It is a great testimony when others can simply look at us and see the joy and peace that resonates from within our being. So many times people go through life with a permanent scowl on their face forewarning anyone not to come near them. They have lost their sense of joy, their sense of excitement and their zeal for life has been diminished to almost nonexistent. That is a sour way to go through life. Life is to be enjoyed, it is to be relished, it is to be appreciated. We are to see the good that is before us and not only murmur and complain about the bad that is only temporary in nature. We have much to be grateful for. We have much to give God praise for, but the choice to give praise, to see the good, to bless the Lord lies solely within our hands. God will not force anyone to give Him thanks for their life. It is a conscious decision that we must make for ourselves. We have to see our abundance, we have to see our blessings, we have to see how fortunate we are so that we may recognize that our positives greatly outweigh any negatives that may be in our life presently. (Isaiah 61:3) (Deuteronomy 30:19)
No matter how tough a situation may seem right now I encourage you to look past it and see with your eyes of faith. See the good that is in your future, see the abundance that God promises to those who stay in faith, trust that every obstacle serves as a steppingstone to a better and brighter tomorrow. It is all within our control on how our days will be spent. They will either be spent in joy or in misery, in praise to God or in complaint to the One who has given us life and breath. Let us recognize our faults in focusing on the bad and strive to become better by seeing God's goodness and recognizing His great love for us. With all that God has created, with all of His marvelous works, the Lord has said that He only loves one thing and that is you and I. He didn't love creating the world, He didn't love the legions of angels that He created, but the Lord did say that He loved us. (Job 23:10-12) (Psalm 40:11-13) (Psalm 8:3-9)
His love is so great that He chooses to forgive us, have mercy upon us, be gracious unto us and give us a second chance even when we know we don't deserve it. That is a wonderful love that we can never fully understand, but thankfully exists to all those who open their hearts and minds to the Lord Jesus Christ. Be joyful my friend, be filled with Praise and Thanksgiving because God is good, His mercy endures forever and His grace reaches beyond even the greatest sinner. (Psalm 138:6-8) (James 1:2-5)
I hope this message inspires and challenges your heart to see the good that is in your life and give God thanks for the many blessings that you have been graced with in your life.
A CHILD WITHIN US
It was an annual winter tradition. Every year we packed the children into our family car and spent the day at "The North Pole at Pike's Peak," a year-round Christmas resort not far away. And each year they took turns on Santa's lap while we snapped pictures.
This wasn't any ordinary Santa, either. Maybe it was the real beard. Or maybe it was the twinkle in his eye when he talked to the kids. He came as close to the genuine Santa as anyone I can imagine. The kindly old man worked as Santa Claus at the resort all year round and, for our family at least, he was just about the real thing.
One year, after we finished with pictures, I said to him, "You must really love children."
"Yes, I do," he said. "And adults, too. Many adults want to sit with Santa for a picture!"
"Do you really have adults visit Santa?" I asked in amazement.
"Oh, yes," he replied. "As a matter of fact, one day 14 of the first 20 people who came to visit Santa were adults. All of us have a child inside of us. It's a terrible thing when you lose that."
I think I know what he meant. Children are enthusiastic. They've not forgotten how to have fun. And they still feel awe and wonder and excitement.
"It's a terrible thing when you lose that," he said. I don't think he meant that we are to be childish and immature - just childlike. There is a difference.
To be childlike is to be fun-loving and ready to get lost in the present. To be childlike is to be more innocent and trusting. Quicker to embrace life and love. To be childlike is to not yet be jaded by the world or too cynical about people. Those who are childlike laugh easily and often. They know there is plenty about this universe they may not understand, and that is okay. In fact, mystery is good. It fills them with awe.
My children eventually grew up and quit visiting Santa. A few years later I learned that he passed away. As it turns out, even an almost-real Santa doesn't live forever. I had the honor of speaking at his funeral service and remembered him that day as a man who always kept his childlike sense of enthusiasm, love and joy. He was one of the youngest people I knew.
I only hope I'm that young when I'm that old.
By Steve Goodier
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Psalm 138:6-8 "Though the LORD be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly: but the proud He knoweth afar off. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth Thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and Thy right hand shall save me. The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of Thine own hands."
Isaiah 43:18-19 "Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."
Joshua 1:9 "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."
Psalm 28:6-8 "Blessed be the LORD, because He hath heard the voice of my supplications. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him. The LORD is their strength, and He is the saving strength of His anointed."
Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today's Selected Poem: YOU MUSTN'T QUIT
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/enpoem157.htm
Today's Selected Testimony: I ALMOST DIED IN SIN
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony185.htm
In Christ's Service,
God's Work Ministry