So much to be thankful for

Our world has much to be thankful for, yet we don’t seem to be thankful for it. There are wars in many places, there are famines and terrorists in other places, so what could we be thankful for? It is true that, outside America, most countries don’t celebrate a Thanksgiving holiday but we still should give thanks to God for the grace and mercy that He has given to all of us.

You might ask me, “What has He done for me, I live in poverty and hunger all of the time?”. If you still live, He has given you life and breath and another day to live. He will provide for you if you will give your heart to Him, even more than He provides for you now. I know that many people consider us wealthy who live in America and for most of the world’s areas that live on the equivalent of one dollar or so a day that may be true.

We have more food available to us, we have cars and homes to live in comfortably and yet there are people here who live in poverty just as bad as those in India or Sub-Saharan Africa. They make boxes to live in or they use whatever lumber they can find and drape a plastic sheet over it as shelter in the mountain winter. Yes, there is poverty in the so-called “land of plenty”.

So, how can I write that we should be thankful for what we have? Did you wake this morning with the ability to walk and get up from your mat or bed? Can you walk and when you find something to eat, can you eat it and digest it? We take so much for granted in America and in the world at large until we don’t realize that there are people, children and adults, who are suffering from disease and treatments of disease which leave them unable to walk, unable to eat or even digest what they get as nutrition. If you can eat a piece of fish and drink a little water, that is a blessing.

For many people, that small blessing of being able to eat and digest their food is something that they would give all they have for. So, yes, we all have something to thank God for. The sun shining in the sky and the moon at night are the lights which He placed there to show His mercy and grace toward us. The stars and galaxies which we cannot see with our eyes, but He flung them out and He knows each one of them by name. They are there to show His majesty and His power. Can He take care of you? Yes, He can!

In six days He created all that you see and many things that you don’t, but all that is around us, including humanity, He created. Our problems are big problems to us, but to God they are small. He can take care of you, just as He takes care of the fish and the birds and the whales and all of the life on this planet. He knows when a sparrow dies and falls to the ground, so don’t you think He cares for you too? Seek Him out, find a way to learn of Him if possible. If you only read this site and can’t get to a church or find a Bible, then ask Him…ask God to make Himself known to you, He has done it before and He can do it for you if you will ask.

Don’t turn away from the opportunity to know Him…to know Jesus. You have this life, regardless of how your existence may be, and it is during the time that you have here that you must make the decision to follow Him, to give your life to Jesus. Because, once you are dead you will be in His Presence and the time to give your life to Him will be over. Make that decision while you can because He will answer you and come to you if you are seeking Him.

I pray for all of those who are reading this site and my others too. Please don’t let your chance to know Him slip away.

Blessing and favor

Life that we live never really seems to be one of blessing and favor, yet we can’t see it. Why? It is because few people can discern which is the blessing and favor and the trials that are required in your life to get to that point. No, I am not saying that you have to suffer to be blessed, but sometimes we feel that way because we thought we had the best. The best house or car or something that is accepted by the world as a blessing, yet when we lose it or it is taken from us we feel that we are being put through all sorts of trials and trouble.

If you will recognize that God gives blessings to those who joyfully recognize the One who can provide greater blessings and more than you could have expected. God is the Creator of the whole universe! There are more gold molecules in space than we could use in this world and God owns ALL of it! Don’t you think He could provide even a little for you and even a little from God is more than we know what to do with!

God can take five loaves of bread and two fish and feed 5,000 men not including the women and children, approximately fifteen thousand people if they had only one child each. Since He can do that, don’t you think that your tithe or offering given in joy and with faith in Him can multiply into more than you could ever need to accomplish His purposes in your life and ministry? He can do it, if you are willing and if you are not looking for a hand-out but with intentions grounded in the Word of God to do greater things than you could before!

Your best, meaning your big house or your Mercedes, is nothing compared to God’s best for you. A big house or a fancy car are things which the world recognizes as markers of a successful life, but that is not the way that God sees success. He sees success as helping those in need, giving to those who don’t have enough, making sure that someone who has very little has enough to live without worry. In other words, God wants you to be blessed so you can bless others…not just buy stuff for yourself.

Two roads

In life, there are two roads which seem to be heading to the same place. One of them is much easier and wider because it gets far more traffic. It is worn down and has few rocks and no weeds growing in it or around it. There are many rest stops all along this road which will allow you to sit back and take life easy until you get your bearings again. There are also many places to be refreshed and get a bite to eat all along this road. All of these attractions are beautiful and bright and inviting, never judgmental and with very few, if any, rules that you would find offensive regardless of your lifestyle preferences.

Most of these places along this highway will cater to your every whim and many will provide you with nearly everything that you need to “drown your sorrows” or numb the pain. Actually it looks an awful lot like the strip in Las Vegas except that this strip goes all the way to the end of your life and every other person’s life who finds themselves walking on this pathway. Problems don’t usually happen to people on this road, this pathway, until you get close to the end of your life. It doesn’t really matter what age that may come because the ones running all of the entertainment places also have an intimate knowledge into your life.

One thing that will not be found on this road, at least not an abundance of them, is places of worship. Oh, there are places where you can worship any number of gods or deities that you have encountered along the way but there will be very few churches. They are off the road so you have to get off the path and get on a side road or a trail that goes to them intentionally. Have you ever been on this road? Do you know people on this road today?

The road that I am speaking of leads to nowhere really. It goes to a place of darkness and despair, where there is no light, no water, no Life at all. But while you are on that road, it looks like the most lively and best path that you could take…until you come to the end of your life. Whether you end your life in suicide or at a young age or if you live to be 100, this road takes a sharp turn away from the lively lights and easy feeling. This road leads to hell!

If you happen to get drawn onto a path that leads to a church, it may have obstacles and thistles along the way but the love that you feel when you get there is like nothing on the other road. God’s love is much different from the pleasures that were found on the easy road, the wide road. God loves you with a love that is True and Real and it comes from His Heart, the Creator Himself. He has loved you since the beginning. Not just the beginning of time, but even before then. If you stay long enough and listen to the Word preached at this church, you might decide that you want to follow Jesus the rest of the way.

The road which leads away from the church is still your life, but it is a new life of following Christ. This road is much narrower than the other road and it isn’t as flashy. There is much less traffic and a lot fewer people on this road. You will also notice that it isn’t as easy as the other road to walk on because there will be places which will tempt you to get off of this path. You may meet people who tell you they have found a better way to get where you are going, but they are just taking you back to the other road by a different path. The only common thing that this road has is churches and you will find them all along the way.

The real difference between these two roads is their destination. The broad, easy pathway leads to an eternity of misery, pain and suffering because you are outside the ┬áLove of God and in outer darkness and hell. The narrow path with its winding way and fewer attractions leads to Life everlasting with Jesus in Heaven. There will be no pain or suffering there, no tears or sorrow either. Eternity there will be a continuous joy and full of the Love of God. So….which road will you choose?