…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
Posted in Daily Blessings--2014
Tagged 54 Spiritual Blessings in Christ, believers, bible, blessing, blessings, Christ, Ephesians, Ephesians 1:11, Ephesians 2:10, God, God's will, Jeremiah 29:11, Jesus, life, plan, plans, Psalm 138:8, purpose, year
Hot day! The lake looked so inviting!
The clear water had a slight green tint revealing what appeared to be a sandy base.
However, the scene changed as people entered the water!
It’s green color turned to a muddy brown! The lake’s base was not sand but clay dirt!
Most of the people who entered stayed in, either because they didn’t really realize they were swimming in muddy water, or they chose the momentary refreshment of the water over it’s potential health hazard.
As I sat on the shore watching all of this, it caused me to realize how deceptive things in life can be sometimes.
We can easily get mislead by things that seemingly look good.
Once we enter into them we may not notice how bad they are because we are in the midst of it enjoying the moment, but in the long term we may find the things have done us harm.
Or, we may see they are unsavory, however once involved, we decide to overlook the danger in favor of self satisfaction, or just because everyone else is doing it
This is where we should take wise counsel to heart, because those who are sitting on the shore can see the whole picture. They can issue a warning, and if they do, we should listen and obey.
As believers we are blessed to have the Holy Spirit as our guide and God’s Word which is truth. If we listen and obey them we should not get caught up any of life’s muddy waters .
Posted in Daily Blessings--2014
Tagged believers, bible, blessing, choices, deceiving, deception, God, God's word, good, guidance, guide, Holy Spirit, hot day, lake, life, listen, muddy brown, muddy water, obey, truth, unhealthy, water
Last 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.
So 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!
Posted in Daily Blessings--2014
Tagged 54 Spiritual Blessings in Christ, believers, bible, blessings, blue diamond, Christ, daily, digging deep, discovery, dwells, empty, Ephesians 2:7, exceeding riches, forgiveness, gems, God, golden, golden nuggets, good gift, good things, grace, happiness, happy, Holy Spirit, James 1:17, Jesus, life, looking, material, mercy, might, millions of dollars, mine, monetary, money, need, nuggets, Peace, perfect gift, possessions, power, provided, rare, redemption, rich, riches, richly blessed, sins, South Africa, spiritual, successful, supply, think, treasures, unfiulfilled, valuable, wealth, wisdom, word, world
Recently I came to hear of an interesting idea called “My One Word”.
It is based on a book titled “My One Word” written by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen
The idea is that, in the New Year instead of making resolutions, we should pick just one word to focus on for the year.
This word would be something that you hope God would do in you during the year. The thought is that by doing so, this one word focus could perhaps change your life.
I have not read the book—yet—but I may do so. However, I did pick my word for this year, only because I had felt prompted to do so
even before hearing about this one word idea. My one word was in my mind even before the New Year began and it was based on
something I had written back in 2009 that I hoped someday I would use as a foundation for a new devotional series on my ministry website.
Well, this seemed to be the year I was to do that, because the feeling was still strong after I prayed long and hard about it.
Therefore, on January 2nd I began my new devotional series titled “P-O-W-E-R” which focuses on believers living in the power of the Holy Spirit.
I also felt led to begin a new scripture memorization titled
“His Power”–which focuses on memorizing “power” scriptures from the bible.
Both of these decisions I feel are something God wants to do through me, as neither are easy tasks, and not something I feel could be done without His help.
So, it is my hope that as I do what He seems to want done, that I too will come to know more about His Power and how I might live in it daily.
Therefore, when I heard about the “My One Word” idea, it was not difficult for me to choose my one word for this year–it is indeed “Power”
It is my hope this year “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, Philippians 3:10 NKJV”
For I, as a believer, have been blessed to receive His Power–the Holy Spirit–within me. Therefore, I want to know more how to use that Power in my daily life.
I want to know more how to walk in the Spirit, and pray in the Spirit, and just live my life daily in the Spirit’s power and then to also share what I learn with others.
Such a blessing should be recognized and put to use daily–don’t you agree?
Perhaps all we believers should choose the word “Power” to focus on this New Year!
Wouldn’t it be amazing to see what happened if we all did!
“P-O-W-E-R” Daily Devotional http://www.smilegodlovesyou.org/DD/
“His Power” Weekly Scripture Memorization Group http://www.smilegodlovesyou.org/mindfulgroup.html
“My One Word” http://myoneword.org/
Posted in Daily Blessings--2014
Tagged "My One Word", believers, bible, blessed, blessing, book, change, daily, decisions, focus, foundation, God, groups, help, His Power, Holy Spirit, hope, idea, January, know, life, live, living, Mike Ashcraft, Mind Full of Him, ministry, new devotional, New Year, one word, P-O-W-E-R, Philippians 3:10, pray, prayed, Rachel Olsen, resolutions, resurrection, scripture, scripture memorization, SGLY Ministry, smilegodlovesyou, thought, walk, year
Christmas….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
Posted in Daily Blessings--2014
Tagged birth, birthplace, blessed hope, blessing, celebrate, change, Christ, Christ's birth, Christmas, Christmas Cards, Christmas Carols, Christmas decorations, Christmas lights, Christmas tree, decorations, glorious appearing, God, great, home, interruption, Jesus Christ, King, life, lives, miracle, mundane things, ordinary days, Revelation 22:20, Savior, second coming, shepherds, shone, sky, stable, star, suddenly, thoughts, tiny Christmas village, Titus 2:13, transformed, village, wise men, world
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT)
I was reminded of this verse today after dealing with a splinter in my toe. I was in the shower and all of a sudden I felt something sharp in my big toe. Upon looking I see a splinter! Where in the world did that come from I think! I am in the shower for goodness sake, what is in here that would give me a splinter!
No matter, it got in somehow and now it needed to come out. This caused a household search for the tweezers which I finally found in my tool box, of all places! Hmmmm…hidden splinters, hidden tweezers, something strange is going on here, I am thinking…
Well, after, doing minor surgery on my toe with a needle, tweezers and of course rubbing alcohol, the splinter was gone. It was then, I remembered a conversation I had yesterday with my grand-son. Ah, so God had a purpose for all of this after all…
I had picked my teenage grandson up because he wanted to come and spend the weekend with me. During the drive to my house he told me he had helped his dad do some work on an old barn door and somehow his hand got filled with splinters. I told him when we got to my house I would look at it and perhaps I would be able to remove the splinters for him if they weren’t in too deep. However, one thing led to another and by the time we got home after running a few errands, both of us had forgotten all about the splinters….at least I had and he never reminded me.
However, now, since I had gotten a splinter, it caused me to remember his splinters and with a little work I was able to successfully remove them all. He was happy to have them out and I was happy to have helped him.
This whole incident could be related to what Paul is saying in 2 Corinthians 1:4. If we look at it that way, we will be able to “give thanks in all things” as Paul suggests in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, because whatever we might have to go through or deal with could give us the compassion, experience, and knowledge to help someone else out with a similar experience they might be going through.
Thank You God, for this life lesson today. May I always remember to give You thanks in all things, for I know that You can cause all things to work together for good in my life and perhaps I can use my experiences to help someone else along the way.
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
He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself,
according to His favor and will, Ephesians 1:5
Born in spiritual darkness,
A child of Adam’s seed,
Having earthly parents,
Yet a babe so in need.
I opened my eyes to this world
only to see sin and despair.
I was lost and without hope,
A child un-aware
Of God in heaven who loved me
even when this world was nil,
One who had chosen to adopt me
according to His favor and will.
I was predestined to be adopted
by the One who created me
Through Jesus Christ for Himself
I would be saved and set free
To become His favored child,
A daughter of the King,
No longer lost, but richly blessed
abundantly, in everything.
©Leona J. Atkinson 2012
Posted in Daily Blessings 2012
Tagged abundantly, Adam, adoption, blessing, child, daughter, Father, God, heaven, hope, Jesus, King, lost, parents, predestined, sin, spiritual, will
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
Posted in Daily Blessings 2012
Tagged access, bible, Christ, Ephesians, Father, Gentile, God, Holy Spirit, Jew, spiritual blessings, trinity