His love endures.

god loves

 

God is so amazing! I think about things I have done, and while not as bad as some, worse than others. BUT, really doesn’t matter how one sins, since sin is sin, and we are all sinners.

For [there is] not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. Ecclesiates 7:20

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:  Romans 5:12

And, because of that sin, we deserve punishment, we deserve eternal damnation, but God does not want that for us.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

He gave us Christ, so that we don’t have to be punished for the sins we commit, IF we confess those sins and ask for forgiveness.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Romans 3:23-26

We are justified and made righteous. Not because of us, but in spite of ourselves, through the forgiveness, grace and mercy Christ paid for on the cross. Its there waiting for us…..all we have to do is ask for it. Once it is asked for, it is given….and we are made new and perfect in His sight.

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Psalms 118:29 (KJV)

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.  Psalms 136:1 (ESV)

Now, if that is NOT AMAZING, nothing comes close. He loves us with a love that endures forever. His love does not falter because we fail. He loves us in spite of our sins and has gone to the furthest of measures to give us a way to be forgiven. I stand in awe of our Lord. A love that endures all the pain we cause Him; a love that persists no matter what we do; a love that will forgive us even though we turn our backs on Him.

How would the world be if we all had that kind of love or even a fraction of it? Definitely would be a better place. I aspire to have that kind of love, that kind of forgiveness. I will strive to love the way God loves us.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  John 13:34

 

Lord, I thank You for the forgiveness and love You give me. Things I don’t deserve, but You still give it. I praise Your Holy Name. I pray in the name of Jesus that You work in my heart and help me to have that kind of love. I ask that You teach me to know and live the heart of Christ. Please, draw me and my loved ones closer to You. Teach us all to have that kind of love and to have the forgiveness that You give us. Draw us all to You that we may all know the salvation You have for us.

Amen

I hope all have a blessed day and weekend. And, as always, please try to be a blessing to someone else.

Thank you for your visit.

 

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Thanksgiving

thanksgiving

Well, it’s almost Thanksgiving when we here in America celebrate the “founding” of the nation. To be honest that part is not a fond thought for me as I have Native American ancestry and in some ways it is bothersome. But it is a time when we should all stop and reflect back on the past year and think on what we should be thankful for at this time. For Christians, we have something for which to be thankful all day, everyday. The redemption Christ bought for us with His blood.

But, as I reflect on the past 12 months I do have that for which to be thankful; and I am thankful indeed. But in some ways it was an extremely trying year. I had some losses that weren’t easy to bear. I was betrayed by people from whom I would have never expected it. I saw the majority of my parents possessions sold. But regardless of those things I rejoice in the Lord! He is my Redeemer, my Savior, my Hope in seemingly hopeless times. I am thankful for those who, through their actions, I learned or relearned lessons on human nature and that I need only trust Him and not people. I realized that through Him I can overcome amazingly difficult times. Jesus showed me that He was there for me to lean on during those difficult times. The strength He gave me m helped me learn to where I must turn in all things, the good and the bad.

Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.  Philippians 4:4

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Romans 5:1-5

 

7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Ephesians 1:7-12

 

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.   Romans 15:13

I endured suffering yet as much heartache and pain as I dealt with I did endure. Not because of me but because of Christ in me. And no matter how bad I thought I was suffering I know that the worst I went through and the worst I could ever go through pales in comparison to what Christ suffered on the cross on my behalf. He did so willingly and out of love for us all. He took the burden from me and gave me a lighter load.

God has taught me so much in the last year and even though He has I know I have much more to learn about living for Him. I’m definitely still a work in progress.

 

Lord,  I praise Your Holy Name and come to You today to thank You for the many blessings, some I knew were blessings and some I only realized we’re blessing after you taught me some truths. I thank You for the good and the bad that has. One my way. Through Christ all things work for my benefit. Even the things I don’t realize are benefitting me. I pray in Jesus name that You bless us all and use the good and bad to draw us too You.  Heal and comfort those who are sick, show those living in sin and outside of Your plans for them how to become reconciled with You through Jesus.  Help all learn the true path You wish is to follow. Thank You again for all the blessings.  Mercy. Forgiveness. And grace.

Amen

 

and to those who managed to get through my drivel. Thank you for your time. Have a blessed day and try to be a blessing to someone else today.

Fitness Test

fitness

 

I mentioned being in the military. I was active duty for several years and have been in the National Guard for a several years since my active duty time. One part of military, active duty or reserves is fitness testing. We have to take the fitness tests a couple times a year that consist of sit ups, push ups and either running, walking or some other event to test aerobic and cardio fitness the Army physical fitness test or APFT because the military loves its acronyms. Well, years ago when I first had to start doing them, I could pass, but didn’t do as well as I would have liked, more on that later. But, I ran a lot, worked out more. Due to other events in life I was doing less working out so the tests were more of a hassle, my scores went down, I still passed, but not as easily and not as well as previously. I started working out more, losing weight, getting back into shape and we had a test at the last drill. Well, funny how it works out, but when one works out and prepares, if they work to get more fit, the fitness tests are much easier, you perform better.

I got to thinking on that, how I had evaluated my physical condition and fitness, realized I needed to get into better shape, so I did. I also thought about how much more important it was for me to evaluate my spiritual fitness. I also thought about how when I exercised in my spiritual life: with prayer, studying the Bible, praising our Lord, I was much more spiritually fit as well and that when I had spiritual fitness tests in life, I performed better, I responded better, to events in my life. Once upon a time, I was much more fit spiritually and things went well spiritually. When difficulties or challenges arouse, I dealt with them better and they were usually less stressful anyway. God looks out for us when we follow Him and are living the life He wants us to live. Well, since I returned to Christ, I am learning to be more spiritually fit. God does not disappoint, when I put the effort into things, the spiritual fitness improved and tests are easier to pass. Oh, just like the physical fitness tests, some events are more difficult at times. But, if one prepares, one passes the test. Praise the Lord for His help improving my spiritual fitness.

I also thought about how our physical condition and strength, if we train to a certain level, that is the level we reach. We do well at that level. Years ago I used to train for the APFT by doing the events. I ran the 2 miles, did the push ups and sit ups for 2 minutes each and such. Well, I would pass, like I mentioned, but would be finished physically by the time I was done, I had reached my limit. One day after the APFT a buddy and I were talking, well he was in better shape than I and didn’t appear exhausted like I was and I commented on that fact. He asked me how I trained for the test, I told him I ran the 2 miles and such. He then said something that really made me think, he said, “You know, if you train for the standards, you meet the standards but that’s all you can do and it is hard to do it because that is the max you can perform. But, if you train for more than that, do more push ups and sit ups, run 3,4 or 5 miles every day, the test is an easy task.” Simple concept, but eye opening. So, I started doing that, actually did at least twice the distance and other things and guess what, HE WAS RIGHT! The next time the APFT came around it was a piece of cake. I did better than I ever had and wasn’t exhausted when I finished. AMAZING!

Now, why does physical fitness have anything to do with my Christian walk? Well, if we spiritually prepare for normal events, normal life, work, home, etc then the more significant challenges one encounters will spiritually drain you. If you study the Bible and pray, seek God, just enough, then you are spiritually prepared for the normal day to day events, but the sudden, unexpected hardships will cause a set back. One needs to train for more than they think will happen, one needs to spiritually be ready for the really tough times. God will be with you either way, He just makes dealing with it even easier if we are ready before hand.

More thinking, if anyone has ever used a personal trainer, they come up with a plan to help you get physically stronger, they give you goals. Once you reach that goal you can stay there, just train to that level and that’s where you are with physical condition. But, if once you reach that goal, they set another goal for you, push you, get you to reach higher levels of physical conditioning and strength. God does that too. Sometimes, just by making one want to pray, study the Bible and seek Christ more, other times, like a physical trainer puts more weights on the machines, God puts more weights on us, sometimes He helps us get stronger by giving us a harder burden. Nothing more than we can endure, but more than we had previously. That isn’t always a punishment, sometimes it is a reward. He knows you have improved your spiritual strength to a point you can endure more, but Christ still wants more from us. He wants us to continue to grow as Christians. He doesn’t want us to get to an okay level and remain there, He was us to excel and, if that means putting more burdens or hardships on us for a while, He will do so. If we respond to those challenges as we should, by seeking Him, praying, looking to the Bible. WE GROW STRONGER as Christians.

pexels-photo-267559.jpeg

Yeah, I think I want to start training above the standards, I am going to work even harder on my spiritual growth, more time in prayer, more time reading the Bible, more time seeking God. If I have challenges, I will be ready for them, if they seem to be too much, I know He will be there to help me get through. He will never leave me or forsake me. He won’t give me hardships I can’t endure and when the time is right, I can give those burdens to Christ. Praise Jesus what a wonderful God we serve.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13

 

Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

 

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

 

The LORD [is] my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he [is] my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. Exodus 15:2

There is so much more on how God is our strength and salvation, with Christ I can do all things. Such powerful words.

Lord, I praise You for all You are. I thank You the lessons You are teaching me and how You do strengthen me and help me when things get tough. How You have helped me get through difficult times, even when I wasn’t serving You, and how now, You make it so much easier to deal with any adversity. I pray You continue to work on me, work in my heart and help me train more for the future challenges. Help me grow spiritually stronger that I can be the Christian warrior You wish me to be in my life. I ask You to strengthen loved ones in their walks with You and draw those not serving You to Christ that they may know the salvation You have given me.

Amen

 

Thanks again. I appreciate the readers and folks that are following my blog as well as the likes and comments. Please pass this on to someone if you believe they could benefit.

Remember, whatever you do, be a blessing to someone.