Motivated

Motivations can be positive things or negative things…. These are some motivations for us; the benefits of a robust spiritual life:

“For if these qualities (moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love) are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:8‭-‬9a NASB

Spiritual growth is spiritual productivity; to be fruitful you must be growing and prgressing. Failure to grow leads to spiritual amnesia.

“Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; FOR AS LONG AS YOU PRACTICE THESE THINGS, YOU WILL NEVER STUMBLE [into doubt of your salvation]; …. 2 Peter 1:10 NASB

Do you need reassurance of your salvation? How do we make sure we are saved? God has called us and chosen us, He has elected us. HE chose US, but WE have to choose HIM. If we are not growing and moving forward, we are slipping backwards. We cannot lose our security in Christ, but we can lose our assurance when we stop growing in Him.

God’s Word to us – “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, …..” Romans 8:15‭-‬16 NASB

Along with the fruits of the Spirit that we read about in 2 Peter, our growth is shown by our prayer life.

“…… and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full.” Matthew 15:36‭-‬37 NASB

Wow. I fail miserably at this…. how many times have I sat down to eat something and skipped thanking God for the fact that I have food? What about the blessings of my life, and the challenges, too. Am I thanking God daily for them? I’m not concerned about where I will spend eternity, but I wonder sometimes how I will spend eternity…. Is my life, my example, enough to show the people around me that I am sure of my future? Our “glorious entry” to heaven is the evidence that we lived to please Christ, not to boast for ourselves. The kingdom is Eternal, it is the Future, and it belongs to Jesus Christ.

Conclusion: “Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.” 2 Peter 1:12-‬15

Moral Excellence

“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.” 2 Peter 1:5‭-‬7 NASB

Strive for moral excellence, knowledge of our Saviour, self control, perseverance. Live one day at a time; just for today – do the next right thing. Surround yourself with encouragers. Refuse to quit or give up on what God has called us to do with our life. Live with godliness – literally God likeness; becoming like God/ Christ. Emulate Christ, spend time with Him. Our attitude towards people shows our heart. We should be the kind of person who prays for each other, forgives each other, and is generous to others. Over all, we show love: it is our capstone; our crowning glory when we sacrifice of ourselves for the higher good. As we bask in and revel in God’s love, we can love others.

“Don’t compare me to other men, compare me to Jesus” – Adoniram Judson, missionary to India.

“For it is because of these things that the Wrath of GOD will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—” Colossians 3:6‭-‬10 NASB

I need to watch my mouth. I may not be cursing or using expletives, but I can do a lot of damage to my witness with my words. Ever hear the phrase “Don’t be a Negative Nancy”? (Yes, I know it’s my name, but it was around before I was!) I’ve been around a few “Negative Nancy’s”, and they can spoil an entire day with their attitude. As Christians, I think it’s important that we keep positive things coming out of our mouths. I need to pay more attention to what I’m saying.

More Questions Than Answers….

“There is more Mercy in Christ than there is sin in us.” Romans 5:8

Instead of running around, searching for in abstract for God’s Will for my life, be mindful of what He says to do. Rejoice. Pray. Be thankful. Have an attitude of gratitude. Give thanks always, for all things. ALWAYS. For ALL things: the good, the bad, the ugly. ALL THINGS. I need to pay more attention to what I have, and less attention to what I don’t have. Be thankful, even when I’m not.

“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16‭-‬18 NASB

I’m not good at this looking “at the things which are not seen…” It’s much easier to focus on the now and the seen. Maybe our problem is that we have so much, and we are surrounded by so much, that we can’t see past all the stuff. We hear stories of missionaries who go into areas of abject poverty and bring hundreds, even thousands, of souls to belief in Christ. Here we are are in the midst of affluence, and churches struggle to survive. Are we truly thankful for what we have? Are we cognizant of both the seen and the not seen; the now and the eternal, and the difference between them?

Our challenge today is to look at all that surrounds us. Are the momentary afflictions taking precedence over the greater picture? Am I serving the LORD in spite of the good and the bad in my life? Am I showing the mercy to others that God has shown to me?

For Great Is The LORD

“For great is the LORD, and greatly to be Praised; He also is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and Majesty are before Him, Strength and Joy are in His place. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the LORD Glory and Strength. Ascribe to the LORD the Glory due His Name; Bring an offering, and come before Him; Worship the LORD in holy array. Tremble before Him, all the earth; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.” 1 Chronicles 16:25‭-‬30 NASB

“I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.” Psalms 9:1 NASB

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. It’s difficult for a lot of us, and for a plethora of reasons. Still, there are moments…. when the 5th grader with an attitude problem introduced me to her dad and said I was “really nice” (!!!). The special chocolate bar a coworker gave me, and the excitement of the girls I shared it with. Coming home to a card and chocolates from my sister and niece. Even though I was (am) alone, I’m not alone. God gave me these moments. I’m grateful!

It’s the little things. The LORD is Great, Mighty, All-Powerful, yet He remembers the little things.
He wants to be everything for you, too. The big things and the little things.

Is God Slow?

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 NASB

“Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.” 2 Timothy 2:25 NLT

“…… and My people who are called by My Name humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NASB

“Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’ ” Jeremiah 29:7 NASB

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NASB

I know God loves me. He takes on my troubles and my worries. He cares for me. He will never – HAS never – left me alone. He doesn’t lie or cheat on me. He is the perfect husband. He should be enough for me. He IS enough for me. Why, then, do I have such a yearning to have a flesh and blood man in my life?

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 NASB

I am a daughter of The KING. My feelings that I have failed at things doesn’t affect how much He LOVES me. My thoughts that I am inadequate don’t even phase Him. In His eyes, I am His beautiful daughter. When I am upset, He is there to comfort me. Always. Even when I do my best to run away from Him, He’s right there. And the MOST important thing? He isn’t there to judge me like the world does, He’s just THERE for me.

I would like to have that flesh and blood man in my life, but I don’t. I may not have him in this life. I have Someone, though, and He is enough.

In His Word I Do Hope

“Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD. LORD, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications. If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O LORD, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His Word do I hope.” Psalms 130:1‭-‬5 NASB

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the FATHER of Lights, with Whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” James 1:17 NASB

I accompanied my Mom to a banquet Sunday night. When I took her home, she was thanking me for taking her. Why should she thank me? Considering all of the things she has done for me, places she has taken me, sacrifices she has made for me and my siblings, everytime I see her I should be thanking her. Likewise, every single good thing that has ever happened to me, I should be thanking my LORD. My bad decisions are all mine, and my good decisions are all His.

“I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:12‭-‬13 NASB

I’ve had abundance, and I’ve had hardship. Sometimes it feels like it’s ALL hardship. A friend used to tell me “You have 5 minutes for your pity party, then get over it and MOVE ON.” Throughout my life, even at my lowest, there was something to be grateful for, even if it was having my family mad at me – because it meant they still cared. If there is absolutely NOTHING you can think of to be thankful for, be thankful for toilets and toilet paper!

What are you grateful for today? Where do you find your hope?

A Sacrificial Thanks

A sacrificial thanksgiving. That’s a different attitude!

I shall pay my vows to the LORD, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people. Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones.” Psalms 116:14‭-‬15 NASB (Read verses 1-19)

Are we thankful for the people who have sacrificed their lives for us? Today, I’m reminded of the men and women who have unselfishly volunteered to dedicate their lives to keeping our nation free. They serve in our Armed Forces as Army, Marine, Navy, and Air Force personnel. They serve in our Border Patrol, and they serve in the Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. These men and women don’t know me, yet they are putting their very lives on the line to provide me with freedom and safety from other nations who want to destroy us.

“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Colossians 2:6‭-‬7 NASB

You know the truly astonishing thing about those people serving us? Many of them aren’t even Christians! They don’t know our LORD; they don’t have a personal relationship with Him, and yet they are ready to give their very life to save mine.

A humbling thought.

Am I prepared to offer my life as a sacrifice – a joyful sacrifice at that, overflowing with gratitude that I could offer my life for my LORD? Not even for a stranger, but for my Saviour, Who died for me? Am I thankful for the uncomfortable things that are happening in my life?