VIDEO Thank You Lord for all You’ve done in life

I think that most – if not all of us – would agree that our Nation has been blessed. We have been blessed materially, geographically, educationally, and technologically.

As we celebrate the birth our Nation this weekend, on July 4th, we need to be Thankful to the Lord and seek Him for His continual blessings in the future.

Today, we are reminded again (as young men and women have died defending our Freedoms), that our Freedom comes with a high price. Men and women throughout the history of our Country have given their lives to make this country what it is – for our Independence!

It was this way from the beginning – out of the 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence:

– 5 were captured and tortured by the British before they died.

– 12 had their homes ransacked and burned to the ground.

– 2 lost their sons in the war.

– 1 had two sons captured.

– 9 fought and died from wounds or the hardships of war.

– Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home to pay his debts died poor.

– Thomas McKean was forced to move his family almost constantly because he was so hounded by the British. He served in Congress without pay and died in poverty.

– Thomas Nelson’s home was seized by the British at the Battle of Yorktown and used as a command post. He urged Gen. George Washington to open fire on it. The home was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt.

give thanks psm 136 1 unashamedofjesus

Jun 10, 2010

 

 

Dear Lord, You know what we have been worrying about, keeping us awake at night. We give it all to You, for You are faithful, and Your promises of help are certain. You will never fail us nor forsake us. Thank You for Your kindness to us, Your creatures. We don’t deserve such grace, but Your mercies are new every morning, and Your promises are all firm and sure, to be counted on. In Jesus, we see all this to be true, so we come to Him and offer into His hands all our worries and fears. Through Jesus, our Lord, we receive perfect peace. Thank You, O Lord. Amen.

Kindness Man

When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her. Luke 7:13

 

Disillusioned and wanting a more meaningful life, Leon quit his job in finance. Then one day he saw a homeless man holding up this sign at a street corner: KINDNESS IS THE BEST MEDICINE. Leon says, “Those words rammed straight into me. It was an epiphany.”

Leon decided to begin his new life by creating an international organization to promote kindness. He travels around the world, relying on strangers to provide him with food, gas, and a place to stay. Then he rewards them, through his organization, with good deeds such as feeding orphans or building on to a school for underprivileged children. He says, “It’s sometimes seen as being soft. But kindness is a profound strength.”

Christ’s very essence as God is goodness, so kindness naturally flowed from Him. I love the story of what Jesus did when He came upon the funeral procession of a widow’s only son (Luke 7:11–17). The grieving woman most likely was dependent on her son for financial support. We don’t read in the story that anyone asked Jesus to intervene. Purely from the goodness of His nature (v. 13), He was concerned and brought her son back to life. The people said of Christ, “God has come to help his people” (v. 16).

By:  Anne Cetas

Reflect & Pray

What kindnesses does Jesus pour out on you? List them and thank Him.

You, God, are always showering me with Your gifts of love. I praise You for caring for me.

Sunday Reflection: The Gift of Seeing God

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

Throughout Scripture, we find examples of people who longed to encounter God. Moses sought His glory (Ex. 33:18). David asked to meet Him in person (Psalm 27:7-9). And Job directly experienced Him—resulting in humble repentance (Psalm 42:4-5). The stories of these members of God’s family remind us that we’re made to long for the Lord’s presence.

They also remind us of God’s generosity and kindness. Though He gives us many gifts on this earth, He wants us to remember that sharing in His life is the ultimate blessing—that our heart’s true satisfaction is found in Him alone.  What stands in the way of our ability to say with the psalmist, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You” (Psalm 16:2)? Whatever the obstacle is, we can be honest about it with our heavenly Father. God forgives and provides us with the strength we need to follow Him.

Think about it
• For some people, the idea of seeing God is exciting and joyful, while others feel intimidated or overwhelmed. How do you feel at the thought?

• Experiencing God’s presence often requires small, faithful steps of praying and studying the Bible. How can you move toward Him today?

Real Meditation

“Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.” (Psalm 119:27)

The remarkable 119th Psalm, with its 22 eight-verse stanzas, is the unique “song of the word,” containing 176 testimonies or prayers concerning God’s Word—one for each verse. Eight times the word “meditate” or “meditation” is used, indicating the importance of this practice in relation to the Scriptures. In our text, this word is translated “talk,” but its basic thrust is to exhort us to meditate on the wonderful works of God, once we understand the way of His precepts.

The other seven references to meditation in this psalm are as follows: “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways” (v. 15). “Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes” (v. 23). “My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes” (v. 48). “Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts” (v. 78). “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day” (v. 97). “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation” (v. 99). “Mine eyes prevent [i.e., anticipate] the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word” (v. 148).

There is, of course, a counterfeit form of meditation (e.g., so-called transcendental meditation and other forms of mysticism), not to mention useless daydreaming. These forms of meditation involve clearing one’s mind of all subjects and allowing the mind to wander. In contrast, true meditation involves pondering with awe and thankfulness God’s wonderful Word, His ways, and His works—in connection with prayer and the study of the Holy Scriptures. As an exercise of the mind as well as of the spirit, it is of great blessing and most pleasing to God. HMM

Why Stay in the First Grade

…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 3:13-14

 

There are Christians who grow up and have no relish for anything spiritually advanced. They’re preoccupied with their first lessons. The average church is a school with only one grade and that is the first one. These Christians never expect to get beyond that and they don’t want to hear a man very long who wants to take them beyond that. If their pastor insists they do their homework and get ready for the next grade, they begin to pray that the Lord will call “our dear brother” somewhere else…. All he’s trying to do is prepare them for another grade, but that church is dedicated to the first grade, and the first grade is where it’s going to remain.

Paul said some of them went up into the second grade and gave it up, and said, “It’s too hard here,” and they went back to the first.

“How long have you been in the first grade, Junior?” “Twelve years.”…

Paul said, “forgetting those things which are behind… I press toward the mark” (Philippians 3:13-14). There was a man not satisfied with the first grade.   SAT004-005

Father, I do pray that our church might not get stuck in the first grade. Help us not to shrink from the hard lessons that bring us to spiritual maturity. Amen.

 

Love God, Hate Sin

He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

—Proverbs 21:21

 

People remark how favored the church is in this country. It does not have to face persecution and rejection. If the truth were known, our freedom from persecution is because we have taken the easy, the popular way.

If we would love righteousness until it became an overpowering passion, if we would renounce everything that is evil, our day of popularity and pleasantness would quickly end. The world would soon turn on us.

We are too nice! We are too tolerant! We are too anxious to be popular! We are too quick to make excuses for sin in its many forms! If I could stir Christians around me to love God and hate sin, even to the point of being a bit of a nuisance, I would rejoice….Vance Havner used to remark that too many are running for something when they ought to be standing for something. God’s people should be willing to stand! JMI066-067

We Christians must stop apologizing for our moral position and start making our voices heard, exposing sin for the enemy of the human race which it surely is, and setting forth righteousness and true holiness as the only worthy pursuits for moral beings. MDP048

 

Covenant Renewal

Deuteronomy 33:27

 

When from sin’s dark hold Thy love had won me,

And its wounds Thy tender hands had healed,

As Thy blest commands were laid upon me,

Growing light my growing need revealed.

Thus I sought the path of consecration

When to Thee, dear Lord, my vows were given;

And the joy which came with full salvation

Winged my feet and filled my heart with Heaven.

 

By the love that never ceased to hold me,

By the blood which Thou didst shed for me,

Whilst Thy presence and Thy power enfold me,

I renew my covenant with Thee.

 

But my heart at times with care is crowded,

Oft I serve with weak, overladen hands,

And that early joy grows dim and clouded

As each day its heavy toll demands.

Have I ceased from walking close beside Thee?

Have I grieved Thee with an ill-kept vow?

In my heart of hearts have I denied Thee?

Speak, dear Lord, O speak and tell me now.

 

By the love that never ceased to hold me

In a bond nor life nor death shall break,

As Thy presence and Thy power enfold me,

I would plead fresh covenant to make.

From before Thy face, each vow renewing,

Strong in heart, with purpose pure and deep,

I will go henceforth Thy will pursuing,

With my Lord unbroken faith to keep.

Will J. Brand, The Salvation Army Song Book