Sunday, November 25, 2012

Faith and Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, I was thinking of all that God has done in my life. I think that when we're searching for more faith, a good way to find it is by counting God's blessings, recognizing all that we are thankful for. All good gifts are from God.

Thanksgiving should happen all year round. It's not a single day to be thankful. It's a day to remind us to be thankful the rest of the time. Recently I read a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Michael K. Reynolds. He wrote, "Have you ever realized that many of our complaints today are about things we once fervently prayed for in the past?" You can read the rest of the post here.

God is always faithful. I remember a lot of things I've prayed for over the years. Some of them have not yet been answered, but many of them have. Even when God does not give me what I asked for, I am usually glad later that He did not. He knows what is best for us. What I think is incredible is that He actually wants to hear our requests because He cares about us.

One big area of concern for a lot of people is the future. I pray about the future a lot. What am I doing every day to prepare for it? Matthew 6:25-34 has a lot to say about worrying. Basically, it says don't worry. Verse 27 says, "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" The answer is, of course, no. What then, are we to do about the future? Verse 33 says, "But seek ye first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

The future is not just ten years from now or even tomorrow. The future is a moment from now. You can try to hold onto the present moment, but then it is gone. Micah 6:8 is a good summary of how we should try to live: "He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

As a speaker at my church phrased it a few weeks ago, "Do the next right thing." If you're walking next to Jesus, how could you go the wrong way?

The Lord has been faithful in the past, and He will be faithful in the future. Count those blessings. :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Kids and Their Toys

Little kids always want more toys. Every Christmas and birthday they have their eyes on a different video games, dolls, G.I. Joes, playhouses, rollerblades, etc. Some kids have piles of toys in their closet, but they have lost interest. The "old" toys hold no appeal. They have to have that state-of-the-art Lego set on TV, and then they will FINALLY have the ultimate toy. We laugh at such children and say they should go play with the toys they already have.

We laugh, but we often do the same thing. Think about it. If only my house were a little bigger. If I just get a higher salary, I'll be happier. If only I were a little more popular, I'll be satisfied. I just need to get to know those people. I just need to have this car. I just need to win this game, get that grade, impress those people, attain this goal, be as good as I should be, etc...

Did you ever stop to think that if you had everything you ever wanted, all you'd be able to do is sit on top of the big pile of money and stuff and guard it? You probably wouldn't even have time to enjoy all of it. Setting goals isn't bad, but constantly beating yourself up for not being as good as you think you should be is bad. Wanting something isn't bad, but it is bad to forget to be thankful for what you have.

Blessings are great. God has blessed all of us in ways that we may not even realize. So next time you wish you had something else, remember to enjoy the blessings He has already given you.

Friday, November 2, 2012

How Do You Spend Your Time?

They say that time is money. Time is not money. It's worth more than money. Someone could give you a million dollars tomorrow, but no one can give you back years of your life. What do you spend your time doing?

Does what you do...
... push you toward what you want to do in the future?
... make you a better person?
... help other people?
... bring you closer to God?

Is it what you should be doing? 
Is the best thing you could be doing?

Imagine if five younger people were watching your life now, and they all decided to spend their time just like you spend yours. Would they be wasting it? There ARE people watching your life. Are you a good steward of your time?

I think the way you spend your time reveals what is important to you. If you kept track of how you spent every hour of your life for a month, what would your time reveal is important to you?

"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." —Ephesians 5:15-17