There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort. —Jane Austen
This is another of the devotionals I wrote for the anthology titled Anytime Prayers for Everyday People. This particular devotional was included in the section titled Prayers of Praise and Thanksgiving and is perfect for this time of the year as we are contemplating the true meaning of Resurrection Sunday.
When I want to thank God for His salvation . . .
I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God
for salvation to every one who has faith.
—Romans 1:16 RSV
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor,
now is the day of salvation.
—2 Corinthians 6:2
The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock;
and exalted be the God of my salvation.
—Psalm 18:46 NASB
[Peter said] Jesus is the only One who can save people.
His name is the only power in the world that has been given
to save people. We must be saved through him.
—Acts 4:12 NCV
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and
believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved.
—Romans 10:9 NKJV
. . . I will pray.
I am always amazed when I consider the depth of Your love for me. You, who created everything in the universe, care for me so much You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins. And I will never be able to explain why Jesus came—willingly, determined to rescue me and make me part of Your family. My salvation is more wonderful and amazing than I could ever comprehend.
Lord, You could have simply walked away from Your human creation, washed Your hands, and moved on to a new project. Instead, You walked beyond Your personal disappointment and went to extraordinary, even miraculous, lengths to salvage us. Knowing that moves me beyond words. And then to think that even in the face of so great a gesture toward us, You’ve made Yourself vulnerable by leaving us with the choice to take Your gift or leave it.
I want to be very clear, Lord—I take it! Every bit of it—all You have or want or plan for me! I choose to love You back every day of my life. Thank You for Your lavish gift of salvation.
It is not your hold of Christ that saves you,
but His hold of you!
—Charles Haddon Spurgeon
[From Anytime Prayers for Everyday People. Copyright © 2006 Bordon-Winters LLC]
Recently I was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by Hope Turner of To Peace from Despair. Thank you so much, Hope!
My health issues mean I have very limited time to keep up with my blog plus the other sites to which I contribute, so I can only follow award rule #1. However, you can read a little of what this is all about below.
Again, thank you Hope. May your days be filled with God’s blessings!
The Very Inspiring Blogger Award
Today I’m ‘paying it forward’. After being nominated by (an amazing blogger herself), The Rabbit Hole, for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award, I’d like to, in turn, nominate seven bloggers to receive the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Each of these bloggers has been an inspiration to me. I thank them all for the impact they have made on my life and many others. I encourage everyone to visit them! Their nominations are well deserved! Hugs, Hope
The Rules for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award:
1.) The nominee shall display the respective logo on his/her blog and link to the blogger that has nominated her/him.
2.) The nominee shall nominate 7-10 bloggers she/he admires, by linking to their blogs and informing them about the nomination.
You can read Hope’s entire post about this here.
If you’ve been around this blog for awhile, you’ll recognize the name Patricia Knight because she has graciously allowed me to share some of her devotionals here from time to time. Now Pat has agreed to contribute to my blog on a monthly basis, so it seemed appropriate to tell you a little bit about her.
As I’ve shared here before, I consider Pat to be one of my Christian mentors. She is my far-away friend whom I met online in 2003 when we were both writing devotionals for the same online chronic illness ministry. Although Pat and I have never met in person, we share such a strong love for the Lord that our bond of friendship has strengthened immeasurably over the years.
Pat and I have spoken by phone a few times but our daily lives don’t mesh well enough to make it possible very often. We live on opposite sides of the country so there is that 2-3 hour time difference. We also each endure chronic pain illnesses so our awake times are very different. Even though Pat lives with extreme pain most of the time, her constant encouragement and thoroughly trusting dependence on the Lord have shown me how to live joyfully no matter how I feel. As she wrote on a card she sent me recently:
As iron sharpens iron so one woman sharpens another.
In this case, I like her use of “woman” instead of “person” as the passage was originally written. Yes, she and I do sharpen each other to keep us grounded in our faith.
Pat is the author of REJOICE! and PURE JOY, two books filled with joyful devotionals. Besides having written encouraging devotionals for an online chronic illness ministry, she currently maintains a ministry of handwritten encouraging notes for those who are hurting. I have been blessed many times over the years with one of Pat’s beautiful notes!
Pat, I’m so thankful for the blessing of you in my life!
Would you believe that I haven’t always been the most thankful person? Oh, I did thank people out of politeness every so often. But God worked on my heart for many years before I realized the need to express thanks more often.
When I first met Rick, he took me to dinner and I thanked him for that afterwards. The next day we had lunch together and I thanked him for that too. I recall him being very surprised and pleased that I would thank him for such simple gestures and that spoke to my heart as I realized I needed to do this more often.
After we were married, I began my campaign to thank Rick for the smallest things he did for me, from carrying out the trash to his offer to help with the dishes—even though I always turn him down. :-) The great thing is that it has led him to do the same. A day does not go by when he does not thank me for many little things I do for him.
The point is that if you truly thank an individual for doing or providing something, it causes that person to feel as if what they did really matters. Not only that, being thankful breeds more thankfulness and results in a mutually loving attitude that colors your whole relationship. And your life!
So, here’s the challenge: make the effort to thank those around you regularly and wholeheartedly for even the smallest, most seemingly insignificant things. It may take time, but you’ll see a difference in the people in your life because a thankful attitude rubs off on others. And blessing other people this way ultimately blesses you!
As you start being thankful for even the little things, you’ll start seeing God’s hand in so much of your life that you were not so aware of before. And you’ll recognize how much God has blessed you, and that will lead you to thank Him for every single thing in your life. Every. Single. Thing.
Take my word for this. It really works!
And you will say in that day:
“Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.”
And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
—1 Chronicles 29:13
Be thankful and joyful.
Be content with life.
Make the most of every situation.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita
Reading the Word of God for yourselves,
reading it rather than notes upon it,
is the surest way of growing in grace.
Drink of the unadulterated milk of the Word of God,
and not of the skim milk.
The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ,
keep seeking the things above, where Christ is,
seated at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on the things above,
not on the things that are on earth.
For the past few weeks, I have been pondering the word JOY. Such a small word for such a huge and amazing emotion.
How can I describe JOY?
How can we feel any JOY at all while in those valley places?
And why do we feel JOY in the first place?
Stay tuned, beloved!
So the natural progression—in my mind at least—led me to next think about the word FAITH. Hebrews 11:1 (above) was given to me years ago during a particularly stressful time in my life when God showed me that FAITH in Him can carry me through any situation.
I have always tried to live by that kind of faith, and this Christmas I received two special bracelets from my Rick that were faith themed. As you can see in this photo, one of them says “Keep the Faith.” The other reads “Faith Hope Love.” They look really nice worn together, and are serving to remind me that my FAITH is found only in the Person and finished work of Jesus Christ at Calvary.
Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said,
“Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You,
even as You gave Him authority over all flesh,
that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.
This is eternal life, that they may know You,
the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
I glorified You on the earth,
having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.
Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself,
with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
This year I hope you’ll join me in exploring JOY and FAITH, especially as it pertains to each of us individually. I don’t think this subject can ever be exhausted because God fills us up with unending amounts of JOY and FAITH. It’s up to us to grab hold of both of those and never let go!
Heavenly Father, we need You more than we can ever imagine. We so need Your JOY and Your FAITH. JOY that You think of us as the apple of Your eye. JOY in and through every single circumstance in our lives. FAITH in the mercy and saving grace of Your Son, Jesus Christ. FAITH that we can always count on You—and only You—to see us through those inevitable valleys in our lives. Oh, Abba Father, we are so utterly thankful for how much You lavish Your JOY and FAITH upon us!