Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I can't believe it!

by Doug Nichols

On a recent Saturday here in Seattle (believe it or not, it wasn’t raining), I stopped at a garage sale and picked up quite a few tools, stuffed animals and toys for ministry among needy children and the poor in the Philippines.

I was also very please to find a brand new leather-bound Life Application Study Bible which was still in the box! The price tag read $95 which I was able to purchase for only $10. This will make some needy pastor in the Philippines very happy; to be able to have a Bible to help him in the study, teaching and preaching the Word of God.

Even though it is wintertime, perhaps God will direct you to excellent bargains for toys, clothes, hygiene items, books, tools, shoes, and so forth, for God’s people overseas to be effectively used, not only in their personal life, but also in ministry of the gospel and compassionate care to the millions of the poor.

“Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans . . . in their troubles . . .” (James 1:27 NLT).

“They went out for the sake of His name . . . therefore, we ought to help such men, that we may be fellow workers with the truth” (3 John 7-8, nasb).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dear You hear about ... "Cherry pie for breakfast!"

Recently a friend told us a story of how after she was married for some time, she discovered that her husband’s favorite dessert was cherry pie. In fact, he liked it so much that he mentioned he could eat it for breakfast!

Soon afterwards, his wife got up early and baked a cherry pie for her husband for his breakfast to express her love for him.

I like cherry pie and so does my wife, but I do not think either one of us would enjoy it for breakfast. However, the story is a good one and holds a great truth, doesn’t it? Do we go the extra mile to bless people in the Name of Christ with things they might like to see, eat, or enjoy, simply as a way of expressing our love, appreciation and thankfulness to God for them?

Saying “thanks” and “I love you” is important, but it is even more important to express your love, thankfulness and appreciation to others by doing something for them.

God showed His love for us by giving us His all – His Son! “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son….” (Galatians 4:4 NASB)

So, are you going to be making a cherry pie soon?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Do you go to God with small matters, as well as big?

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Recently I woke up late at night meditating on this wonderful passage in Proverbs 3:5-6. What a wonderful, encouraging, as well as convicting passage of Scripture.

The next morning I went through Proverbs 3 again and read several commentaries on this passage. The saintly Matthew Henry, in his commentary on the verse, states that so often we only go to God with the big things that we consider to be important, rather than relying upon God on everything; even the small things.

I was bothered by a certain “small thing” that morning as I needed to take out the four heavy back seats of our van to make room for nearly $2000 worth of used Christian books that had been donated by a church for needy pastors in the Philippines. I was scheduled to speak at the church the next day. They had the books ready for me to load into our van after the service, yet I did not know how to remove the seats. To make things even more difficult, my hands are arthritic and I am dealing with high blood pressure which made the task even more frustrating.

As I was struggling as to what to do, I prayed, “Lord, to many people this may be a simple thing, so maybe it is. So will you help me figure out how to get the seats out of the van so I can load the books for needy pastors in the Philippines?”

I went back into the house to do more study for the message I was to give the next morning. After I had warmed up a bit, I put on a pair of work gloves and went out to try to figure out a way to remove those heavy seats.

Believe it or not, the seats were out and safely stored on our back porch out of the rain within ten minutes! I was even able to phone my strong and younger friend who had volunteered to help to let him know that he would no longer need to come as the job was done!

Yes, in all things we are to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”. I guess this might include abilities and strength.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

31 Reasons Why Believers Should Give Thanks

1.Because God is good. “O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (1 Chronicles 16:34)

2.Because it is a correct response to God's righteousness. “I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.” (Psalm 7:17)

3.Because the Lord helps us. “The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.” (Psalm 28:7)

4.Because thanksgiving glorifies God. “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” (Psalm 50:23)

5.Because His name is good. “Willingly I will sacrifice to You; I will give thanks to Your name, O LORD, for it is good.” (Psalm 54:6)

6.Because thanksgiving magnifies God. “I will praise the name of God with song And magnify Him with thanksgiving.” (Psalm 69:30)

7.Because God is near to us. “For the choir director; set to Al-tashheth. A Psalm of Asaph, a Song. We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks, For Your name is near; Men declare Your wondrous works.” (Psalm 75:1)

8.Because God will ultimately deliver His people from their enemies. 'So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture Will give thanks to You forever; To all generations we will tell of Your praise.” (Psalm 79:13)

9.Because it is a good thing to do. “A Psalm, a Song for the Sabbath day. It is good to give thanks to the LORD And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High...” (Psalm 92:1)

10.Because God is faithful to all generations. “For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)

11.Because Gods steadfast love endures forever. “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (Psalm 107:1)

12.Because of God's wondrous works. “Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!” (Psalm 107:8)

13.Because God is salvation. “I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, And You have become my salvation.” (Psalm 118:21)

14.Because he is our God. “You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You.” (Psalm 118:28)

15.Because God has exalted His own name and His word. “You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You.” (Psalm 138:2)

16.Because thanksgiving is a characteristic of righteous people. “Surely the righteous will give thanks to Your name; The upright will dwell in Your presence.” (Psalm 140:13)

17.Because we are His workmanship and the recipients of His mercy. The LORD is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works. All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD, And Your godly ones shall bless You.” (Psalm 145:9-10)

18.Because His anger has been turned away from us. “Then you will say on that day, 'I will give thanks to You, O LORD; For although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, And You comfort me.'” (Isaiah 12:1)

19.Because of Jesus' example of giving thanks. “And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, 'This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.'” (Luke 22:19)

20.Because others have heard an account of faithful believers. “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.” (Romans 1:8)

21.Because we are no longer slaves to sin. “But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,” (Romans 6:17)

22.Because we see God's grace working in other believers. “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus...” (1 Corinthians 1:4)

23.Because we are given victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. “...but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians15:57)

24.Because of answered prayer. “For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe's people, that there are quarrels among you.” (2 Corinthians 1:11)

25.Because God worlds through believers to spread knowledge of Himself. “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” (2 Corinthians 2:14)

26.Because we are commanded to give thanks always and for everything. “...always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father...” (Ephesians 5:20)

27.Because it is God's will that we give thanks always and for everything. “...in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

28.Because we see God's love demonstrated by other believers. “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater...” (2 Thessalonians 1:3)

29.Because God entrusts us with the task of serving Him. “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service...” (1 Timothy 1:12)

30.Because we remember believing friends. “I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers...” (Philemon 1:4)

31.Because we have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken. “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe...” (Hebrews 12:28)

Know that the LORD Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; his lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:3-5

All Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thanks for Talking Nicely About Your Wife!

Recently I visited a senior center in the Seattle area to register my 98-year-old father-in-law for one of its programs. While at the center, I had a cup of coffee and got into a discussion with three of the volunteer cooks. I happened to mention something about my wife, Margaret, and they asked, “How long have your been married?”

I replied, “forty-three years!” I mentioned how wonderful it is to be married to such a wonderful lady!

Later, as I walked to the parking lot, one of the cooks was also walking to her car. She stopped me and said, “I want to thank you for talking about your wife so nicely!We were all so encouraged.”

She went on to say, “Wives always appreciate kindness and love from their husbands.”

I later thought what a small thing this was and how speaking nicely about someone else encourages all those who hear.

Our speech, as God’s people, should always be seasoned with salt, giving grace to those who hear.

Colossians 4:6, Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt ...