Friday, November 26, 2010

Keep Thanking Him

Andrae Crouch penned the words: "I don't know why Jesus loved me.  I don't know why He cared.  I don't know why He sacrificed His life.  Oh, but I'm glad.  I'm glad He did!"

If you continually think about the sacrifice that God the Father made by sending His only son, and the sacrifice Jesus made by laying down His life, everyday is Thanksgiving!  Sure, the United States sets aside the one day, but Christians should give thanks to God every day.  We weren't worthy of any such sacrifice.  He just loved us that much.  As the song says:  I don't know why... but I'm glad He did!

I Thessalonians 5:18 (King James Version) states:  "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."  I thank God that no matter what, He is still sovereign.  He remains on the throne, and He is mindful of me.  I cannot lose!  My sights should be set on God's glory.  Everything else will fall into place (or out of my way).  I can thank God when I don't feel good.  I can thank God when I have no money.  I can thank God when loved ones pass away.  How?  I have the victory in Jesus Christ.  Eternal life is mine!  Satan is defeated.  God reigns triumphantly FOREVER.

How can I not give thanks everyday in everything?  Focus, focus, focus!  I know how this war ends.  I'm already on the winning team.  I need to exercise my faith, so that it can grow stronger.  I have to believe that nothing is impossible for God, and I have to thank Him for it consistently.  Don't ever let a day go by that you don't tell God, "Thank you."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Old Wine Belongs in Old Bottles

Matthew 9:17 (King James Version) Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

As diligent Christians, we are constantly being made over by the working of the Holy Spirit.  We are becoming new almost on a daily basis.  Old ways, habits, thoughts, and speech feel uncomfortable in our "new bottles."  Why do we feel compelled to continue doing those old things when the Holy Spirit has shown us something new?  I'm not even talking about sinful things necessarily.  We often get into ruts when it comes to our traditions and religions.  Just because we've always done something a certain way doesn't mean we have to continue doing it that way.  How will we know that something else isn't better or more fitting?

For example, we always do the slow song first and then the fast song.  Who cares about the tempo of the song?  We need to arrange the service for the flow of the Holy Spirit, not what tickles our ears and gears up our emotions.  We must give up those familiar traditions, no matter how comfortable, for the new work that God wants to do in our lives and in our churches.  If we are allowing ourselves to be made over, why aren't we trusting God to do the new work in and through us, as well?

My old bottle is gone, so I threw out the old wine with it.  If my prayer is for the Lord to make me over into something new, I certainly want Him to show me the new work (or new way of doing the work) that He would have me implement in my life.