around the house, a nativity, an advent wreath….all reminders of Christ’s birth.  Christmas Carols, Christmas Cards, and Christmas lights all add to the joy of the season.
Oh, my home and life are so changed by Christmas, just as the world was changed, on that first Christmas so many years ago!

For when Christ came, His presence changed this world forever. 
His birth was a miracle–one never to be repeated–It was a life changing event for many.
His birth interrupted some shepherds ordinary night, and their life was forever changed.
His birth transformed a lowly stable into the birthplace of a King.
As His star shone in the sky it changed the lives of the wisest of men.
His coming changed the world then and it is still changing lives now. 

How blessed we believers are to know Him and celebrate His birth as Christmas.
How blessed we will be to be a part of His second coming–which will change our lives even more!

“looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”  Titus 2:13 NKJV
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”  Revelation 22:20 NKJV

Blessed by Blessings

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ… Ephesians 1:3

A few days ago I was blessed by a friend with a gift of home-grown apples.  The apples were beautiful to look at and since I love that fruit I rejoiced at receiving them.
Once I got home, however, I had the choice to use them or just let them sit there in the bag looking and smelling delicious. 
Responsibility comes with the receipt of a gift, for a gift is of no use unless it is used. 
I thought about this as I took those apples out of the bag, washed and peeled them, chopped them and prepared them to be put into a pie.  Using this wonderful gift entailed work, but, the end result offered a blessing that I could enjoy and share with others–
a yummy apple piehome-made apple pie!

Believers, God has blessed us with so many spiritual blessings in Christ!  Are we using them? 
It behooves us to think upon all that we have received to see if we are using what we have been given and if so, are we also sharing it with others?

Let’s not let one day go by that we neglect to seek out and use a spiritual blessing that we have been given, for gifts are meant to be used, and as they are, they bring joy to us as well as to others.

The Blessing of Blamelessness

The Blessing of Blamelessness

Ephesians 1:4

It wasn’t that I didn’t spill the milk…I did.  It wasn’t that I didn’t admit to spilling the milk…I did.  It wasn’t that I didn’t say I was sorry…I did.
But….He acted as if it never happened.  He acted as if He never saw it.  I was dumbfounded.  

I grabbed some paper towels and wiped all the spilled milk up.  It made me feel better that all was clean, and back to normal, except,
the milk jug, it was almost empty and there was no way I could replace what had been lost.  No amount of apology or cleaning would bring more milk into that jug.

I went to Him with head hanging low.  With tears in my eyes I said ” I am sorry, I really didn’t mean to spill the milk, it just sort of slipped out of my hand.  I don’t know why.
Now there is not much left for us for supper and there is no way I can get us anymore right now.  I am sorry.  I just won’t drink any milk tonight.  You can have what is left.”

He looked at me and said ” What milk? What spill? Child, My Son, Jesus has this covered.  In Him you are blameless.  I do not see anything of which you are speaking.  
Go your way and rejoice that in Him you are forgiven.”  

Blamelessness is a Blessing we receive in Christ. We don’t deserve it, but God in His grace offers it to us because of our belief in His Son Jesus.

In Christ we are holy and can stand before God in love, not blame, because we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.  

When God looks at us He only sees Christ.  Any sins we may have committed are covered by Christ’s blood which was shed for us on the Cross at Calvary.

In Christ we are blameless, forgiven, accepted.   What a Blessing!

He (God)  chose us in Him (Jesus) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame (blameless) before Him (God) in love, Ephesians 1:4 NKJV

The Blessing of Knowledge

KnowledgeSomeone just posted a picture of a set of World Book Encyclopedias on Facebook asking if anyone remembered them.
I remembered them, but only as something I had wished to own and never did, as my parents could not afford to purchase those
wonderful books of knowledge. However, I do remember using them, for I had access to them through the school library or on visits to our local city library. And as much as I appreciated being able to use them that way, owning a set of my own would have been so much better.
I remember thinking as a child how wonderful it would be to have my own set sitting on a bookshelf at home available for me to pull out and use anytime I wanted to. I thought having access to all that knowledge would be such a a blessing!

Now, as a believer in Christ, I am rejoicing that I am blessed with Knowledge that is all my own.
In Christ, God has given me the knowledge to know Him and His truth. This knowledge is within me.
I do not have to go to anyone else or go anywhere else to receive it, for His Holy Spirit reveals His truth, wisdom and knowledge to me daily.

Voltaire said  All men are born with a nose and ten fingers, but no one was born with a knowledge of God.

God said,  in Christ are found all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3)  therefore, if man wants knowledge of God he needs Christ, for it is in Him that man finds the knowledge of God.

Knowledge is one of the 54 Spiritual Blessings in Christ that believers receive.
Knowledge is such a wonderful blessing for with it the mystery of God’s will is revealed to us.
With knowledge God’s word becomes clear to us, our minds are no longer darkened to the truth, we have the ability to know God’s plan and purpose for our lives daily.

Let’s rejoice and give thanks daily that in Christ, we have been blessed with Knowledge!

Access Allowed–What a Blessing!

trinity

For through Him(Jesus) we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit to the Father…Ephesians 2:18

Recently, while at the airport, there was an area only certain people were allowed to enter.  A big sign was posted that said “Access Denied.  Authorized Personnel Only”.
I am sure you may have seen similar signs or even found such a site on the internet where access was not allowed to just anyone.  
Seeing that sign made me wonder how I would feel if I happened to be one of the ‘Authorized Personnel” that was allowed to enter through the door.  I thought to myself that I probably would feel pretty special if I was allowed to freely open that door and walk through.  

However, as a Believer in Christ, I realized that I already am really special, for in Christ I have been given free access to God the Father at anytime and not just anyone has that privilege, only those who are believer’s can freely enter into God’s presence.

Before I knew Christ, scripture says I was far away from God. (Eph.2:12) It was like there was an “Access Denied” sign between me and God. I was an alien and stranger, without hope in this world. (Eph.2:12)  Yet, when I believed and received Christ, He brought me near.  His Holy Spirit came to dwell within me. (1 Cor.6:19)  

I became a fellow citizen with the saints and members of the household of God, (Eph.2:13,19)  Because of Christ I was authorized to enter God’s Throne room.  I now had the right to call God my Father.  I was blessed to have a close personal relationship with Him as His child.  No longer was I denied access–for the door was open!  Now that really makes me feel special !  

What a Blessing we believer’s have been given!  We should feel so special everyday “For through Him(Jesus) we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit to the Father…”  Ephesians 2:18

Exceedingly Abundant

waterfallI remember as a kid I thought my dad was the greatest.  In my mind he was good at everything and could do anything. 

He worked two jobs for many years but he always seemed to have some time to spend with his family.  I remember him teaching me to how to fish, play baseball, and pluck chickens. I learned a lot about nature from him.  There were winter walks where we would search for different animal or bird tracks in the snow and he would teach me how to identify each one or fall excursions to check out the different leaves and trees.  Springtime would find us berry picking in the woods where he would show me all the different wild flowers.   Once I got in a heated argument with one of my friends over whose dad was the best.  It was the classic “Whatever your dad can do, mine can do it better” type of thing.   However, even though I thought my dad was the greatest, in reality he was just a human who  had limitations just as we all do.  

But… in Christ, all of us Believers do have the Best Dad of all!  Our Father in Heaven is Almighty.  He has no limitations.   With Him all things are possible.  (Matthew 19:26)
 ‘He is able to do exceeding abundantly,’ so abundantly that it exceeds measure and description.” (Charles Spurgeon)
Whatever good thing you can think of to ask for—God can do far more above that.
Whatever great thing you might imagine to do—God can do it greater
Anything that you can think of or dream of, do or accomplish—God can do it above that.
He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  (Ephesians 3:20)  Believers, His Spirit is within us, that is the power that works in us to enable us to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.   God is able to do this in our life now.  We don’t have to wait for heaven.  His power is at work in us now!

Consider these questions:

  • Since God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you ask or think, how do you think God would work “exceedingly abundantly” in your life?
  • Since His power works in you, how does that affect your daily life?
  • Have you experienced His Exceeding Abundance in your life or in the lives of others?
  • What do you think God wants to abundantly accomplish in your life?
  • What good or great thing can you think of to ask God for or imagine yourself doing for Him?

Remember:  You are His child.  He is your Almighty Father and “Therefore he is able to do all things, and able to do superabundantly above the greatest abundance.” (Clarke)
Realize what you have been given in Christ, claim it and use it daily to bring Him glory!  I guarantee Your Heavenly Father has no limitations to what He can accomplish through your life as His power works in you !    Start living in Exceeding  Abundance today !