September 19,2016 – Counting Blessings
Psalm 77: 11-12 I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of they doings.
I can remember when my life was miserable. Nothing ever seemed to go right. When I was in an abusive situation for over 15 years, with no apparent way to get out, I used to ask God what horrible sin I had committed that I had to be punished they way I was. Of course he wasn’t punishing me, I was simply experiencing the results of my own mistakes.
When I finally was able to move from that situation, my eyes were opened to that very fact. It was when I started praying for God to help me get away from this person, when I truly put my faith in him because nothing I tried to do helped, he started opening doors for me, taking me through different steps and situations until I was completely free of this individual.
It was shortly after that, that a little girl asked me to come to church with her for the children’s Christmas program. I rode the bus with her, and immediately felt compelled to return there for weeks afterward, thinking the bus was just for the children. When I discovered that I could also ride the bus to Church, I was there for every service, and rode the van for evening services and bible study. I was so hungry for God, that for months there wasn’t a service that you didn’t find me crying at the altar.
When I look back over my past life, I can clearly see that even when I was in the valley for so long, there were times when God was blessing me, and so many times that he was protecting me. In December I did a post about this project. I was determined to look for something in each day to be thankful for, and even though it may take some time to get them all posted, I have truly realized just how much God has blessed me. Today I am thankful to be counting his blessings, although I know I will never be able to list them all.
September 20, 2016 – Middle Ground
Matthew 5:37 But let your statement be “ yes, yes” or “no,no”
I’ve attended several churches in my life. A few were so spirit filled that you could feel it the minute you walked through the door. Several I visited a few times, but never returned because it was more like to going to a rock concert or a sales convention than it was going to a church.
Over the years since I gave my hear to Jesus, I have had many conversations with people about Christ and about what it means to be a Christian. I’ve had these conversations with other Christians and non-believers as well. When it would come to certain subjects, I quickly found that many of Christian brothers and sisters stayed on middle ground.
It is true today, in many churches, people are so worried about offending someone, hurting some groups feelings, being accused of being judgmental or politically incorrect that they will agree with any person on any subject just to avoid arguments. This is so sad since God has been very specific in his word.
From the beginning, he has told us what is right and what is wrong, and just because we don’t believe that something is against God doesn’t mean that we dislike or detest the people doing it. Take the LGBT movement. God clearly states that unions should be one man and one woman, not two women or two men. But, many Christians will not stand their ground on this for fear of insulting someone, for fear of being rejected by their own “Social” group because they are not agreeing that everyone has the right to live how they want.
The word of God is clear, we are not to be lukewarm, we are to be either hot or cold, less he spew us out. I know this article may rub some people the wrong way, I apologize, but I try to follow the word of God, not the ideas of man. Today I am thankful that God is teaching me to stay away from that Middle Ground.
September 21, 2016 – Outward Appearances
“ It is good to be a Christian and know it, but it’s better to be a Christian and show it”
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples , if ye have love one to another
It didn’t take me long after I started attending Church to realize that not everyone is the Christian that they claim to be. The churches are full of sinners, and that is the way it is supposed to be. All people, all Christians are sinners, but the difference is that a Christian, one who has accepted Christ and repented of his sins is supposed to be an example to others, not just at church but also out in the world.
I would never name any names, but early on in my new Christian life, I found that some of the people, who in all appearances at Church, who I thought were great examples of being a Christian, were completely different in the outside world. One lady, who was always willing to give me advice in Church, was just as mean and nasty to anyone she dealt with outside those four walls. I heard her and saw her, several times.
Another person, also one who was giving me Christian advice, turned out to be one of the biggest gossips around, and she wasn’t just talking about people outside the church,but the people inside also. She told me one day, that one of the members was sexually abusing his daughters, she could tell by the look on their faces. Then it came back to me, that she was saying that outside of Church I was a drunkard. My feelings were so hurt , but I never said anything to her about it, I simply didn’t know what to say.
What I’m trying to get at here is the fact that if you are a Christian, you are to be a Christian in and out of the church. Your outward appearance, your attitude is what people look at. They don’t care if you claim to be a Christian, they pay attention more to how you act outside of Church, what kind of person you seem to be inside and out than whether you go to church or not.
Today I am thankful that the Lord continuously works with me on being a Christian, inside and out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.