As I have been reading through the Bible again this year, and teaching in our home church’s children’s ministry; today it hit once again,
Punishment and blessing, everything God promises comes true! He is faithful to keep his Word!!!
I am reading through Leviticus and today, we studied Obadiah… All the blessings and punishments God promised Israel in Leviticus, played out later in the story of Scripture.
God said it, and he kept his Word a thousand years later… he has made promises of both blessings and punishments for us today as well. We can choose to obey and be forgiven and blessed for eternity, or choose to deny him and be punished for eternity. The consequences of both are clear.
On this day, which will you choose? God will always keep his promises.
First, an apology, I have not been posting much for the last couple months nor writing much, for those who are following God’s Word Is Life, I’m sorry. Just really busy with work and family. Second, I promise to get back on the ball sharing encouragement, perspective, and biblical truth regarding life and recovery. Third, a request. Please like, share, follow, and recommend both the Facebook page and the website godswordislife.com Let’s get the message of renewal, hope, joy, and contentment to the world through the mercy and grace offered to us ALL through a relationship with our Creator Father through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus the Christ, and the indwelling Holy Spirit. Thank you all for your support!
During Thanksgiving, it always seems odd to me that we have a specific holiday to remind us to be grateful for our lives, our freedoms, and our blessings.
Thanksgiving is not a worldwide holiday. Canada has their own version of it, but I am not so sure about other countries.
In the US, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 as a religious and public time of prayer, worship, feasting and fellowship dictated by the Calvinist pilgrim magistrate, William Bradford, and joined by the native tribe in the area, lead by Chief Massasoit. It was a three day festival to celebrate the peace, provision, harvest, and grace given to the settlers during the previous year.
George Washington is the one who issued the first ‘national’ Thanksgiving proclamation. However, it wasn’t until 1941 that it was adopted as a national holiday.
However, shouldn’t we be grateful everyday?
Philippians 4:4-7 says,
Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
These are commands, not a suggestions, rejoice and don’t be anxious. They come with simple instructions on prayer, with the result of living serene and anxiety-free.
In AA, we are taught grateful alcoholics don’t get drunk and told, “if you’re not praying, you’re not staying (sober)”. I was taught to make a gratitude list and meditate on it, especially when feeling discouraged, down, or depressed. To remember what I am grateful for and what I stand to lose if I drink or use again. I had my top ten list. But, it was always the same ten. I didn’t really go beyond that for a long time.
Later, as a Christian, I started learning more about true thankfulness and praising God for his goodness and walking with me through my struggles.
A professor of mine really blew this door wide open for me with an assignment. Write down five things per day I am thankful for everyday for the 8 week term. The provisos, no repeats…! My top ten list lasted 2 days… In less than a week, I started to have trouble because all the big stuff and important people in my life were already on the list. I also found out quickly, I had to look back frequently to make sure I hadn’t already written something or someone down. I started to list some things that I had considered pretty mundane, but realized I was still thankful for them…things like pork egg rolls. The ability to occasionally purchase, eat, and enjoy pork egg rolls is something I appreciate…!
The more I wrote, the more I had to review what I wrote, the more grateful I became for each thing on my list, the more I praised God for all the blessings in my life!!!
It was powerful!
To be thankful every day for all the blessings and mercies in my life, from the most profound to the most overlooked and mundane, is how I need to live. Then, I am able to follow Paul’s command to rejoice always. Then, I am able to be content in any circumstance and not be anxious, because as Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”
This morning, I finished reading (actually listening while commuting) through the Old Testament.
I find it deeply saddening. Over and over God has kept his promises to Abraham’s descendants. Over and over he promised, if you will only keep me first, keep my commandments and decrees, I will bless and protect you. If you don’t, then I will remove my hand of protection and I will send other nations to discipline you and drive you back to me. He promised blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. He kept ALL his promises!
The nation of Israel faced hardship time and again because of their disobedience. The nation was scattered and exiled because of their disobedience. The nation was also blessed and restored when they would repent. However, even within the same generation, they would then turn from God again.
I find it heartbreaking!
In this age, God has sent his one and only Son, who died as an atoning sacrifice so that we don’t have to live under condemnation, but can live under mercy, grace, and forgiveness.
However, we still live in disobedience. We still rebel against God. God still keeps his promises and the world still suffers from it’s own disobedience.
Therefore, the answer is abundantly clear. Agree with God that sin is still sin (confess), turn from disobedience (repent), have faith, ask forgiveness, accept grace, and obey.
Sermon given at Casey White Oak Church of God on 09/22/19.
The world is watching and wants to know if we, as Christians, can authentically live out our faith. They are quick to point out our hypocrisy and the abundance of media and social media makes it very easy to spin doctor our words and actions to point out that hypocrisy.
In light of this, knowing we are sinners in need of a savior, flawed people trying to serve a perfect God, how can we live as salt, light, and leaven to the glory of our God?
Have faith, do good, show love, and do the next right thing!
Listen to see how this plays out in our Christian walk.