Prayer of Praise

Dear LORD,

Thank you so much for this wonderful day! The sunset was incredible- You did a really good job! I continue to be amazed with the extreme complexity of this world and it’s surroundings, and You managed to create all of it in 6 days! It is yet another testimony to Your greatness and perfection, as I think of how when humans invent things they take time to plan it, and yet more time to build it, if you count the time for fixing unexpected problems; it could take months to finish a simple well. You created an amazing world and a system that keeps it watered and fed and even to the point where organisms have the ability to heal themselves. Something as common as rain; it could take a lifetime to even learn, and so much longer to fully understand, and yet You created it- in a day! I am fully in awe of Your wisdom, and Your creativity. So many, even those who do not believe in You are amazed at Your creation; the beauty of Your sunsets, the brilliance of Your sun, the complexity of of Your plants, the incredible functions of a single cell! I am so in awe of Your greatness, and pray that I always will be, that I will always appreciate the amazing, beautiful, everyday things in life that are such a simple thing, yet at the same time they are so incredibly complex and are a testimony of Your intelligence, Your wisdom. Grass, it gets trampled underfoot everyday, we cut it, we pull at it when we’re bored, it takes so many amazing things to put that grass there, things that could only be designed by Someone so much greater than us.  The sun, keeping us warm, bringing us day and leaving us with night over and over and over, never ceasing never pausing because You made it to be like that. You made it all. All the good things in this world, all the incredible things discovered we honor the people who discovered them, that’s all well and good, but too often we forget to honor their Creator. I love You God.


Amen

Obedience

Please open your Bibles to 1 John chapter 2.

Verse 1 reminds us that we need to try not to sin, and that when we do sin there’s someone up there who is willing to plead our case with our Heavenly Father.

Verse 2 in my Bible is He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, then in the notes at the bottom it says the word propitiation has to do with the removal of divine wrath.  Jesus removes God’s wrath from us, if we turn to Him. Not just the Church, but the Muslims, the ones without faith,  anyone who will turn away from the hatred and mess that this world has become… and turn to Jesus. This invitation has been extended to anyone. We definitely do not have the right to pick and choose, so why do we act like we do? All the time we are hateful, and purposely hurt the feeling of the people that Jesus loves, and have been invited to join us in our amazing faith.

Verse 3-4 God has given us lot’s and lots of guidance in the book that is in my lap right now. There are so many examples of the instructions that He has given us.  When we say that we have become a Christian, we have accepted the calling to obey those instructions as closely as we possible can. I have seen so many people who go to Church and pray, and then turn into somebody else as soon as they step outside those doors. They don’t follow those commands, and it says right in verse 4 that they are liars. Does it say that that gives us a right to be hateful to them, or say mean things to or about them? No!

Verses 5-6 But whoever keeps His word, truly in him (or her!) the love of God has been perfected.  This is how we know that we are in Him; if we walk as He walked. Taking the phrase WWJD straight to heart, and thinking about it in every decision and situation. Going towards everything with courage and love and kindness, or as much of it as we can muster up anyway. We, as Christians are called to treat people the way that Jesus would treat them, and though we have not perfected that yet, we really do need to try as much as we can to do so. Oh, and another thing that Jesus was- Selfless. So, completely, utterly selfless.

Verses 7-8 This isn’t some new thing, we have always been called to have these characteristics, even before Jesus. And yet, it is kind of a new thing, simply because we have an example to follow. Jesus defeated darkness, not quite yet, but in the long run. He defeated death as well.

Verses 9-11 You cannot claim to be a Christian and then go on and on about this person you hate. If you are in the light you do whatever it takes to help your brother or sister, like them or not.

Dear Heavenly Father,

You have made a wonderful book, in which is everything we’ll ever need to live as you lived. There are so many instructions, I know that I can’t stick to all of them perfectly, but I will try really hard. Please write those words on my heart, the ones about loving my brother, and please help me to seek You, with everything that I am. I love You.


Amen.

1 John Chapters 1-2

Please open your Bible to 1 John and read chapter 1.

I know you kind of want to just skim through verses 1-4, but please don’t! It’s pretty important; it’s summing up all of these things that were written down before this book, and how they are not just a story, but our history. They cover more history, more accurately than any other document that claims to date back to right after creation.  It also states that eternal life that has always been God’s, has now been offered up to any who except Christ. We should have fellowship, and be thankful to the Ones that made that possible, not just God, not just Jesus, but both of them.

Verses 5-6 are an analogy that is often used, so much to the point that few know of it’s origin. God is the light, if we are true Christians, then we also walk in the light, in the things that are good and righteous. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we are lying, and not practicing the truth.” (1 John 1:6 HCS Version)

Verse 7 is an amazing verse “and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” Wow. If we walk as Jesus walked, being as selfless, kind, just, honest and brave as He was, as much as we can, then we are walking in the light. I don’t know about you, but that is something that I would want to do my very best on. It never says that life will be easier on us if we do these things, but when life gets rough, we have the ability, and support that we need to stand strong in our faith, and in life.

I was once in a youth group, as a guest, and a girl said that the Church was not full of sinners because we were cleansed of our sins. Verse 8 makes it pretty clear that this is not true. Yes Christ takes away our sins when we confess, but that doesn’t mean that they were never there. You can be forgiven for something but that doesn’t mean that you never did it.

Verse 9; confessing your sins is so, so important. Every night when I say my prayer I do this thing called A.C.T.S. which stands for Adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, and I pray a little bit about each of these things. Confession is the hardest one, because it forces me to look back over the day and recognize the sins that I have committed that day. But, after I have looked over them, and admitted to God that what I did was wrong, I felt more free than I had ever since I had committed that sin- even If I didn’t realize that my sins were burdening me, the really did have a negative impact on my day. God takes that away when we confess.

Verse 10: Ouch. I mean, it’s true, if you don’t recognize the fact that you have sinned multiple times in your life you need to look more carefully, and stop bragging about the so called “perfectness” you think you have.

 

God is good and right, and has thought out an amazing way to take the weight of our sin away from us, but we need to accept that privilege, and forgive ourselves once we know that God has forgiven us. And we also need to do our best not to sin, when it’s an obvious matter of “choose this, no sin, choose this, sin. Maybe just this once…” Admit it, it’s gone through your head at least once.

Dear LORD,

We are not perfect people, and you know that, and provided us away to get away from our mistakes, we need to confess, and get that weight off our back. Thank You so much for everything that You have given us. I love you LORD,

Amen.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please open your Bibles to 1 John chapter 2.

Verse 1 reminds us that we need to try not to sin, and that when we do sin there’s someone up there who is willing to plead our case with our Heavenly Father.

Verse 2 in my Bible says that  He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, then in the notes at the bottom it says the word propitiation has to do with the removal of divine wrath.  Jesus removes God’s wrath from us, if we turn to Him. Not just the Church, but the Muslims, the ones without faith,  anyone who will turn away from the hatred and mess that this world has become… and turn to Jesus. This invitation has been extended to anyone. We definitely do not have the right to pick and choose, so why do we act like we do? All the time we are hateful, and purposely hurt the feeling of the people that Jesus loves, and have been invited to join us in our amazing faith.

Verse 3-4 God has given us lot’s and lots of guidance in the book that is in my lap right now. There are so many examples of the instructions that He has given us.  When we say that we have become a Christian, we have accepted the calling to obey those instructions as closely as we possible can. I have seen so many people who go to Church and pray, and then turn into somebody else as soon as they step outside those doors. They don’t follow those commands, and it says right in verse 4 that they are liars. Does it say that that gives us a right to be hateful to them, or say mean things to or about them? No!

Verses 5-6 But whoever keeps His word, truly in him (or her!) the love of God has been perfected.  This is how we know that we are in Him; if we walk as He walked. Taking the phrase WWJD straight to heart, and thinking about it in every decision and situation. Going towards everything with courage and love and kindness, or as much of it as we can muster up anyway. We, as Christians are called to treat people the way that Jesus would treat them, and though we have not perfected that yet, we really do need to try as much as we can to do so. Oh, and another thing that Jesus was- Selfless. So, completely, utterly selfless.

Verses 7-8 This isn’t some new thing, we have always been called to have these characteristics, even before Jesus. And yet, it is kind of a new thing, simply because we have an example to follow. Jesus defeated darkness, not quite yet, but in the long run. He defeated death as well.

Verses 9-11 You cannot claim to be a Christian and then go on and on about this person you hate. If you are in the light you do whatever it takes to help your brother or sister, like them or not.

Dear Heavenly Father,

You have made a wonderful book, in which is everything we’ll ever need to live as you lived. There are so many instructions, I know that I can’t stick to all of them perfectly, but I will try really hard. Please write those words on my heart, the ones about loving my brother, and please help me to seek You, with everything that I am. I love You.


Amen.

 

Praise Him!

I am so thankful, and full of joy! This is the 100th post on my website! I am very glad that God has given me a gift with words so that I can share the scripture, the joy, and the wisdom I have obtained through the Bible,  I hope and pray with all of my heart that many people are blessed through this website! Thank You God for everything! God is on the Internet! God is Everywhere!

God is very, very much amazing, so I thought it might be good to just praise Him today! If you have a prayer journal, that’s great. Have you ever felt so blessed and you just wrote praise in you journal? Well, Psalms, to me anyways, seem like David’s prayer journal. Seriously, that’s how I think of them! And what percentage of the Psalms are praise, even though David spent half his life on the run from crazy king Saul?  We should always be willing to praise God, even when we aren’t having such a great time of it in our lives. By doing so you set a good example for others.

Here are some of my favorites:  (You should look them up in your Bible!)

Psalm 8:1-5

Psalm 9:1-2

Psalm 8:9

Psalm 12:6

Psalm 15:1-5

Psalm 19:1-14 (I love this one!)

Psalm 22:26-31

Psalm 25:4

Psalm 27:1,4

Psalm 29:1-3

Psalm 30:1

Psalm 32:1-2

Psalm 33:1-2

Psalm 33:6-9

Psalm 34:1

Psalm 36:5-9  (This one makes a good memory verse)

Psalm 37:4

Psalm 41:1-3

Psalm 45:1-2

Psalm 46:1-3

Psalm 47:1-2

Psalm 50:6

There are so many more!! It is really amazing! Just pick a couple of these, and sing them aloud, as loud as you can, and really, truly, praise Him! Sing, not just with your voice, but more importantly, your heart. You have to really mean it! I love the Psalms!

Dear LORD,
You truly are amazing. A thousand voices, in a thousand years, could not give You the praise You deserve each and every day. You have blessed the world, You have made a million amazing things, You do things for us every day. I exalt you, LORD my God. You are so Amazing! I lift my voice up to sing to You, I want my hands to do work that both praises and pleases You, I want my heart to meditate on things that honor You, and I want my mouth to say things that honor and please You.
I want my hand to write Your praise for all of my years. I love you God, my rock, my redeemer, my Savior. I love you so much.
Amen.

Judging

Judging:

Dictionary: To form an opinion or estimation of (someone or something) after careful consideration.

Today please look up Matthew 7:1-7.

Do not judge so that you won’t be judged. This kind of reminds me of the story of the adulteress, who is taken to Jesus. The people asked Jesus if she should be stoned to death, and Jesus said, “You who has not sinned may throw the first stone.” One by one the people walked away until Jesus was the only one left, and He told the women to go on her way.

How can we judge and condemn others when we are sinners ourselves? Really? How? Now Jesus is not saying that you cannot point out a sin in somebody else, after all you would tell a child that he was writing a letter backwards, not to be mean, but so that he can correct himself. In the same way you should tell somebody that they are doing something wrong, but not in a mean way. Instead in a way so that they realize their mistake and can correct it. And be kind.

Also it says to remove the log from your own eye so that you can better help a brother to remove a speck from his.  So if you and a friend both have the same problem, then try to solve it before pointing out that your friend has it. That way you know how to solve the problem, and you can help your friend along the way.

I just want to point out that this is how I, imperfect me, have interpreted this scripture. It you think I’m wrong please let me know! I am a human, and I don’t know  everything, so I appreciate any views, corrections, or opinions from my readers! Thank you!

God at Work

Please look up 1 John 4:16.

God loves us so, so much, and He does lot’s of things for us that sometimes we don’t even realize. He doesn’t have to appear in all of His glory for me to know for certain that He is real, that He is actively doing things for us here on earth.  It’s in the little things, the tiniest of things, or things that could be a coincidence but would have about an 0.001% chance of happening. Like, for example, for a while I was studying the book of James, which is all about doing things for God and doing things for your faith, and then I went to Church and the sermon series was all about James! It was amazing, and I just know that it was God at work. I was contacted by somebody who read this, and she said that she had been working on judging, and learning about it in Sunday School, and then she read this about it, and she just knew that it was God at work. He is so amazing, how many other “gods” can assure people of their existence through these little things?

He is at work in the world, right now, just as He always has been. You know He’s not leaving it to us alone to bring people to Christ, though it is our job, He sure helps out a lot. Seriously. He provides opportunities, He gives us courage, and if we ask I’m sure that He’d be willing to put the right words in our mouths when we talk about our faith.  Sometimes He makes little, very unlikely but not impossible things happen so that we are reminded that He is real, He is there, and that we DO have a purpose in our lives.

He is amazing.

He is good.

He is all powerful, and He knows how to use His power in the right ways, at the right times, to do the right things, so that we may better fulfill our mission to bring the world to Jesus.

God,
Thank You for all the little things You do, that help us in such a big way. Help us to recognize those things, help us to truly realize how much you do for us. Thank You for letting us live in a country where we are free to exercise our faith. I love You.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Walking in the Light

As Christians we are walking in the light of God, and of Jesus. This means that we have to live differently from those who walk in darkness, or else what is the point of walking in the light, if the line between the two is so blurry and faded that there is not much difference? No, as Christians we are called to live differently then the rest of the world. We were sanctified by His blood (Sanctified: set aside for sacred use.). We are set aside from the world, by God, to help the world into the light.
To do this we ourselves must know exactly what the light is, and how to use it correctly. Do we use the fact that we are saved to condemn people? NO! We use it to save people!

Please look up 1st John 1:5-10

John uses “light” to symbolize holiness, goodness, kindness, basically the fruit of the Spirit, he uses darkness to symbolize evil.

Think about it, is your life showing the signs of the Fruit of the Spirit? Are you living in a way that would honor God?
If not then maybe you need to change a few things to help you to grow in your relationship with God. And that’s OK! Nobody is perfect (‘cept Jesus).

Dear LORD,
Thank you so much for a good life. Thank you for a country where we can worship You openly. Please help us to grow in our relationship with You, I love You.
Amen.

The Holy Spirit

Today I would like to talk about the Holy Spirit, something that is very important in our faith but often gets overlooked.

Please look up and bookmark:

  1. Romans 8:6,9, 14
  2. 1 John 1:7-9, 20
  3. Galatians 5:22-23

(These verses are numbered simple to link them to the numbered sections about them.)

1. When we first gave our hearts to Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us on earth, so the Spirit is in us. It is, and the mindset of the Spirit means the mindset of Jesus, which basically means that, as Christians, we think  about things differently than people of other religions. WWJD? Have you ever asked yourself that? If you have then you know that no other religion thinks like that, it’s something we do because of our faith and in doing so we are trying to be like Jesus and think like Jesus. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is inside us and that’s what it is meant to do for sure. What we have to do is really embrace the Spirit and let it become a true part of us, therefore getting the mindset of the Spirit. (verse 6-9) And those who are led by the Spirit? They are the ones who really act the way God wants His children to act. (Verse 14)

2. If we have given our life to Jesus, then we walk in the light, and we have the Holy Spirit in us. Again, this means that we should try to behave the way Jesus would, that includes sharing the Gospel with others.( Verse 7) “And you have been anointed by the Holy One, so that you have all knowledge.” This doesn’t mean you know everything, but you do know who is the Savior of the World, and you do know that there is a God, that is more than some people! So you have to share with them, just like Jesus shared His wisdom with as many people as He possible could.

3. The fruit of the Spirit! I love the Fruit of the Spirit, and have memorized these verses. Why? Because, as Christians with the Spirit in them, we should bear the Fruit of the Spirit. Or, in other words, have the characteristics listed here. A lot of people don’t link the Fruit of the Spirit to the Holy Spirit, or really understand what it means. If you don’t understand, just ask God for wisdom, and He will give it. (James 1:5).

Dear LORD,
There is so much about You that we do not know, or do not really understand yet. Please give us a willingness to learn, and the wisdom to know what is truly right. Help us to delve into Your Holy Word with eagerness, and never stop seeking You in all the wisdom You have so graciously given us in You word. Help us to understand that we are not alone in our walk of faith, there are so many people that we can ask questions and study Your word with, help us all to understand this. I love You so much! Thank you for all You have blessed me with.

 In Jesus’ Name,

                 -Amen.

God is amazing!

God has created such an amazing world! Have you ever seen some amazing clouds, or a view that’s amazing, and thought, “Wow God. Good job. Really good job. I have! I have included several pictures of nature that you might like. Next time you see or learn about something amazing that God made remember to praise Him for it!

Something you might consider trying if you live out in the country is getting up early and going outside, it is an amazing time to spend with God.

Confession and Forgiveness

Today will you please look up 1 John 1:5-10

I have been studying this section of 1 John lately, first for school (Hurray for Christian homeschool curriculum!), then on my own time. It is a wonderful section of scripture that basically sums up everything about confession and forgiveness, while touching a couple of other subjects.
I think today I’ll mainly cover verse 7, I actually like the King James version best, which is unusual. It says, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I love that! And it’s true! By sending Jesus down to die on the cross for us, God took away the punishment for all of our sins, as long as we confess.
It is very important we know what this word means, so here goes:

My definition of confession: Telling God that you did something wrong and admitting it was wrong.

Rooted and Grounded* definition of confession: Confession means that we agree with God about our sin. That is, we say, “Yes, God, I was selfish (or proud, or boastful, or whatever), and that was sin.”

Dictionary Definition: A statement acknowledging guilt.

*Rooted and grounded is my Homeschool devotional that I have been doing for the past few weeks. It is really good! It encourages me to dive deeper into subjects that are kind of considered the basics, subjects that I wasn’t really paying that much attention to before.

 It is important to confess with more than just our words, God can see our hearts, you know, and if we don’t mean what we say then it doesn’t count, to us or to Him.

Why can we know that we are cleansed from our sin? Well, have you ever been mad at somebody, or felt bad about something and you just had to get it off your chest, and once you did you felt better? I know I have.

And what does God say happens to our sin when we confess? He says it disappears, gone forever! How cool is that?!

We don’t have to spend hours confessing our sin everyday either, sometimes just a simple sorry after you, let’s say, spoke a harsh word to somebody. That sorry can mean as much as, “Oh my gosh! God, I was just harsh with somebody when it really wasn’t necessary. Please forgive me.”
You know, growing up that’s what sorry meant, for instance if I did something mean to my siblings I was told to go apologize, and, I don’t remember if it was because my mom told us to, or if it was because that is just what we did, but my siblings always told me they forgave me. So, in a way, sorry has become a confession in this family.
I think it would be OK if you just said a quick prayer every time you realized you had sinned, and then at the end of the day had a little discussion with God about it.

Dear LORD,
I know I am a sinner, I know that I have sinned. Please forgive me for those sins, and help me to avoid sin. Thank you for sending Jesus to save me from my sins, thank you so, so much. I love you.

Amen.