Thursday, November 26, 2015

Gratitude is not something I have. It is a gift from God.

Gratitude is not something I have.  It is a gift from God.

Apart from God we all are like the Israelites.  We have a grumbling, complaining heart.  Gratitude and thankfulness is not something I naturally have.  If you have it this morning on this day and season of Thankfulness.  Then thank your good Lord.

My life was out of my control

A man thinks he is right in his own eyes

I have been trying to have self control.  Self control is not so much of a good thing.  Spirit controlled is.  We are controlling people.  We think we know how our lives should go and what others should be doing.  We think God agrees with what we want.  That we are on the same page and working for the same thing together.  So we get anxious, worried and depressed when things don't go as we have planned.

I am very good at pretending

I am like the Pharisee.  I try to always do the right thing.  Say the right thing.  Treat people the right way.  Christ rebuked the Pharisee for trying to keep the outside of the cup clean.  While the inside of the cup was dirty.  Their hearts.

What pours out of our mouths and how we treat people, is what is in our heart.  When our strength has given away.  When we are our true selves...what comes out in the way we live and love is a reflection, is the fruit, of what is in our hearts.  How do I love another person that does not love me well.  That is my true heart for Jesus.

My heart was hard

When I was not able to hold it together.  I was tired and spent.  I had reached my limit of being with it.  I saw my heart for what it truly was.

My hard heart was not due to any problem in my life or anyone else.  There was no one or nothing in my life to blame but me.  I did not love other people with a selfless love like Jesus,  like I had convinced myself I did.

What is the love of Christ?

When you can love another person, even in spite of your differences.

When you can love someone not like you.

When they don't do what you think they should.

When you can love them even when you don't get what you think you need from them.

When you can forgive as you have been forgiven.

When you can see them more valuable than yourself.

When you can have their best interest at heart and not your own.

When you can continue to encourage and bless because you are loved by God.

 When you can serve and not be served.

 When you can see what they are doing right not wrong.

When you can speak truth in love to them.

When you can let them know you need Jesus and confess your sins to them.

When you can let them know you enjoy them, just as they are, and so does Jesus.

When you can see the very best in another person that is love...the love of Jesus.  He loved sinners like me...Only through Him can this even begin to happen...Steve Brown said it is His love not our lovability.  It is His love.

Have I been changed by the gospel I knew so well

I read a post from a leader and good friend..The post said something like this.  A person can know a lot of knowledge and not be changed by the gospel.  I ask myself had I been changed in the deepest part of me.  By the gospel I knew so well.

I repented of my self centered life, my rebellion, my pride.  Of questioning God's love and goodness to me.  Why had I feared rejection of man so much.  Why had my identity been in what others think of me.  Because I did not know the love of my Father for me.  I had felt God was angry with me or disappointed in me at times. Without even realizing it.  Could I understand this love He has for me in the core of who I am?  Where it really mattered?  I really didn't  know.  I just knew I was willing to ask Him to help me.

I think if we are honest most of our fears, that maybe hidden, are from fear of punishment.  Jesus took our punishment from God we deserve.  God's love for us cast out our fear.  Do we see all things from the hands of a loving Father?  Good and hard?

I could not change myself

My mentor had told me we can not live the christian life apart from God, His Spirit.  We cannot love another person as we have been loved.

 I thought change meant me trying to be good again. Trying hard to do better.  I told the Lord the pretending had stopped.  All I could do was come.

This is all I knew

All I knew was Christ has died for people like me.  People who couldn't make it work.  Who couldn't be thankful just as they always had been before or love another person on their own.

I knew all I could do was trust Him with me.  He would send me a Helper, the Holy Spirit.  That I could come, depend and lean on Him.   He is the only one who could change me.

Maybe that is the change I needed.  Seeing how utterly helpless I am on my own.  Seeing how much I need Jesus to love another person.  Seeing why He could not just send me the Ten Commandments but had to send me a Savior, Jesus. Why Jesus had come, to give me His Spirit.  To live inside my heart and soul.

Maybe I need to go to this place every single day.  Seeing my utter helplessness to love another person.  My need to have the Spirit help me live.  Just live.  Not to be perfect but to be broken and dependent on Him.

So God has given me the gift of Gratitude and Thankfulness

He has given me Himself.  I am thankful for Jesus and the Fathers love.  He has blessed me beyond measure.  I see His hand in my life, in the every days.  In the people who love me and in His creation.  In all the events of my life both hard and easy. He even uses the suffering to bring me into the likeness of Jesus.  To do though me what I cannot do.

 I don't think I have ever been as thankful as I am today.  But it was not something I could make myself do but a gift from God.  He knows I am most happy when I see He is for me, working it all, loving me beyond measure. It is living a life of worship that only can be when we know how much God loves us in all things.  That He is always for me no matter what my circumstances maybe.  He is in control.  Not me.  I never was.

A message from God

 The hard heart that had held me captive earlier seemed to be melting through my tears.  Through the love of my family, friends and God.  By His grace I will enjoy my family and my friends today.  God loves me in such precious ways.  How can I not but be poured out to others?  For He was poured out for me.

I am the very child of Almighty God.   I am and we are a gift from God, the Father to His Son.  He sees us as a good gift.  Gods most beautiful creation.  We are a delight and a joy to Him.  Hard to imagine.  He delights to give us good gifts.  Even when we take Him for granted.

 The Spirit of the Father and the Son lives in us.  He can teach us, change us and help us do what we cannot do.  No matter who we are or how hard things have been we are blessed.  Blessed by a loving Father that cares more for His own children than we can imagine.  I shared with a friend that God loves us more than we love our own children.  She said that is so hard to comprehend.  I cannot imagine.  Neither can I.  He just does.

I pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving my friends
May the power and the presence of Jesus be with you all
The love and the indwelling of His Spirit

I love you with all my heart
You have been a blessing to me in so many ways
In times when I thought I could not go on
You loved me unconditionally
You gave me yourself
You love God and me
and I thank you.

Thanksgiving 2014

I am so thankful for each and everyone of YOU!
my friends and family

Thanksgiving 2015