November 30, 2017 Give Thanks

psalms 20_4

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Isaiah 14:24 God’s Plans Will Succeed

The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.” Isaiah 14:24

Plans are made everyday by people all over the world. Some people make plans just for that day, while others plan out the whole year or more.

Planning out something is usually a good thing to do. Setting down a path for education, or how to get into a specific career path, or raising a family are just a few common events that people often plan for. In each of these, and many others, there are multiple steps to get the desired achievement.

The challenging part is that often there are many obstacles to overcome during the process of achieving the desired plans. There are times when things come up that completely change the plans, making them unachievable.

In the passage today, God had a plan to destroy Babylon. He had set up the plan and would achieve it, nothing could stop it.

Since that day, God has not changed at all. He has a plan for the events in this world. Jesus was sent with the plan to save all who would come to Him. That has not changed.

Jesus left this world to build a place for all who would accept Him. That has not changed.

Jesus has a plan to return some day to take all His people home to heaven. That has not changed.

As you are going through life, seek out what God’s plan is for you. Give your plans to God to adjust and tweak them to line up with His plans for your life.

One plan that God has for every believer is that the believer is a witness of who Jesus is. Every plan that you make in your life, must be centered upon that plan. Does what you do point or draw people to Jesus? Or does it focus back on you and this world?

As you align your plans up with the plans of God, you will have success. It may not be success as the world defines success, but in the end you will hear God say “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

God will succeed in all of His plans. How you are lined up with His plans will determine how well your plans will succeed.

I pray today that you will know God’s plans for your life; that God will guide your every step; that God will strengthen you to do His work in this world; and that you will be a witness of who Jesus is each day.

Proverbs 14:23 Work Versus Talk

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

It can be easily seen that hard work will usually bring about a profit for a person. Being dedicated to the job and getting the job done in the best way possible, will allow a person to get promoted to a better position with better pay.

Those who do not work or do not work hard, fall into poverty. This will include people who do work, but do the absolute minimum work possible. They try to cut the corners to get out of working hard. Doing this will keep the employer from giving any pay raises or promotions and will keep them in poverty. They only talk the talk.

Looking at hard work and the rate of pay is the most common way to look at this verse. However there is the spiritual realm of a person’s life to be looked at.

In the same way that people refuse to work hard at their job, there are many people who refuse to work hard on their spiritual growth. Becoming a Christian believer in Jesus is very easy to do. Growing and maturing in Jesus is another thing. It is something that takes hard work and dedication.

Paul said in Philippians 2:12, to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. He told Timothy to fight the good fight and to take captive every thought. You are also told to put on the full armor of God so that you can fight the battle.

Each of these verses show that you must work hard. It is a battle to control your thoughts. It is hard work to fight against the schemes of the devil in this world. It takes dedicated focus to flee all sin.

If you are faithful in working hard at growing and maturing in Jesus, God will ensure you success and profit in the spiritual realm. You will hear the voice of God and God will do great things in and through you.

If you slack on it and do the minimum, you will be in spiritual poverty. You will not hear God’s voice and He will be unable to do great things in and through you.

Do not just talk about being a Christian, work at it and be one.

How hard are you working today?

Are you giving it your all?

Or are you doing just the minimum?

I pray today that God will show you areas to work harder at in your life; that you will dedicate your life to being like Jesus; that you will make every effort to grow in God; and that God will give you great spiritual success in this life.

Psalm 143:10 It Is Not About Your Desires

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Psalm 143:10

Learning things from other people is something that every person starts out in life doing. Every child born begins learning by observing others and imitating them. As children get older, they begin to pull away from learning from others so that they can do their own thing. As adults, most people do not like to learn from others, they feel that they know the best ways for their own life.

Businesses are started all the time. As fast as they are started, many fail and close. The reasons many of them fail, is that most of the owners refuse to listen to those who have been successful in business. They fail to follow the tried and true practices of running a business because they feel they know how to do it.

In the same way many lives fail for the same reason. People do not like to be led by God and follow His ways of doing things. They “know” how to best live this life.

David knew that God’s will and desire was the best,  not his own. He also knew that he had to be taught to do God’s will, it would not just automatically come.

Being taught to do God’s will may mean that some doors are closed. That some paths are rough and difficult to travel.  The largest challenge is that it is not about you, it is all about God.

God is standing by waiting to show you the best way to live this life. He has been teaching for thousands of years and has a proven track record to show He knows what He is doing.

If God is your God, you need to allow Him to be your God. You need to allow Him to lead you in how to live your life. He is right there willing to teach you what to do.

Are you willing to allow Him to teach you His ways, which are the best ways?

Or will you remain stuck in failure mode doing your own thing?

Seek out God’s will for your life. Be willing to let Him teach you how to do His desire. It will be the best thing for your life.

I pray today that you will know what God’s will is for your life; that you will remain open to the teaching of God; that you will allow God to be in control of your life; and that you will do what God wants you to do.

 

Psalm 102:27 God Never Changes

But you remain the same, and your years will never end. Psalm 102:27

Going through life, a person will see many changes the longer he lives. It does not really matter if it was five-hundred years ago, or in current history, things and people change.

People must change as they get older. Their bodies and maturity must grow. If a person does not grow and change, there is something medically wrong with them. Some will choose to not grow in maturity, and are often seen as childish and looked down upon by most in society.

Along with humans changing with time, so do the ways things are done. Technology has changed the ways many things are done and is constantly changing to this day. Not all changes are good, not all changes are bad, but there are changes in the human life.

One that does not change is God. He is the same today as He was during the time of Adam and Eve. God still accepts everyone who comes to Him. God still uses the ‘little’ people in this world to do great things.

Many people believe that God could never use them, or could not really love them. They look in the Bible and see various people used by God that look so good, and feel that they cannot measure up.

Yet, every one of those people in the Bible God used had faults and struggles and God still used them. God has not changed. You may have faults and struggles in your life, but God still chooses you. He still wants to use you.

You have God’s favor on you. It may not seem like it when you look at the momentary troubles you may be going through, but God is still on your side. He wants you to succeed. He loves you with the exact same love that He loved David, the apple of His eye.

Along with God never changing, He will never come to and end. Everyone and everything in this world will come to an end some day, but God will not.

You can rest assured that God loves you and will always be there. Keep your eyes on Jesus and trust Him. See what He can and will do in and through you.

I pray today that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know God never changes; and that you will serve God with all of your life.

2 Chronicles 12:1 Forgetting God

After Rehoboam’s position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel with him abandoned the law of the LORD. 2 Chronicles 12:1

When Solomon had died, the nation of Israel had started to split up into two kingdoms. Rehoboam had become king of the northern part of Israel, as part of a rebellion against King Jeroboam in Judah. He started out serving God and leading the kingdom in following God. Once he was fully established in his position, he walked away from God and led the people away from God.

Anytime people receive help to get something going, they are excited. They accept that help and realize how they are really making it. This help can be someone who supplies the needed finances to get a business going, or to provide for college, or to start building a house, or one of many other things.

After a time of success, however, many people forget how they had made it. They start to think that they did everything on their own, rather than with help from someone else. Often they start to despise the one who supplied their needs, trying to look strong and powerful.

This type of thinking occurs very often among people who started to serve God. When times were tough and things were looking very bad, many people turn to God and appear to serve Him with all of their heart. Later, when things get going very well, many people forget about God. They feel that they were the ones that made everything happen and put God on a shelf.

Very few people have not been guilty of doing this at some point in their life. People like to be selfish and proud of themselves, not giving God the credit for what He has done in their lives.

Think through about your life. Where has God brought you from or through?

Are you still serving God as you did at the beginning?

Or have you put God on the shelf and abandoned Him?

Keep your focus and trust in God. Do not trust yourself and your own abilities. It is God who can raise you up and it is God who can bring you down. Do not become like Rehoboam and forget about God.

I pray today that you will know God’s work in your life; that you will trust God for everything; that you will not turn away from God; and that you will always give God credit for your blessings in life.

1 Corinthians 1:31 Correct Boasting

“Therefore, as it is written: Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31

Every person accomplishes something good at some point in his life. When that person make that accomplishment he/she is proud of it. Most will then brag or boast about it.

Others will boast about someone else’s accomplishment as though it was their own. Look at all the bumper stickers boasting about a child being an honor roll student. Parents are very proud of their child’s accomplishment. Part of that accomplishment became a reality because of the way the parents raised the child.

Everywhere you look you will see boasting going on. The world is always proud of their own accomplishments. Often they will cut down the competitor in their boasting saying how good they are. When ever a company gets an award for some type of accomplishment you will see that award posted in all of their ads saying how good they are.

Paul quotes from Jeremiah 9:24, that the only boasting should be in the Lord. Jesus is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and everything on the earth. He created you and gave you life. So without Him, you can do absolutely nothing.

Every ability you have is a gift from God. The air that you breathe and the fact you can breathe is a gift from God. The ability to get up and walk or talk is a gift from God. There is nothing you can do without the help of God.

You are also no better or worse than any other person on this earth. Every person has sinned against God and need salvation. The only difference is who makes the choice to follow Jesus or not to follow Him. Do not boast about yourself.

Keeping all this in mind then, all your boasting should be in the Lord Jesus. Boast about what He has done and is doing in your life. Boast about how God has given you the strength and ability to do what you did. Boast about His love, mercy, and grace in your life and in the life of others.

What has God done in and through you? Tell someone today. Boast about God today.

I pray today that you will know the work God has done in you; that you will see that it is God’s power at work in and through you; that God will continue to use you to reach the lost; and that you will boast in the Lord alone.