365: Barbara Thurston

Don't take God for granted

11.2.15 Do you ever take God for granted?
Like the Israelites, many of us don’t experience the abundant life that God has in store for us. The thrill of meeting Jesus can wear off in the midst of everyday life, causing us to slip back into old habits and patterns, including leaving God out of our lives altogether. 
Asking Jesus into our lives is not an end; it’s a beginning. God wants a relationship with each one of us. Think about the closest relationships in your life. Those bonds didn’t just happen. They grew over time.
Relationships take work. Just like we would struggle to remain close to a spouse or best friend without spending time with them, we struggle to stay close to God when we’re not spending time with Him. He created you, and He loves you. He craves time with you. He longs to transform your heart, shape you, and mold you into the person He created you to be. 
So what are we waiting for? If you’ve ever felt closer to God than you do right now, you can return to Him. Spend time with God by reading your Bible, praying, and listening to the Holy Spirit. Then, wait as He begins to reconstruct your heart.
Don't take God's love for granted: His love can be granted to anyone. This does not mean that everything in this world will be perfect. We live in a world in which we are all sinners. Even though God loves each and every one of us, He requires judgment over sins. God shows us his love in the way He draws us to Himself. Jesus is presented to us as a Savior from our sins.

"And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." – Romans 5:5-8

Don't take the life God gave you for granted: God has granted us all the beautiful gift of life. Not only were we given the gift of our own lives, but also the lives of our loved ones. We should never take the time we spend with them for granted.
When someone passes away we shouldn't question God and ask Him why he allowed that person to die. Instead we should be grateful that God allowed us to spend time with that person. Forever thanking Him for the gift of life.

"And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." - Genesis 1:20 (KJV)

We as humans have a knack for taking the things for granted that we have come to depend on or expect. Most of us expect a roof over our heads, clothes to wear, and food to eat. Do we thank God for those things daily? No, I mean do we REALLY thank God for those things daily? Or do we just come to expect those things without giving them a second thought?
When we pray, do we go through the motions repeating some basic list of requests we ask for each day? Or do we instead pray with enthusiasm and intensity as if we really want to communicate with, and acknowledge God?

It is very easy to take for granted the phenomenon that we are each alive, but we must try not to.”
~~ Alex Grey

Do you get that quote? We even take for granted the fact that we’re alive. If you’re not already doing so, you should being thanking God for every breath of air, every drop of water and every morsel of food that sustains your life. Take away any one of those, and we will die. That is nothing to take for granted.

It’s sad when you think about how we treat God compared to how He treats us. First of all, God never takes us for granted. He blesses us, He wants nothing but the best for us, and He provides us with food, water, clothing and shelter. He helps us with our problems, comforts us when we’re sad, holds our hand while we go through trials, encourages us when we need it, and is there for us 24/7.

How do most of us repay His kindness? Instead of us getting on our knees every day, lifting up our hands in adoration and spending most of our prayer time thanking Him. We muter through a brief half hearted prayer expecting everything to continue as it has been, as if we somehow deserved it.

“When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren’t grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” ~~ Cynthia Ozick
Isn’t that how we are so often with God? He does for us constantly, but because He doesn’t blow a trumpet every time He blesses us, protects us, provides for us, or defends us; we just expect it to happens, and rarely give it a second thought.

Wow that pretty much says it all. So let me ask you, "Do you take God for granted?" I'm hear to say I don't always stop and thank God for everything He gives me. So I know I'm guilty of this and if your honest you are also. Doing this study really shows me how undeserving I really am for taking God for granted.

 

God I come to You feeling sorry that I take You for granted. I'm sorry for coming to You with problems and not thinking about all that You already do for me. I really do think You for everything You do for me. I don't know why I don't get on my knees more to think You for all You do for me. I know 1 thing God if I got on my knees every time You did something for me then I would be on my knees all the time. You are always there for me 24-7 and I think You for that. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know I love You. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

Does God love me?

11.1.15 Does God love me? 
Surrounded by the conditional love of finite humanity, we cannot easily comprehend that God would love us. We know our faults. We know that God is perfect and sinless. We know that we are not. Why would God, who is infinite and holy, love us, who are finite and sinful? And yet the great truth of the gospel is that He does! Time and again, Scripture reminds us of God’s love for us.
The greatest picture of God’s love is Jesus’ passion and crucifixion. Paul reminds us, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8). Jesus’ work on the cross was a clear, unmistakable declaration of love. And this love is unconditional. We were in our worst state when Christ died for us. “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins … But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace that you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:1, 4-5).
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy,” Jesus said. “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). God is not stingy. He wants to lavish His love on us. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death,” Paul proclaims in Romans 8:1-2.
John 15:9-11 – “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
1 John 3:16 a – “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”

God loved you enough to give His Son to die so that you may live, so the least we could do is share the Gospel to others that we meet. Lord I ask if there is 1 of my facebook friends or family who hasn't accepted You as their Lord and Savior then let today be the day. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know I love You. I ask these things in Jesus Name amen.

The Lord's Supper

10.31.15 Sorry I missed my blog last night but Ernest and I decided to turn in early and it felt good to get the extra sleep. Today @ Church we took part in the Lord's supper and I would like to talk a little bit about that today. 
Communion uses bread as a symbol for Jesus’ body and wine or a lot of Churches use grape juice as a symbol for His blood. Yes, it sounds strange. But why do Christians talk about eating Jesus’ body and drinking His blood?
Jesus started the tradition of communion. He instructed His followers to use bread and wine to remember the sacrifice He was going to make when He died for our sins on the cross (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
Jesus called Himself “the bread of life,” which means that we’re nourished by Him, we survive because of Him, and He satisfies us when everything else leaves us empty (John 6:48-51). There’s a connection between our nearness to Jesus, believing in Him, and being fulfilled by Him (John 6:35).
The early Church celebrated Jesus by taking communion, sometimes every day (Acts 2:42-46). They saw that every time they gathered around a table to eat and drink, it was a chance to recognize Jesus and thank God for all He’s done.
Taking communion doesn’t make you a Christian. It doesn’t save your soul or get you to heaven. God actually warns us about taking communion without considering what it means and why we’re doing it. The intent is not for us to mindlessly perform a ritual, but to intentionally set aside time to remember what Jesus has done and why He did it (1 Corinthians 11:27-31).

Charles Stanley said: Jesus’ last meal with His disciples took place during the celebration of Passover. Giving them bread, He said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Next, offering wine from a shared cup, He told them, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:26-28). Believers today observe the Lord’s Supper as a symbol of cleansing, consecration, and communion.
Jesus’ blood cleanses us of sin. Starting with Adam and Eve, God required a blood sacrifice to cover transgressions (Genesis 3:21; Leviticus 17:11). But this was just a temporary solution, as the next offense required another sacrifice. Jesus was God’s permanent answer to the problem: He took upon Himself all sin - past, present, and future - and died to pay the full penalty.
When a believer receives salvation, he is consecrated - or set apart to the Lord. His sin is forgiven, and he receives eternal life as well as the indwelling Holy Spirit. But if he at times forgets that he belongs to the Lord, he may give in to temptation. The bread and the cup provide an opportunity to remember what the Father expects of His children and to renew one’s commitment to obey.
The Lord’s Supper is also a time to be in communion. We are connected not only with the Lord who saved us but also with past and present believers. Among members of God’s family, we find comfort and support, just as the disciples and the early church did.
The Lord’s Supper is a good time to stop and recall what Jesus has given us. Partake solemnly and gratefully.

So the next time you partake of the Lord's Supper take a minute and think about what the meaning is.

 

God I think You for giving Your Son so that I may live. I can't even imagine how that could've been for You to do that. I know for a fact I could never give up 1 of my kids for someone else. I wish I could say I could do that but I know for a fact besides for You my kids and husband are my life. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know I love You. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

coping with failure

10.30.15 The other night we talked about being a failure, so tonight I would like to look a little about how to cope with failure. 
We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. James Ch.3:2 
For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, Proverbs Ch.24:16 
The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. Psalm 145:14 
God will help us when we fall. 
If the LORD delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24 
So often failure arises from selfishness, from a losing of the vision of their goals, from men distancing themselves from God and relying on their own strength. When men and women stray from the God’s way they must return to the place where they were at the beginning, and say: 
I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, Luke Ch.15:18
Always remember that even our mistakes and their consequences will be shaped by God to our benefit. 
If any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them. Mark Ch.6:11 
Jesus seems to be saying, "Don’t be sidetracked by your detractors, your failures. Don’t allow defeat to stop you. Don’t let failure be the final word."
Whatever your failure - in marriage, business, school, church, personal life – you can believe that God is still at work, moving you out of the hardship to a new place. All you need to do is pray to Him and ask for help.

So there you have it, everyone fails from time to time but God picks You up and dusts you off. All He wants You to do is call His Name and He is right there with you. Lord I think You for forgiving me of my failures. Lord now I ask that You be with my facebook family and friends and know I love You. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

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