Tag Archives: gambling

An Attitude of Gratitude

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!

For His mercy endures forever.

1 Chron 16:8 NKJV

 

Saying Thanks on Thanksgiving

It’s a national holiday that calls us to express our gratitude. Gratitude. An emotion born from contentment and satisfaction. Or is it?

  The Apostle Paul tells us the he learned to be content in any circumstance (Phil 4:10-13)

  So, it’s not the circumstances in life that should influence our contentment but rather our attitude in the face of our circumstances. But how can this be possible in the face of want and need? How can an attitude affect change in physical circumstances?
  The quick answer is Faith! The long answer is a bit more complex but the answer is still faith. I’ll elaborate……
  As believers we believe in God.  God tells us that He is our provider. One of His names is Jehovah Jireh (God will provide – Gen. 22:7KJV). If we have lack or want we are saying that God is a liar and that he doesn’t provide for our needs. Yes I know that sounds harsh but why waste time here sugar-coating things?
  If we experience lack or want in the face of God’s provisions we aren’t likely to consider how we make use of what we do have/receive. Denial and pride can keep us from blaming ourselves for squandering the grace of God.

If, for instance, a man is living on a fixed income which allows for him to have shelter, food and some basic luxuries like tv, telephone and internet. But he lets food go to waste in his frig (because he doesn’t feel like cooking), while he spends money on fast food that was supposed to be for bills, can he say that God doesn’t provide? Or, a woman that spends large amounts of money on scratch off games in hope of winning big but only winds up wasting money that was supposed to be for food and bills. Can she truly say that God is a liar and doesn’t provide?

I heard a great sermon that talked about this very thing years ago. The Pastor was teaching about stewardship and tithing. He asked that we (the body of Christ in general) should examine our checkbooks/bank statements to see where our dedications are. Certainly we should see finances spent on food, housing, transportation, tuition even and as well as other true necessities. But, if we see spending on things such as entertainment, alcohol, luxury items that place us in bondage to credit card debt but we don’t see regular contributions to the church we have no right to speak badly about God’s ability to provide for us.

 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.                                                                                                                      Malichi 3:10-12 KJV

……and I will rebuke the devourer for your sake!!! This is a shocking revelation!!! Taken at face value The Lord is telling us that there is a devourer out there and that He will protect us from him as a result of our faithfulness in giving to Him. So, perhaps the reason we are experiencing lack or want in our lives even if we try to make the best use of the resources received is because the devourer is attacking our finances.

The answer is easy. Have faith in God and tithe. Be responsible for your own finances by giving thanks to God for what you have and giving back a small portion (10%) regularly.

As the song says….

Give thanks with a grateful heart. Give thanks because He has given Jesus Christ to us.

Take a look around at what you have and be grateful for what you have rather than being ungrateful for what you do not have.

An attitude of gratitude is really the very least that we as believers can do in light of all that God has done for us. Perhaps that will only be completely appreciated when we are in His presences in Glory.

Betty and I hope that this past Thanksgiving has been a blessed time filled with family, friends and food. May this coming Christmas Season be blessed also.

Thanks, A&B

What are you feeding?

Have you ever had a garden? Whether it was a flower bed or a vegetable garden you probably learned very quickly that if you neglected to water or feed it things died. Conversely, if you diligently took the time each day to weed and feed and water it things flourished and grew.

   It’s a very basic rule of gardening –

What you feed grows and what you starve dies

   The Bible speaks often of spiritual things in terms of gardening and farming for good reason. The same rules apply. Neglect a garden and things die. Forget to water a potted plant and it will wilt. Don’t spend enough time with your spouse or family and you loose connections. Keep putting off time for Jesus and you will loose your strength.

What you feed grows and what you starve dies

    We like to have flowers in the Summer. Hanging baskets and flower beds as well as potted plants on the deck and steps but what the sprinklers can’t reach we have to water – or else. We took a two week trip this Summer to London and Paris. Family members watched our home and tried to keep up with the flowers.  When we came home we had to throw out some plants and patiently nurse others back from the brink of death because they didn’t get the attention they needed.

What you feed grows and what you starve dies

    Habits can be like gardens as well. Little white sins too. Our enemy, the devil, roams about like a roaring lion seeking who he can devour. Give place to him with a secret sin or a bad habit at your own peril because what you feed grows and what you starve dies. Have you ever been able to quit a habit? Maybe smoking, over eating, drinking, gambling, gossip, anger, whatever? Do you recall the difficulty that you faced those first few moments after making the decision to turn away from the habit? How the days seemed so long? How hard it was at times? You were breaking a tie. A soul-tie and the way you were breaking it was by starving it. You refused to give in to it’s pull. You stopped feeding it and it didn’t want to die. If you were successful it did die and no longer has power over you or pulls at you. But it took time and prayer and maybe even family and friends to get you threw it.

   I quit smoking in June of 2004. Eleven years ago. Cigarettes no longer call to me or have any power over me. But it wasn’t easy. I had tried before and failed. Thank God that I got the victory but if I go back to smoking it will start the cycle of slave and master all over again. Now, before you say that I’m being melodramatic, consider that Jesus told us that we can not serve two masters. You will love the one and hate the other. Maybe cigarettes aren’t your problem. Maybe you have no problems. Maybe Jesus is the Lord of every area of your life and Praise the Lord if that’s true. But for those who struggle with secret sins or bad habits (anything you know the Word speaks out against) please keep this simple truth in mind –

What you feed grows and what you starve dies

You can do all things threw Christ Who strengthens you

and you can be victorious over any enemy

stop feeding it and it will die

and a dead thing

can not

hurt you!

Be blessed, AL