Grateful #1

Be The One

Ten lepers were miraculously healed. This miracle not only cured a horrendous and painful disease, but it also freed these men to return to their families and rejoin their communities. Everything changed because of what Jesus did, but only one returned to thank Him.

It’s obvious to us Jesus literally gave these men their life back. So why wouldn’t all 10 return to lavishly thank Him? It’s easy to judge the nine, but maybe Jesus intended we focus on the one. You see, like the lepers, Jesus gave each of us brand-new life. Will you be the one who’s grateful? Will you grow your daily habit of gratitude on the realization of what Jesus has done for you?

The WAR within me

Facing a trial in our lives can make us feel like someone has waged an all-out war against us. Nothing seems to go our way. We can’t even see a light at the end of the tunnel. It can be sickness, it can be marital problems, it can be financial crisis; it truly can be anything or everything at the same time! This isn’t necessarily good news (or new news), but there IS good news for us as believers.

We don’t have to look far to see that we aren’t the only followers of God who have encountered some extreme battles against our faith in Him. Over and over again throughout the Old Testament, the Jewish people faced exile and captivity. It must have seemed as though it would never end, but the prophet Isaiah had words of comfort for them.

He told them that their “warfare was over” and to remember that the One who “created all the stars” gives “power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” He encouraged a people who were faced with bondage and slavery that their God hadn’t misplaced a single star, and He wasn’t about to forget them either.

Just imagine that. Your warfare is OVER. Does it feel that way? Probably not. You probably have reminders of your battles every single day, but Isaiah wrote those words to a nation that was facing a Babylonian conquest which would end in their exile, and before it even began God was declaring through His prophet that it was already over!

Isn’t it amazing to think that our Creator has seen our end from the beginning? He knew what we would face and feel before we were ever born, and yet still He tells us that the victory is won in Christ Jesus! It’s this truth that we hold to. This is the “confident trust in the Lord” that Hebrews 10 tells us not to throw away, that we can patiently endure the storm KNOWING God has already secured the outcome. The fight is fixed! And YOU are the winner.

In Romans 15:13, Paul gives us this prayer he prayed for the church in Rome, and it’s a prayer I pray for you now. No matter WHAT you are facing, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Remember that weeping may endure for a night, but JOY comes in the morning! Lift up your eyes and see, the sun is rising!

Trust

Trust and allow God to do His will for your good. Do not try to create your own destiny outside of God’s plans, because He has more in store for you than what you can create on your own. When you walk into His path and let Him into your heart, He will fight all of your battles for you.

He is LOVE

God’s grace is amazing; He is love, not fear or doubt. Having faith in Him will restore, heal, and deliver you from any struggle. Jesus teaches us that those who have faith are shielded by His power. Trust and stand by Him. He will take away our suffering through trials and bring us closer to Him.

PRAISE

P.ower

R.everence

A.doration

I.nspiration

S.pirit

E.xaltation

God inhabits the praises of HIS people. Our praise is music to HIS ears and will cause a shift in the atmosphere while drawing us closer into the presence of GOD. There is power and liberation in your Praise. Praise is also necessary for every Christian, even when you are feeling down, disappointed, or sad.

Our praise opens the door for the Lord to meet us where we are. When we are willing to give our sacrifice of Praise, knowing that God is good and merciful even in the midst of our trials or suffering, we give Him an opportunity to minister peace and comfort to our hurting hearts. No matter what is happening in our lives, our God is worthy of Praise.

Praise is also necessary for every Christian, even when you are feeling down, disappointed or sad. Our Praise opens the door for the Lord to meet us where we are. When we are willing to give our sacrifice of Praise, knowing that God is good and merciful even in the midst of our trials or suffering, we give Him an opportunity to minister peace and comfort to our hurting hearts. No matter what is happening in our lives, our God is worthy of Praise.

THERE IS GOOD IN YOU

THOUGHT:
When anybody first gives their life back to God it is normal to be overwhelmed with a sense of remorse for all the sinfulness in our lives. That’s called conviction. We are guilt stricken because we are guilty. We realize, maybe for the first time, that we have offended a holy God.

It’s not that you have never done anything good. It just means that your good doing cannot save you. We have all done plenty of good and plenty of bad. But salvation is not based on the merit of our activity. We are saved by God’s grace and we receive His free gift of life.

Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done. It’s all God. Everything we have is because of Jesus. This motivates us to do more good. We do good because God has made us good. We live a good life because God is a good God, and our good works bring pleasure to Him.

We were actually created to do good works. It’s God’s plan that our whole life would change and start to reflect His good character. That we would live lives that serve others and help others.
You have natural desires inside you to help people and to love them. It’s not too difficult for any of us to be moved with compassion for someone. All of us see situations and want to help make them better. That’s normal – because there is good in you.

The more we spend time with God and talk to Him about what is happening around us, the more we will start to see a natural desire to do good. It’s in you to do good. It’s part of being human – to love and to serve and make this place a better place for all.

TIME TO THINK:
What good activity do you find easy to do?
What good do you need extra effort to do?

PRAYER:
Father, thank you that You are a good, good Father. You have created me for good works. You want me to live a life that reflects Your goodness. Help me change from some of the bad things that are in my life. Help me to walk this new life by the power of Your Spirit, in Jesus Name. Amen.

YOU’VE BEEN CHANGING YOUR WHOLE LIFE

THOUGHT:
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the change that is necessary to become like God. It seems like such a long road home. But I want to help you see something – you’ve been changing your whole life.

You might say, yeah that’s the problem. I have been slowly getting worse my whole life. Well, that may be true in some areas? But, you have been making progress in other areas.

It’s so easy to think negatively about progress and growth. This is largely why we could be adverse to change. But there are many things that have already changed. Let’s start with the basics. Are you still crawling, or have you changed? Are you still eating baby food, or have you changed? Are you still in baby clothes, or have you changed? If you’re reading this devotional by yourself, you’ve most definitely changed!

Whilst you may not be all you need to be, thank God you’re not what you used to be. If you’re less bad, less negative, less selfish, or less anything – you’ve changed.

I know you have a long way to go, we all do. But you’ve been changing your whole life. So, keep changing. Become all God has destined you to be!

TIME TO THINK:
What would others say are the biggest or most obvious changes in my life? (Maybe ask people)
Knowing I have been changing my whole life, how does that inspire me to change today?

PRAYER:
God, You have been with me my whole life. Even when I was far away from You, You were near to me. Calling me and drawing me to Yourself. You have been watching me change, for better and worse, and You know I can keep changing. I want to change and become more like You.
Amen.