…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
Colossians 3:15 says: “…let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.”
What comes to mind when you hear the word “peace”?
Serenity, quiet, calm, freedom from disturbances, no problems?
Yes, peace can be all that, but it can also be much more.
In fact, the Peace that Jesus gives us believers, can be found in chaos.
His Peace is not dependent on outer circumstances, for it dwells within us.
A good example of this would be in some events that unfolded in my life recently.
I was awakened early one morning by a text message from my bank. It said my account was over-drawn.
My half-awake mind tried to process the validity of this as I got up to find my checkbook.
Not being an early morning person, my day already had the tendency to be off to a bad start.
Then, my grand-daughter, who was spending a few days with me, woke up and said “Happy Friday the 13th!”
Now, I am not superstitious, but under the circumstances I was a little bit tempted to be swayed towards negativity.
In looking over my checkbook, I could not find any reason that my account should be overdrawn, but because I and grand-daughter had
a busy day planned, I decided to just deposit some money from my savings into the account and deal with going in to talk with the bank
on another day.
After an un-eventful breakfast we drove to the ATM where I planned to withdraw some money from my savings.
The ATM had a sign “Out of Order”.
Going inside, I told the teller, and she said since I have e-banking only, I would have to drive around and use the drive up ATM because
if she processed my transaction she would have to charge me a fee.
Trying to keep my cool, I left and proceeded to the drive-up ATM, which of course, had two cars ahead of me.
Then it started to pour rain, on what was supposed to be a bright warm sunny day.
What did I do? Did I lose my temper? Did I let frustration overcome me? Did I get discouraged and blame it on “Friday the 13th”?
No! Because something inside of me said “enough is enough” I was not going to let the enemy steal my joy and destroy my peace.
Right then, I prayed out loud—“In the name of Jesus Christ, I will not be tormented! I will not be oppressed! In Jesus’ name I have peace!”
As I claimed the day for Jesus, a peace came over me and the enemy retreated. Instead of just going to deposit the money in the supposedly overdrawn account I decided to take the time to go inside the bank and talk with them. I prayed for God’s favor.
I ended up being greeted by a very pleasant young lady banker who reviewed my account and finding no errors, credited the overdraft fee back into my account and got everything all straightened out for me very easily.
When I went outside the rain had stopped and the sun was shining. My grand-daughter said “Well, I guess that prayer worked!”
That gave me an opportunity to witness to her about faith, belief and the peace that believers have in Jesus. It is not just about saying a prayer “that works” but living a life where we are in constant communication with the One in whom we believe—receiving His peace as we abide in Him.
Do things always work out easily or with out problems? No, but Jesus’ peace can be felt in the midst of the chaos or problem, for His peace does not depend on circumstances.
In John 16:33 Jesus said: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 1:2 NKJV
Posted in Daily Blessings--2014
Tagged 2 Timothy 1:2, 54 Spiritual Blessings in Christ, abiding, account, awakened, bad start, bank, belief, believe, believers, blessing, busy day, calm, chaos, Christ, circumstances, claimed, Colossians 3:15, communication, day, dependent, discouraged, disturbances, dwells, early, enemy, enough, events, faith, Father, freedom, Friday 13th, frustration, God, God's favor, good example, grace, half awake, hearts, Jesus, Jesus Christ, June 2014, Leona J. Atkinson, life, Lord, mind, money, morning, negativity, opportunity, oppressed, overcome, overdrawn, Peace, pleasant, pray, prayer, problems, process, quiet, rain, reason, retreated, rule, savings, serenity, straightened out, superstitious, swayed, temper, tempted, tendency, testimony, text message, tormented, trouble, unfolded, validity, within, word, world
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
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
Someone 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!
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
Have you ever been rejected or felt like you weren’t accepted? Most of us probably have at one time or another in our lives.
My grandson and I were talking about this tonight at dinner. He said he felt that way in 5th grade because no one wanted to choose him for their basketball team as he was too small at the time.
I can recall such a time when I was in 4th grade. I was a very quiet, shy kid who was not good at playing outdoor childhood games like Pom Pom Pull Away or Red Rover. I didn’t like those rough games . I enjoyed sitting and reading books or writing poems much more. But in our little country school we had to play these outdoor games and I often felt rejected because I was always the last one to be chosen on a team. No one really wanted someone on their team who couldn’t play very well . So, it was a pretty miserable, lonely year for me because I wanted to be accepted but I wasn’t, just because I wasn’t “good enough”. That often happens in this world, we are rejected or not accepted because we are too small, too fat, too quiet, or just “not good enough”. If we are not accepted we feel we are not worthy, that we have no value.
However, God isn’t that way. “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b (NKJV)
In Christ, God accepts us just as we are. When I believed and received Jesus many years ago I certainly wasn’t “good enough” to be accepted by God, but in His grace He accepted me in Christ. I was accepted into His family, as His child, never again to have to ever feel unwanted or unworthy. I know I am valuable now because God has accepted me, not for what I can do, but for who I am in Christ.
Praise God for His glorious grace by which He received me with approval in Christ.
Ephesians 1:6 says: to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Do you feel accepted by God or do you think you need to work on “being better” first?
What does Ephesians 1:6 mean to you as a Believer in Christ?
Peace. Just saying that word brings a feeling of security for peace means mutual harmony. It brings freedom from strife. It offers tranquility and comfort.
Believers, Christ is our Peace. He is the only “Peace on Earth” we will find. He said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” (Romans 5:1 NLT)
As we have been greatly blessed, let us celebrate His coming to earth as a babe by pausing and rejoicing just as the angels did that night in Bethlehem so many years ago when they declared “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14 KJV) for Peace came to earth to bring goodwill to all men.
“Thank God for this Gift too wonderful for words!” (2 Cor.9:15 NLT) The Gift of His Son who is Our Peace !
Posted in Daily Blessings--2011
Tagged Bethlehem, blessing, Christ, Christmas, earth, gift, God, goodwill, Jesus, Peace, spiritual
Christmas Village 2011
My three grand-children were visiting for the weekend and even though it was still two weeks before Thanksgiving, we decided it would be a good time for all of us to set up our Christmas Village. It was early, but since we were all together, the Christmas spirit and excitement was in the air to get “The Village” set up.
For the past 12 years, usually the day after Thanksgiving, I and the grand-kids have set up our Christmas Village. When the tradition started my youngest grand-son was 4 and the the Village, like him, was pretty small. Each year we would add one or two new things to our Village and so it has greatly grown over the years. What started out as a tiny village, this year seems to have become a mighty metropolis! And, as the Village has grown, so have the grand-children. However, each still wants to have a part in “setting up the Village”. This year as the boxes were brought out from the closet, my grand-son asked what was new and I replied that I had only purchased one small item as an addition, since the Village was really too big now and I wasn’t sure there would be room to fit it all in my small apartment. I announced that we had an Abundance of houses and people! We had a “more than enough” Village !
As Believers we have been blessed with Abundance. God has given us “more than enough” blessings to use in our daily lives.
The dictionary defines Abundance as: an extremely plentiful or over sufficient quantity or supply or overflowing fullness
To me that simply means “more than enough”. God has blessed me, and all believers, with “more than enough”.
We have an infinite daily supply of all that is needed to succeed. We just need to know what we have been blessed with and then how to use it in our lives.
Think about what you feel you need to succeed in your daily life. I would say I often need Strength, Wisdom and Power, coupled with Boldness, Confidence, Hope and Favor.
That’s just a few things I can think of off the top of my head and I have often prayed that God would give these things to me.
However, I have come to realize that the book of Ephesians tells me that when I believed and received Jesus as my Savior, I received all those things and more.
Ephesians 1:3 says I was blessed “exceedingly abundantly” beyond all that I could ask or think.
So now, each day whatever my need might be I just thank God that He has already given me more than enough to handle it, then I ask Him to bring it into being through His Holy Spirit Who dwells within me.
Strength? I am abundantly supplied. Wisdom? I have all I will ever need. Power? God’s Power, the Holy Spirit, dwells within me. Boldness? Confidence? I have an over sufficient quantity. Hope? I have more than enough. Favor? I am blessed to overflowing. These are but a few of the Blessings believers receive in Christ.
Just as the Christmas Village keeps growing each year, because my grand-son and I want to add just one more new thing to it, so does our Abundance in Christ. We have a never ending supply of blessings we can use everyday, we just need to decide what we need for the day and the best place to put it into action.
So let’s begin each day by thanking God for blessing us exceedingly abundantly with everything we need to succeed and then ask Him to manifest whatever we need to walk in that day.
I think we will be amazed at the change we will begin to see in our lives as we walk daily in the Blessing of Abundance!
Posted in Daily Blessings--2011
Tagged abundance, ask, blessing, boldness, Christ, Christmas, confidence, daily, enough, favor, God, grow, Holy Spirit, hope, Jesus, power, pray, Savior, strength, thank, Thanksgiving, village, wisdom
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and He [God] will give you everything you need. –Jesus (Luke 12:31 NLT)
Do you you ever think that perhaps you need something more in your life? Perhaps you feel that you are not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or wealthy enough? Well, I want to let you know today that we Believers, are blessed with more than enough!
One of our riches in Christ is Abundance. God abundantly gives us everything we need to fulfill His plan and purpose for us in this world. Paul says in Ephesians 3:20 that God ” is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power [Holy Spirit] that works in us, “ If we are seeking His kingdom above all else, we will be walking in His Abundant Blessings! And, Abundance is more than enough!
So the next time you start feeling that you aren’t doing enough, or that your life doesn’t amount to enough, remember that in Christ you have been blessed with more than enough to accomplish the plan and purpose God has just for you! All you have to do is start walking in what you have already been given.
The book of Ephesians lists 54 Spiritual Blessings in Christ that you have received and Abundance is just one of those blessings! A Devotional Book titled “54 Spiritual Blessings in Christ” will soon be published. It lists each Blessing, Thoughts on how to walk in that Blessing, a suggested Prayer and a Journal Page to record your thoughts on it all. If you would like to be notified when this book will be available for purchase just EMAIL ME and I will add you to the Book’s Notification List.
Here, in future blog posts, I will be discussing each of the Blessings we have received and how we can claim and walk in them daily. I hope you will visit often or subscribe so you don’t miss out on learning about all the Riches you have received in Christ!
I also invite you to check out Holley Gerth’s Blog post: You Are Enough! Holly shares that in God’s Heart YOU are ENOUGH! http://www.holleygerth.com/heart-to-heart-with-holley/2011/10/4/you-are-enough.html