Happy ThanksGiving friends, family, blog followers … anyone who is reading this. Happy ThanksGiving!! I’ve millions, billions of things to thank Him for … here are five things on my mind …
“I have so many things to thank God for! I could thank Him for an entire day!!” (Sing BJT!)
I thank Him for my LIFE!! Both my physical life AND my eternal life!! He created me and He gave me my salvation! Hallelujah!
I thank Him for His protection. All physical, all spiritual and all mental. Safe flights and safe roadside travels; protection from snares and traps of the enemy; protection from hurtful thoughts, actions and words from people who meant me harm. Hallelujah!
I thank Him for my purpose. He has taken all of me, every gift and talent & every weakness and limitation, and used me for the sake of His glory. Grateful! Hallelujah!
I thank Him for my family. A wonderful husband; children that love Him; a godly mom; godly sisters, nieces and nephews. Hallelujah!
I thank Him for being my God; my Father; my Savior; my King; my Provider; my Peace; my Joy; my Love; my Strength; my Light; my Friend; my Banner; my Protection; my Help; my Healer; my EVERYTHING!!
Praying that all of you will start your Thanksgiving Day today and keep that Thanksgiving going for the next 365 days!!!
There are lyrics from a song called Black Sheep by Gin Wigmore – a girl from New Zealand. She recorded it in 2011 – so I guess its an old song by todays standards. Basically – this woman is considered a ‘Black Sheep’ because she has a potty mouth, she drinks and when pushed to the limit she just might kick your butt. Those of you who know me know that I listen to all kinds of music – and I really like the song MUSICALLY – but she is basically saying that once you get a taste of the dark side – you never go back to the other side.
Be careful my sisters and brothers …. dark side has nothing at all to do with skin color!!! The phrase has been used for a long time to mean going into behavior or thinking that does not bring good to you, or to anyone around you … as a believer, I’d say any behavior or thinking that is sin.
I’ll admit this song used to be a favorite – just the melody and the band … NOT THE LYRICS. As a believer, I know that I can fall. I know that I can even be used by Satan as a pawn in some plan of his if I don’t keep my mind stayed on Jesus. But at the end of the day when/if I falter, I know that Jesus Never fails! He’ll forgive me, fill me with His Spirit and finish the work that He has started within me. He has brought me out of darkness into Marvelous Light!!!! He will fill me with His Spirit! He will finish the work He’s begun!!! Hallelujah!!!!
“You might as well get thee behind me Satan, you cannot prevail. Because Jesus NEVER Fails!” Lyn Alejandrino Hopkins
I am glad to testify that when forced into a corner where I have to make a choice to revert to my old sinful, vindictive self – I can choose to allow the Holy Spirit to reign supreme.
So let me encourage you – if you’ve gone into the dark side in any way at all – come on back over to the light side. God is waiting for you. According to His word He will not only forgive you – but He will cleanse you from ALL unrighteousness!
You indeed might be what people call a “Black Sheep” but I am a witness that the blood of the Lamb of God – will wash you as white as snow. Can I get a Hallelujah!
You might have given in to temptation – but don’t lose heart! Your day of salvation is today. Accept Him. Believe Him. Confess Him. Receive Him. You may have gone to the dark side — but that’s not the end of the story!
Father, please forgive us for any ways that we falter. Please cleanse us and please let your Holy Spirit fall fresh on us. Reign Supreme in us, Oh Lord! Use us for the sake of Your glory to drive the enemy away. Strengthen us so that we can erase him from the minds and hearts of many. Remove the guilt that is within us and remind us of the victory that is ours through Our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ!!!
I think it would be awesome if people who made a decision to reject Christ would change their minds after interacting with a believer. I mean we know how to treat one another. (Even though we don’t always do well in that) But, how do we treat those who are not a part of the Body of Christ?
Enemies can come from outside and from inside the Body of Christ, so … do we treat our Christian brothers and sisters with more deference and grace than other people?
Consider this: What do you do when you find a person has been slandering you? What is your reaction when you find that someone has ‘stolen’ an opportunity from you? What is your response when you feel you have been shunned by someone? What about when someone messes with your money? your children? your spouse? Detractors can come from within the Body of Christ and from outside of the Body of Christ; do you react to people the same regardless?
When I was in my teens and early 20s, I treated antagonists the same whether within the household of faith or outside of it. I Treated Them Badly! For a long time I stood on my ‘right to be right’ and my ‘freedom to protect myself’. I don’t think that I was a good friend – I know that I didn’t have many good friends. And then I begin to study God’s Word about what was expected of me as relates to people relations and I found that I was to do good to ALL people. I was supposed to show love especially to my brothers and sisters in Christ! This blew my mind! To know that I needed to treat Christian brothers and sisters well was fine — but that I was supposed to treat ALL people well was eye opening. When I asked God why, His response was “so that they might know Me”. There it is!
It wasn’t about me after all!
As I continued to talk to the Lord about my own life and behavior I learned that my life should be attractive to those outside of the household of faith. Meaning that people who are not Christ followers should be awed by the way I treat my Christian brothers and sisters even when I have been wronged and further, those who are not believers should be attracted to me because of the grace and kindness that they receive in response to a wrong action done to me. This was many years ago – before I had kiddos, but those who know me well know that I made an about-face; and my life has never been richer, fuller or freer! Praise God!
We, believers in Christ, have a duty to live in love among one another AND out there in the cold, cruel world. We are not expected by Our King to return a wrong done with a wrong done. The world is showing its ugliness today; the world is showing hatred borne out of ignorance today; the world is showing disdain for us — but what should our return action be?
Martin Luther King, Jr once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” It is not easy to do – but the Holy Spirit is in us to help us to act as our King, the King of Kings, wish. When we act as our King wishes – we will walk in His favor and not in judgment. Tit for tat might feel good for a moment, but there is no long term satisfaction in anything other than love.
Father, please make us more and more like You! Ignorance in our flesh is leading us the wrong way as we yield to it. The influences of the world are driving us to behaviors far from what you desire or require of us. Loving You has to help us understand our triumph over works of the enemy in our hearts and in our minds. Lord, it is so difficult for us to understand the power that Your love gives over wickedness – over evil behavior, so I ask you to fill us with your good; yes, please fill us with the knowledge of Your good so that we will be convinced at all times that we can overcome evil thought; evil acts; evil hearts; evil minds – not just in others, but in ourselves! We give ourselves to you completely – change us please Father and use us completely for your Kingdom!
People of color. For me .. it has nothing to do with black and white; but it goes so much further. God created so many of us and created us within so many ethnicities. He created all of us for the sake of His glory and not for any man’s glory. If you are a believer in Christ, you are my brother/sister in Christ. Let me start right there ….
Recent words from James White, who calls himself a Bible scholar, have been terribly heartbreaking. As the Body Of Christ, it seems that we should realize that we are truly One Family with One Father. There has been nothing in churches of people of color that were not also in the other churches. There has been no way at all that a pastor of color has not been seen to preach the truth of the gospel any less than pastors of other churches. Black, Yellow, Brown, Green … it really doesn’t matter because inside and outside of the Body of Christ this is still quite a terrible true issue! I’m praying sincerely for James White, and for all white Bible readers who think the way that he thinks. Praying that racism will be killed!
There really is JUST ONE RACE … The Human Race!!!
Beautiful truths: Many churches of color do have pulpit soundness. Many churches of color do have teaching that is theologically sound. Many churches of color have theologically educated pastors. Many churches of color send International Workers all over the world for the sake of the gospel, not for their own glory at all!
Funny … so funny that I was raised in a church where we were taught, “Red and Yellow, Black and White; they are precious in His Sight!!” We were taught that He loved all of the children … all of His children!!!
Father, help us to love one another as you have told us to. Help us to remember that there was One Creator who made each and every one of us. Help us to remember that Jesus, Your Son, died for all of us and delivers us all from the difficulties of the world. Help us to see one another through the eyes that you have given us, and not through our own eyes.
This video is my Pastor Blake Wilson, Masters of Art in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary. Listen well … I do hope it helps you see us, believers in Christ, as one …
The phrase ‘obedience is better than sacrifice’ has almost become trite in Christian circles.
These words of our Lord, however highlight the significance of obedience.
It not only indicates our love for Him; but opens the way for the Holy Spirit, our teacher and comforter, to dwell within us.
So many cry for the Holy Spirit to come. But, so many are not willing to lay their own wills down in obedience to Our Lord.
It is necessary that we obey. In order to obey … it is necessary that we know His commands. In order to know His commands … it is necessary that we spend time in His Word.
Jesus is clear that a prerequisite for receiving the Holy Spirit is obedience.
Father, help us to rightly cry out to you from hearts that are rightly submitted to Your will and Your way. Help us to understand that we have no right to come to You for help, teaching, or power … when we live in disobedience to You. Help us to obey in all things from hearts that love You and are willing to obey!!
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.--Romans 8:38-39