I am Thankful!

Quote

I am thankful for being a child of God.

LISA BLAIR

Today is Thanksgiving in the USA, it’s our time to share what and why we are thankful. I am so thankful for so many things. My list is in this order – I am thankful for having a Sovereign God who is my Father in heaven, my family (husband of 47 years, three sons , daughter-in-laws and son-in-law, two granddaughters, one 11 and the other 2, and many cousins). We are blessed to have a 100 yr old Aunt who still lives in her own home and walks the bay several times a week. She has spent her life in church, and as they say, is a God fearing woman.

I’m thankful for our health and prosperity and the fact that Christ was by my husband and my side this year during health challenges that could have turned out much different. We are well.

But most of all I am thankful that Christ died for our sins. Our salvation is the result of Him taking on the worst of humanity to free us.

As long as I have Christ, I know my loved ones who shared their lives with me, raised me, cared for me, and made certain my memories are bright, are with God. 

I will continue to be thankful everyday and see the wonders of Christ in everything. Whether I suffer, experience trials and tribulations, or am in a place of peace. God will always be my Savior. I will continue to strive in obedience to His Word, His Will and His Life.

Never In Darkness

Quote

The thought continues…

I love that God not only provides a way, but also the light we need to meet our purpose and call. When the light dims it is generally because we are wearing opaque lenses. His Word always sheds light in the midst of darkness.

Learning His Word guarantees light, sometimes in the form of a single star in the night skies, other times like a full moon shining on the earth, The glimmer or rays of light through cloudy skies, or midday beaming on the earth. His light will break through all constraints.

Looking Back – Satan’s Web of Deception, Self Abuse

Quote

8ED65563-3714-4A2F-89FD-73D424354B3D

I am currently studying a five-day Devotional entitled, Don’t Look Back, day four to be exact. Last week I shared an earlier devotional on the same subject. You’ll recognize the red title if you look it up.

Today, the lesson is focusing on how looking back feeds the flesh. Looking back is a form of self-abuse in itself, but it also causes you to return to your past. The reason we look back is because we find comfort in our experiences. God instructed Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Once out, they no longer had the comfort of food or shelter. These creature comforts were important to them and somewhat balanced the harsh abuse they experienced as slaves.

When you look back do you look for the comforts often derived from a negative experience? Did your spouse, partner or parent mistreat you and then lavish you with gifts? Did people befriend you to gain what you have? Where you punished and then fed well to offset the punishment? Did your boss promise you the raise and then give it to someone else, and placate you? These are all past experiences that people choose to recall because, despite, the abuse – they were familiar, and oddly enough safe memories of experiences past.

The Israelites blamed Moses for the discomfort they were experiencing in the wilderness. In Exodus 17:3 NLT, they cried, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Are you trying to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst.”

They had little food during the wilderness period and complained about the good things they had in Egypt, such as good and shelter. They cried, “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!” (Numbers 11:5-6 NLT.)

The crux of this story is that their comfort was attached to the abuse they received as slaves. Your story may not be fraught with physical or emotional abuse, but looking back instead of forward is abuse in itself. As I shared in the earlier Post, you cannot look in the rearview mirror and focus on what is behind you, and expect to move forward and avoid potholes at the same time. There are many scriptures in The Bible where God instructs us to have faith and look ahead. One of the most notable is Lots’ wife’s experience. The angels instructed them to leave Sodom, and leave their belongings behind, and God would spare their lives. They were also instructed not to look back at the destruction cast down on the city. Lots’ wife defied God’s command, looked back anyway and was transformed into a pillar of salt.

When we experience life’s challenges we can do one of two things, operate in the natural or choose to follow the Lords instructions. It is safe to say that most of us have not learned from the experiences God has shared about looking back. We still seek the (dis)comfort of our past because we find relief in those experiences. God continues to impress that while the transition may be difficult, the unknown is not to be feared because He is with you. He provided the Israelites with daily manna and he will do the same for you. Consider the transition lessons in faith, dependence, and obedience. God cannot guide you if you will not look forward and follow His instructions. Times may be tough, but provisions are provided, just as the manna was provided daily. Faith in God is the key to transition. We often find ourselves in the midst of the storm because we do not focus on God and His ability to change the circumstances. Our career advancement stalls because we look at our past and what we have accomplished, or not, and not what God will provide. Our relationships fail because we look at past experiences that shackled us, for whatever reason, and not at the strength of our current relationship. We look at our neighborhood and want more, but feel we cannot attain it because nothing in our past demonstrates the ability to have more. We look back most often when we are not satisfied with our life.

Most importantly, we look back to when we were not saved, before we received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, a time when we relied on ourselves, when we managed on our own, made mistakes, failed and wallowed in misery, rather than looking to God for direction, depending upon Him, and being obedient to the Word.

Satan uses the deception of looking back as a control mechanism. He encourages us to back at the past, relive the experiences that are wrapped in abuse and find comfort in slavery. He wants us to remain enslaved where we will never experience the blessings God wants to bestow upon us. He wants us paralyzed, cemented in salt, forever frozen in time.

God has given us free-will, liberty to choose. We choose to look back or focus on the present and what lies ahead. We choose the known and the uncertain. It is safe to say, life is not static, we all experience change and challenges, the key is that the challenges are often the very lessons we need to prepare us for the next step in our walk with Christ. Looking back retards our growth as Christians. Rather than looking back, take Jesus’ hand and walk with Him. The unknown is less frightening when we grasp the hand of a loving parent.

Don’t look back for a sense of comfort. Look to the future, live in the present, and God will lead you into your blessings. God will never leave you or forsake you. The chorus to a Sunday hymn, In The Garden, sums up our relationship with our Lord, Saviour and Father:

And he walks with me
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am his own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

Serenity Prayer7

Images – Google Images; Biblestudytools.com;Bibleverseimages.com

Scriptures – Biblegateway.com

Resource/References – YouVersion.bible.com;Lyrics, In the Garden,Google.com

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

God Loved Us First

Quote

L O V E

God breathed life into us. He created us in his own likeness. He gave us Free-Will and saved us from sin through the sacrifice of His Son. He loves us when we conform to his will and his way, and when we stray. He loves us!

How then can we hold back love from others? Love is not a commodity to be traded for goods, services, and kindness. Love is a gift to be given freely with no expectation of return.

The Christian definitions of LOVE confirm that it is a gift from God, and in turn should be a gift from us to others. It is not a practice or a choice, it is a commandment. Love seeks the welfare of all, those you are in agreement with, those you oppose, those who mean you harm, those who ‘have your back’, those in the group of mankind that you have no relationship or knowledge of. Love is a blanket that warms the earth and changes the outcome of hate that infects the world and causes chaos and derision brought on my Satan. Love is the remedy to many ills, beginning with you. It frees you from hate, intolerance, anxiety, and strife. It removes the boundaries or restrictions that once held you hostage. Love is enlivened through obedience. And, through our obedience, Love strengthens our relationship with the Lord.

Love is an intentional act. When we feel oppressed, angered, or mistreated, we should purposely replace those feelings with love. Why? Love is not a feeling but an action. It is the power God gave us when he sacrificed His son. Love is the way we move from feelings to obedience, to dependence, to freedom, and our relationship with our Father, our Lord, and Savior.

Clarifying Bible Definitions of Love

Love is a deep enduring concern for others’ welfare; affection, friendship (Gen. 37:3; Matt. 5:46). An essential characteristic of God that comes only as a gift (John 3:16).

Christian love has God for its primary object and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments, (John 14:15, 21, 23; 15-10; John 2:5; 5:3; 2 John 6.)

Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren, or toward men generally, is not an impulse or a feeling, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered. Love seeks the welfare of all, Rom. 15:2, and works no ill on any, 13:8-10; love seeks the opportunity to do good to ‘all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith,’ Gal. 6:10.

Images – LAB Photos; Google Images; Bible.com

Scripture – Bible.com; Crosswalk.com

Resources – The Student Bible Dictionary. Karen Dockrey, et al. 2000. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary. W.E. Vine. 1996

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

~God’s Divine Influence
~God’s Unequivocal Love
~There’s more, visit the site.

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Love Your Enemies

Quote

A54D2D5F-6A3F-4588-96F3-21C29C9E5722

Loving your enemies is perhaps one of the most difficult commands to obey. Not only are we instructed to love our enemies, but also to pray for those who persecute us.

C32D63D8-268B-409B-A029-FB116046CA5C

When we stop loving our enemies, we fall into the hands of Satan. We have observed the world in flux, chaos reigns. It is time for us, deliberate Christians, Christian Warriors, to love our enemies more than ever before. Our love will turn the tide of hatred. The more we hate, the stronger Satan’s army becomes. The more we love, the stronger the Lord’s presence in the world will be felt.

Warren Wiersbe summarized Matthew 5 by saying,  “we must measure ourselves not by others but by our Father. This includes our words (vv. 33-37), our responses to injuries (vv. 38-42), and our dealings with our enemies (vv. 43-48).”

To quote Francis Bacon, “in taking revenge, a man is but even with the enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.”

05AA4FE0-6B95-4594-BA7D-C1A2D8B634C2

Today, I challenge everyone to pick up your cross, obey our father, and begin loving our enemies. Once we accomplish this, we will begin to experience the fresh air of freedom, absent of strife, and chaos. We will begin to breathe deep breaths and exhale misery and turmoil. We will be obedient followers of Christ, standing on the front line in the face of adversity hand-in-hand with our Lord.

Images – Google Images; YouVersion, Bible.com

Resources – Nelson’s Quick Reference, Chapter-by-chapter Bible Commentary. Warren Wiersbe. 1994

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.