God At The Center

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.” James 5:13 NIV

Dissecting the Scripture

When we suffer hardships, we are afflicted by our circumstances. Affliction is broad and covers all trials, circumstances, and situations. The answer to affliction is prayer.

Biblically, happiness is the state of joy, the absence of anxiety and fear that tears at your soul. Singing praise is a form of thanking God. Praise is appropriate when you are happy, not fearful, anxious or depressed. Praise is a state of joy, not earthy joy, but joy in your soul. Praise is also appropriate when you are struggling. In those moments it is important to become laser focused on something that is working in your life no matter how small or transitory. When you praise God for that small thing, He offers a place of calmness and peace.

Prayer and praise are forms of connection to peace. We find peace when we are connected to our Lord. God’s ears are always inclined to our cries, our shouts of praise, and joy. Our relationship with Him can overcome the afflictions of this world if we pray. We must focus on Him and not our circumstances to allow His peace to enter our souls, where we can rest in the comfort of His arms.

“pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:17-18‬ ‭https://bible.com/bible/59/1th.5.17-18.ESV

Our Lord is all truth and the truth is, God loves us and is in the center of our prayers and our praise. He is at the center of our life. Once we accept His place in our lives and we accept being dependent upon Him, our life begins to change and we begin to pray and praise as part of who we are, children of God. Praise God for being our father.

To quote John McArthur (biblereasons.com): “The more you focus on yourself, the more distracted you will be from the proper path. The more you know Him and commune with Him, the more the Spirit will make you like Him. The more you are like Him, the better you will understand His utter sufficiency for all of life’s difficulties.”

The only way we can reach God is through prayer, praise and worship. And, when we do so, we find God in the center of our lives orchestrating our path according to His will and His way. The path will not be smooth, but more like a dirt road with crooks, crannies, pot holes and mounds. However, with GOD at the center we can continue to move forward. Prayer and praise are the resources we need to strengthen our relationship with the Lord and rely on His truth that will set us free.

Scripture: Bible.com

Image: KCIS 630 Radio, Google Images; Biblestudytools.com

Is It Enough to Rejoice and Be Glad?

We know so many partial scriptures and tend to recite them in daily conversations, but part is never the whole. Let’s dig deeper into Psalm 118.

Top-Bibleverses.com

We will begin with Verse 1, “Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, because His mercy endures forever.” ‭Psalms‬ ‭118:1‬ ‭MEV‬‬ https://bible.com Each morning we are to give thanks, why, because the Lord’s mercy endures forever. That means everyday until the end of time.

Seedsfamilyworship.com

There is so much to unpack in this scripture, it would become a thesis, so let’s focus on verses 1, 24, 27, 28, and 29 today.

This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Palm 1818:24. It is the day the Lord has made and, yes – we are to rejoice in it. But as we read further we find that Paul is encouraging Christ’s followers to thank God for this day and rejoice in it. You see it doesn’t matter what you have lived through. It doesn’t matter who you were before Christ entered into your life. It doesn’t matter the crowd you followed, all that matters is that you are now a child of God and should be thankful for all of His blessings.

Verse 27 stresses that God is Lord, and He has given us “light”. Christ is the light. His light is nestled inside us and radiates out to those around us. The light much like a beacon, is a guiding light drawing in the lost bringing them closer to our Lord. They poise the question, what is it about you that makes you different? Our acts should represent the same characteristics as Christ. Our behavior should emulate His. Our language and disposition should reflect what we are told in Galatians 6. We should walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh. We should demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in our walk, and it begins with recognition of the new day as a gift from God.

Verse 27: AlivetoGod.com

Being like means that on dismal days, do we present a grey attitude or do we rejoice in the day? This day too was created by our Lord and we should rejoice. Often, I find myself complaining and have to reflect restructure my thinking to rejoice in the day, Why? It is simple, He loves me, woke me up, and gave me new mercies. I should be glad in it and rejoice. My focus should be on the things above and not on the earth which is full of sin. If I reflect on the things of this earth, it changes my inner atmosphere by giving over to the present evils.

When we look at the news, do we grumble and sink into the malaise of the day, or do we focus on the Lord? Do we get lost in the thoughts of negativity, or do we, instead, rejoice in the fact that no matter what is going on around us, our Lord is still King and remains on the throne? Do we praise Him for who He is, or cower down to the evil, consumed by what we see, experience, or feel?

Verses 28 and 29 refocuses our thoughts on our purpose. We are to continually give praise and thanks for the day, knowing that in the best of moments and the bleakest, God is still in control.

“You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt You. Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.” Psalms‬ ‭118:28-29‬ ‭MEV‬‬ https://bible.com

When digging deeper we see we are blessed to awake to a new day. We are to give thanks, rejoice, and be glad (grateful). We are to recognize who God is in our life and behave in a way pleasing to Him. We are to look for God in all things and reflect on them and not what we lies before us. The Lord is the lamp that guides us through this life. We are nestled in His love and His mercy endures forever.

9News Nigeria. 9newsng.org

Who is Asaph?

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I always wondered, who was Asaph? Now I know. This is a lengthy read but great information. Knowing who he was gives us the connective tissue needed to understand the scripture more fully. I found this article on Bible study tools.com. Tap address below to open.

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/what-are-the-psalms-of-asaph.html

You Never Lose Your Power

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You never lose your God given spiritual gifts, talents and skills, herein referred to as your power. You may lock it away, deny it, or place it into hibernation, but you never lose your power. It is embedded in your destiny, your power is composed of the skills talents, and abilities needed for you to mature to be the person God designed you to be to advance His work.

Bible Verses To Go

Ephesians 2:10 reads, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

1 Peter 44:10-11 reinforces that, “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts”, other scriptures identify the many gifts that we use during the course of our lives. [See How does God distribute spiritual gifts on gotquestionss.org]

Romans 12:2, encourages us to see and live life differently. ”Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

There are times in our lives when difficulties arise and we question whether we are capable of correcting the path. It seems pretty clear, but this wrought with free will. The answer is yes and no. Yes because the Holy Spirit directs us in how to best utilize the characteristics of Christ we acquired when we received salvation through our belief that Jesus (part of the Trinity) is our Lord and Savior. Meaning we relinquish selfish motives in favor of being led by the Holy Spirit, who can direct our path. No, because we attempt to put ourselves first, do it on our own, ignoring the voice or nudging of the Spirit.

In an earlier post, I stated that we are not supposed to be paralyzed by life’s challenges. I now want to share that we possess the power/skills/talents to move forward. If we take time to inventory our skills and talents and pray to the Lord for guidance. He will lead us forward. His path may not lead down the expected path, but the arrival to the destination will certainty be more satisfying and more purposefully. When struggling we must always remember that we were created to perform God’s work. We were created with the innate skill sets needed. Skill sets that mature as we mature in the Word and dedicate our lives to God’s purpose for us.

1 Corinthians 2:12 reinforces that the (Holy) Spirit indwells within us: “Now, we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”

Wow, are you saying that we have power?‘s that it’s not simply a carnal quest to make it to the top? Yes, like with all things, we possess free will. We can develop God’s gifts, skills, and talents to move in our own direction and climb up the ladder of success, climbing over others and working to separate ourselves from co-workers, or we can use those skills to become stronger in our careers placing the focus on God embodying by the characteristics of Christ in all that we do. 

Hebrews 13:20-22, Weymouth New Testament: “Now may God who gives peace, and brought Jesus, our Lord, up again from among the dead—even Him who, by virtue of the blood of the eternal Covenant, is the great Shepherd of the sheep— fully equip you with every grace that you may need for the doing of His will, producing in us that which will truly please Him through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory to the Ages of the Ages! Amen.

When we become Christians, we have been set apart from others. We no longer strive for absolute power as our pre-Christian selves did. Carnal power no longer motivates us to push through, destroy others, and fail families. We have been called according to His power.

Paul wrote in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His power.”

When we existed in our carnal state, we struggled for absolute power and in the process we often found that it destroys absolutely, it alters who you are is a fax year every thought it focuses on greed intolerance, hate, impatience, jealousy, and envy. In our carnal state we lived in alien territory by ourselves.

Once we put on our Christlike self all of the above our self righteousness begins to fade away. While our goals may be to become a CEO or an administrator or doctor or lawyer or an astronaut, the way in which we attain them changes. How we use our careers impacts us and consequently others differently.

Daily Verses.net

Colossians 3:9-10 instructs – ”Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

In closing, we were born with different levels of skills, and talents, we possess a trove of them. It is up to us how we use that power. We can choose to use them as they were designed – for the benefit of others, or for the benefits of self. We never lose the power, we may have to dig deep within and bring it back to the surface but it is there for the taking it is our gift from God. It is part of the DNA our Lord has placed in us long long before we were considered by our parents. He knew us long before we chose Him as our Lord and Savior. He knew us before we knew ourselves, and according to His wisdom and plans gave us all the talents and skills needed in this life. He gave us the power to choose how we use them.