Cultivating Gratitude

Have you ever said things like:

I have nothing to wear…

Staring at a wardrobe full of clothes.

Or what about:

There’s nothing to eat…

With a pantry full of food.

It can be easy to see the lack in our lives, but actually, when we shift our way of thinking, we start to cultivate gratitude and thankfulness.

Paul writes in Colossians about being grounded in Christ because our ways are not Christ’s way.

Think of when Jesus fed the 5,000. The disciples saw lack, whereas Jesus thanked God for what they had and with gratitude, God blessed them but from that, the faith grew from the disciples.

We need to remember that our words or our thoughts have power, so when we shift the negative to a positive – things change. Life’s are transformed. Breakthrough happens.

Why…

Because just as a plant draws nourishment from the soil through their roots, so we draw our life-giving strength from Christ.

The more we draw from His ways, His thoughts, His strength, the less we will be inclined to think about what we need, rather than what we have.

This then brings freedom, it brings joy, peace, thankfulness, love, forgiveness, guidance, and gratitude but it also brings so much more than we can ever comprehend…it brings eternal life.

It’s the New Way of Thinking

When I was talking to God this morning, He suddenly dropped a revelation into my spirit.

Usually, when I have a question, it starts with, “What does the Bible say about…” because I love to learn and explore.

Yet, today, God revealed that that is an “Old Covenant” way of thinking and actually the new way needs to be, “How does God’s love allow me to ______ (fill in the blank)”

Reading the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians shows that when we apply God’s love to any situation, the result of it is: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness etc…

Jesus’ death means that we no longer need to ask the endless questions because we cannot love God without loving others and therefore when we have good “fruit intake”, we know that we are asking the right question

Remember This

It can be so easy to just go along with the rules and regulations of the world, but it’s remembering that God is the Lord of ALL Lords and King of ALL Kings. He reigns above all – so in other words, His commandments supersede everyone else’s.

Christian’s are all called to a higher place of living, which means to become more like Christ. But to do that, we need to love like no other and to rise up united, with a passion for God.

That means that we might need to say NO to the world, in order to say YES and AMEN to God.

Footsteps Across the World

God gave me a picture this morning that I’d love to share with you all…

The Scripture in Isaiah shows us the beauty (in God’s eyes) of those sharing the Gospel.

Whilst some of us may look at the beauty around them, God can see the footprints of where we have gone to speak the Good News to others.

God showed me that picture – of the footprints – and it was breathtaking. Not because of the footprints around most of the world, but it showed the courage of God’s children.

Yet, it also showed what else is needed to be done, because let’s be honest…Jesus isn’t here yet, which means we still have work to do!

If God could show you where your footprints are, from the Gospel you have shared…how many footprints would be from you, in this World?

It’s Not About The Bible

For a lot of people, we still focus on what the Bible says, rather than following what Jesus did

We need to remember that Jesus came to fulfil the Law. Therefore, He should be our example because Christ is, after all, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Let’s turn to Jesus and allow Him to show us, that through the Spirit, we can live a life filled with love.

That means…growing to love everyone in this world because that’s what Christ did

Will It Ever Happen?

There are parts of the body of Christ that are working together really well. Different denominations or churches that are coming together for conferences, or those who are influential, are opening their church doors, to build others up – which is amazing!

Yet, there are still so many people who believe that their belief system is the only way…the way they worship, the way they deliver sermons, even the doctrinal aspects are fought over, and the church tears itself apart from the inside out.

Satan must roar his head off with laughter!

God designed us differently to reach people that others can’t. A foot is not designed with the same function as the heart. Or a blood vessel cannot be a rib.

Jesus’ desire for His disciples was that they would become one. To be unified as powerful witnesses to the reality of God’s love.

Therefore, Jesus prayed for unity among the believers based on His believers’ unity with Him and the Father.

Unity is not conforming to the same thing as the next person, but realising our functions within the body, and then allowing others to do the same – seamlessly.

Then, the world will really know Jesus’ name

Ignoring God

I remember the day so vividly because God made a point to me.

I was given a word from Him, to give to the person stood beside me, but I was apprehensive…

What if I hadn’t heard God right?

What if the person rejected what I said?

As I was arguing with God about the words I was to speak and how I was to introduce myself, the person to the other side of me approached the person I had a word for and spoke the exact same thing God had told me to say.

Shocked wasn’t the word! But I was disappointed that I had missed an opportunity to show God’s goodness…

Then the clincher

God quietly spoke in my Spirit and said, “If you don’t speak what I ask, then someone else will.”

From that day, I have always tried to be obedient in being led by God

Yet, how difficult is it when the kids are arguing, you have deadlines to meet, or maybe you don’t have enough money to pay that bill, let alone give the money to someone else. I get it

Sometimes we don’t know why God asks us to do something and maybe we never will, but I have learnt that obedience brings a blessing and whether that is seeing the other person find God. Or finding out that another person paid your bill unexpectedly – whatever happens, the most important thing is, that we don’t ignore God

Turning to Christ

Have you ever heard the expression “They are too far gone to be saved”?

This makes me so mad because actually, that is a lie that the enemy wants us to believe.

This world can be a lonely place. We can feel worthless, useless and generally feel that no one cares.

But, God has made a promise to all those who turn to Christ, that He will never leave you. That no matter where you are, or what you have done, forgiveness is for everyone that turns away from the things that are wrong in God’s eyes

How far away do you feel from God?

Maybe it’s time to ask God to come into your life. Maybe it’s time to let God into that circumstance you are facing. Maybe it’s time to stop trying to do everything on your own.

Turn to Christ and God will be there – that’s the promise of the Gospel

We Need to Rise

Honestly, I hate reading or listening to the news because it shows the depravity of most of this world. However, it also gives a strategy for prayer and brings enlightenment to the desperate need for God.

As I read an article last night, God spoke to me about rising up and asked the question, ”When is enough?”

As Christians, we understand that Christ died for us. Some mock. Others hate. But still, Christianity has yet to die out for a good reason – the Gospel brings Hope.

The end times is something that many shy away from because it brings the stark reality that we all need to make a choice…we can not live in the darkness and still love God. No, we must rise out of the shadows to show His truth, with love and grace – no matter what the cost.

Giving our lives to Christ meant we drew a line in the sand and said, we would be the light on the hill.

Will we rise to show unconditional love to those who wish to tear us down, but without watering down the Bible?

2,000 years ago Jesus died because He wouldn’t renounce the Good News and yet, in His final breath, He asked God to forgive those who killed Him.

My prayer as I look at events around the world, is one for mercy, but also that all Christians will rise up, not afraid of implications.

Let’s show the shocking reality of God’s unconditional love and also, ask for forgiveness of those who try to hurt us, because they really don’t know what they are doing.

We Are Most Important

What makes you stop and pause at the wonders of creation in this world?

Could it be a mountain that is topped with snow? A rainforest that opens up to a waterfall? An idyllic ocean view with the sound of the waves rolling in? A sunset over the hills where the stars start to shine bright?

There is so much beauty and yet, throughout the world, God said it was good until He made a man and a woman, and only then, did His creation become “very good.”

Yet, the most beautiful thing of all was that God was in a place, more stunning than our minds can ever comprehend and He chose to come down from heaven, to be born in a barn and die on a cross. He didn’t deserve it but He knows we are worth it.

We can spend so much time looking at the wonders of the Universe, that we can forget the most important thing that God created and died for.

It’s time for us to realise that although we must care for the world around us, the person beside us, is far more important to God. Because, if all of the human race had a relationship with Him, most of the worlds issues would disappear

The Power of And

There is something powerful about an “And” in a sentence because, for me, it brings a sense of anticipation of what’s next – it’s the cliffhanger of emotions that flood my brain in the millisecond that it takes to read the next word on the page.

Yet, this ”conjunction word” that is used to join the two words together in John 1:14, show that they are balanced as logical equals.

In other words, Jesus was full of 100% grace and 100% truth. There is no distinction between them.

I love this because it shows just how powerful God is. That’s the beauty of the Gospel and the meaning of the Old and New Testament – it all points to, Jesus.

It’s not an either/or circumstances. You can’t have one without the other because without the truth (the reality of who we are) – we would never be able to accept God’s grace (which meets us exactly where we are).

God has beautifully woven the two words together to ensure that we cannot split up truth and grace because, although it can be difficult for us to comprehend, imagine if it was any other way

To Be Known

What is the one thing that most people desire?

Fortune…

For our lives to matter…

A sense of purpose…

Personally, I feel we crave the one thing that God has already shown us, within the Gospel of Luke

To be known

I have always just read this Scripture and continued onto the next part of the passage, knowing that God knows me, so I have nothing to worry about. But this morning, it was as if Luke 12:7 was the only thing found in the Bible!

It stood out so clearly that I could not breathe from the reality of being known that intimately by God.

He knows every single hair – numbered – on our head, and yet with all this information, God still wants us to invite Him into our lives.

That’s another thing that hit me. To have all the information is one thing but to be allowed to use it, is quite another

God created us for a relationship with Him and yet, it was always on a “we get to choose” basis. To know who God is is one thing, but I want to now know how many hairs He has on His head.

It is no longer enough to know God is with me. I want to know His face.

To be known and to know God – intimately – that’s the ultimate desire

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