A Prayer for a Life of Thanksgiving

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“How good it is to give thanks to the Eternal and to praise Your name with song, O Most High;  To speak of Your unfailing love in the morning and rehearse Your faithfulness as night begins to fall.” Psalm 91:1-2

Lord,

I adore You, how I love You. Cherishing who you are I offer worship from the depths of my soul to You. I treasure Your living  Word. Your beauty surpasses all words. Magnificent creator. Author of Salvation, through Your sacrifice beyond human comprehension You have brought me by Your blood, calling me Your beloved child. In You I  have everlasting life. You constantly poured out countless gifts beyond what I deserve, furthermore, far beyond what I deserve. All honor, glory, power, and praise belong to You now and forever more. Blessed be Your glorious name.

The to-do list dictates my time. My emotions wildly running dictate my reactions. My pain dictates my thoughts. I hurry- thought scattered- overwhelmed-depleted. Senselessly rushing another day without ever savoring a moment. Neglecting the gifts you have bestowed on me; I take so much for granted. I do not understand the depths of each gift and many I cannot see. Lord Jesus, have mercy. Forgive my ungrateful heart and lavish on me Your stunning grace.

Thank you from the depths of my soul for providing for me. I praise You for my relationship with You, Your Word, and Your character. Thank You for creatively and compassionately knitting me together and for the purpose You formed me for.  I praise You for this season of life. Thank you for investing in me, loving me, and forgiving me. I praise You for the blessings I neglect to see, those I am unable to understand, and the ones I have acknowledged, though not enough.

Enable me to slow down… to pause and reflect on Your goodness. Help me to recognize and say thank you for a few gifts. Fill me with thanksgiving every moment of every day. Let me live by Jesus’ example offering a gift of thanksgiving to You in the midst of unspeakable pain. Allow my thanksgiving to bring glory to Your holy name.

Amen

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Holy Thursday

 

The washing of feet occurs multiple times in the Gospels, furthermore, in Biblical times, this was common. In this song, it is believed that Mary Magdalene is the woman washing Jesus’ feet. Some time later, it is witnessed in Scripture that Lazarus sister, Mary washes Jesus’ feet. Lastly, Scripture records the tender moment that Jesus compassionately washed His disciple’s feet.

There are plenty of overlapping details and each has details that make it unique from the other feet washings in Scripture. One of the disciples proclaims Lord if you only knew who was touching you as well as the horrifying sin in her life. He was more aware of the depth of her sin than she ever could be.

Sin is a focal point for each foot washing story. Holy Thursday, Jesus is with His disciples. Jesus was aware when He cleanses the disciples that He was about to take on the sins of the world unlocking the power of Salvation. Even so, He put on a garment of humility as His heart’s sorrow increased for all He was about to endure; not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually.

“Jesus, knowing that He had come from God and was going away to God,  stood up from dinner and removed His outer garments. He then wrapped Himself in a towel,  poured water in a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with His towel.

Simon Peter (as Jesus approaches): Lord, are You going to wash my feet?

Jesus: Peter, you don’t realize what I am doing, but you will understand later.

Peter: You will not wash my feet, now or ever!

Jesus: If I don’t wash you, you will have nothing to do with Me.

Peter:  Then wash me but don’t stop with my feet. Cleanse my hands and head as well.

Jesus:  Listen, anyone who has bathed is clean all over except for the feet. But I tell you this, not all of you are clean.

Jesus is lowering Himself to servanthood as an example for His beloved children.”

John 13:3-10 The Voice Translation

Each person is in desperate need of the cross. In need of forgiveness, mercy, grace, God’s love, and salvation. Jesus lowered Himself not only to servanthood but to a horrible unexplainable death on the cross. Regardless of what anyone does, we will never fully comprehend this sacrifice on this side of Heaven. May we strive to understand it better consistently.

Numerous examples are displayed by Jesus for us in Scripture, however, none of them are natural or easy. To live in His footsteps requires us to surrender ourselves to Him, to be connecting with Him, and to have His Holy Spirit.

“Now tell me why do we gather together in His name, Are we like the ones who merely watched, Tell me is that why we came, Are we like this sister, Do we truly enter in, In spirit and in truth, Have you come to worship Him? With your hands, are you touching him, And with your heart are you loving Him, And with your hands are you holding on to His, Then the source of life was right there in your hands.” Touching Him by Ray Boltz.

 

Ponder these lyrics in your precious heart as you reflect on each aspect of the Holy Week story. Come to the Lord, in spirit and truth; laying every sin and burden at the foot of the cross. Be transparent with Him in prayer. He knows your every thought, sin, and desire but wants to hear from you and connect deeply with you. Allow The Souce of Life to renew your heart.

Jesus Christ,

I am constienly amazed when I read the Scriptures of Your precious life. Help me to continue to know You fully and to pursue You in my daily tasks. Open the eyes of my heart this Holy Week. Soften my heart. Give me a deeper understanding.

I am like the woman in the song a sinner from birth so unworthy of Your love. At times, my sinful nature takes over. I make dozens of excuses for my sins. I confess that I have not obeyed Your commands, I have not kept You first in my life, I have lacked compassion, I have been selfish, and much more. I cry out, Lord have mercy on me! Extend Your amazing grace. Lavish Your forgiveness onto me. Make me pure once more. Enable me to turn from my sinful nature.

The concept of Your completely free love can be hard to understand. My good works would never have been good enough, but You do not require them for my salvation. My countless mistakes are as far as the east is from the west in Your Sovereign eyes.

I surrender all I am to You. I do not want to merely watch I need to enter into Your Holy presence in spirit and truth. I desire to reach out, touch Your hand, and walk with You daily. I want to love You with all my heart. Move my heart in a new way as I reflect on the Easter story. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for all that You have done for me. I love you.

Amen

Romans Worldview

This was originally an essay on Romans for New Testament. It has a decent amount of applicable information, therefore, I wanted to share on here. I hope if you take the time to read this that you will learn something.

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The way an individual perceives the world is known as his or her worldview; furthermore, worldview influences many different aspects of life, such as discipleship, relationships, critical thinking, and decision-making. Beginning in childhood, the worldview is being altered continuously. Christ and the Bible are two things at the core of the Christian worldview. The Biblical worldview is founded on the Bible. It is an essential building block to uncovering the biblical worldview. Furthermore, Romans chapter eight teaches about the existence and attributes of God, creation, sin, salvation, ethics, and eschatology.

Romans analyzes origin from the formation of the world to the creation of humanity. Paul highlights humans’ sinful nature that started shortly after the creation of the world. In addition, the focus is on God’s existence from the beginning. Creation provides evidence of God’s existence. Additionally, creation reflects God’s nature enabling us to know Him intimately. God understands the complexity of the mysteries in nature. Furthermore, He sustains it. Every molecule of creation brings honor and glory to God.

God is too great to be fully comprehended by humans, while mysteries still remain through Romans people gain a deeper understanding of His character. The characteristics highlighted in Romans are also viewed in other books of the Bible. First, the reader sees that God is Righteous. Numerous times in the Bible individuals see that God is wrathful and some view this as intimidating. Fear of the Lord is an asset. On the other hand, people find comfort in the fact that God provides justice as well as judgment. God is truth. His word is true. He remains faithful never breaking a promise. Furthermore, God is mighty possessing eternal power. There is nothing too great for God to do. His power leaves people in amazement. Paul also describes God as divine. In addition, He is immortal. God always was and always will be God. He is eternal. God creates life. He is the source of life. God is love, furthermore, He demonstrates His love to His people in amazing ways. He gave His only son to die in the place of sinners. God is sovereign over every detail. Despite the fact that God hates sin, He is merciful. Nothing is hidden from God. He is wise. Providing excellent counsel. In addition, He provides hope, even in the darkest seasons of life. The book of Romans provides a small glimpse into God’s character.

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According to Romans, evil entered God’s creation through one man. Specifically, because of the sin of Adam and Eve, the world is flawed. God gave them free will, just as He gives us free will. Humans can choose to love Him or reject Him. There are consequences of sin both on earth and once an individual passes away. First, the wrath of God is poured out. Similarly, judgment is encountered. On Earth, the individual will experience hardships and distress. Hardships and distress can come in many forums. For example, if an individual steals they might find themselves in prison or if a man cheats he might find that his wife leaves him. In addition, Romans says, there is condemnation. Lastly, Romans teaches that the ultimate consequence of sin is death. All humans are sinful, and therefore deserving of death.

Sin is a heavy topic accompanied by heavy consequences, however, Romans reassure individuals that hope is not lost. Righteousness and redemption are freely offered through Jesus Christ. Furthermore, out of His love humans can receive salvation. Paul goes on to explain that faith is vital to this free gift. Furthermore, it is a gift that cannot be earned therefore no one can boast. In addition, Paul speaks of the gift of grace. Through salvation, there is hope for each sinner. Those who receive the gift of salvation receive additional priceless gifts. For example, a peace which surpasses all understanding. Christians are reconciled with God through Jesus. God’s wrath for all humanities sin was poured out during Jesus’ crucifixion.  In addition, Paul explains how the law fits in with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In chapter six, it focuses on the death of sin and victory in Jesus. Additionally, how believers should attempt to live as free people in Christ. “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14, New International Version). Through individuals are free Paul also explains that they are slaves to righteousness. The Holy Spirit is essential to Christians providing sanctification as well as renewed and empowered life. The Holy Spirit lives in believers. Though the Spirit believers are adopted by God, furthermore they are heirs of Christ sharing in suffering and glory. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26).

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The Bible provides guidelines for how Christians should act morality and Romans is no different. Christians are held to a high standard in general. In Romans chapter twelve, Paul instructs to be transformed and in line with God’s will. There is a popular phrase that Christians are in the world but not of the world and this is illustrated here in Romans. Romans provides instructions of what Christians should and should not think about. For example do not be prideful. On the contrary, the believer should think of himself or herself with sober judgment. Furthermore, they must do everything out of love, honoring others, and practice hospitality. It is essential to bless others even those who do wrong. In addition, Christians are instructed to live in peace with everyone. Christians should also support others as Paul says to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. Furthermore, believers must submit to government authorities. Paul reminds individuals that the Ten Commandments are still in place. He urges the reader to not indulge in sexual immorality, debauchery, dissension, and jealousy. People should respect others personal convictions. In addition, they should not cause one another to stumble. Romans 1:18-32 and Romans 12:1-15:13 focus on ethics and morality but do so in different capacities. In Romans chapter one, Paul focuses on humanity in the past, their sinful nature, and emphasizes God’s wrath towards them. On the contrary, in chapters twelve through fifteen Paul offers practical advice on how to live honoring God. In addition, in the second section, Paul discusses the body of Christ and how Christians should interact with people. Both passages highlight God’s authority and goodness. Furthermore, both address the issues of sin. Though extremely different, both passages offer hope in Christ.

Lastly, Romans teaches about hope for humanity and creation. Creation is liberated from bondage into freedom and God’s glory. There is a beautiful hope of eternal life for believers. Life everlasting with Jesus Christ is promised to believers. Nothing in all of the creation is able to separate God’s children from His amazing love. God receives glory and praise from all of creation and from each life. Paul reminds the believer that it is vital to remain in God’s will. God will work things out for His children.

In conclusion, Romans is an essential building block when constructing a biblical worldview. It includes numerous fundamental truths. The reader learns in depth about the attributes of God. In addition, God’s existence and some about creation. Furthermore, in the book of Romans Paul examines the issues of sin and salvation. In addition, practical advice on ethics is provided for the modern Christian. Lastly, the reader learns about hope for the future, which is an eternity with Christ.

Thankfulness

Tis the season to be thankful and pass the turkey. Thanksgiving is a magnificent holiday. A time of reflection. Recounting all the blessing in life. Cherishing moments with those we love most.

There are infinite Biblical lessons on thankfulness. Thankfulness in trials, daily life, and for the joys in life are a few examples. Eucharistia is the Greek word for thankfulness. Bible Study Tools additionally defines it as, ” gratitude; giving of thanks, thanksgiving”. An attitude of thanksgiving is a foundational element of a Christian’s life.  At the soul of each element we are thankful for is God.

Not long ago I heard a sermon by Frances Chan (The Author of Crazy Love). He had posed an excellent question, which I would like you to ponder. When is the last time you thanked God for your salvation? Additionally, when is the last time you thanked Him not only for material things but for who He is? Those amazing gifts He has graciously bestowed on you, which are not tangible. When is the last time you thanked Him for your personal relationship with Him? “Praise God for this incredible, unbelievable, indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15 The Voice.

While it is excellent to thank God for all the material things and all the countless ways He has provided for you. It is equally important to thank Him for who He is and Your personal relationship with Him. “Go through His gates, giving thanks; walk through His courts, giving praise. Offer Him your gratitude and praise His holy name.” Psalm 100:4 The Voice.  Praising God shifts our perspective. It renews our soul. Worship is as vital as air for the soul. 

Elohim,

We adore you. Praising Your holy name. Thank you for the breathtaking gift of salvation, sanctification, and Your agape love. Your love endures forever. We find deep joy in having a personal and daily relationship with You. You have abundantly blessed us beyond anything we could ask. We sing of Your faithfulness. We rejoice in You for the deep blessing of today. Enable us to cultivate a heart of thanksgiving. Deeply bless this lovely Thanksgiving day.

Amen