April 27, 2017

Anxiety

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Do not be anxious about anything
but in everything
by prayer and petition
with thanksgiving
present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6

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Brethren, the essential cure for worry is prayer.  And here are the  following reasons… Through prayer

1) we renew our trust in the Lord’s faithfulness by casting all our anxieties and problems on Him who cares for us

 

…Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

Matthew 6:25 – 34

2) God’s peace comes to guard our hearts and minds as a result of our communion with Christ Jesus

Then God’s peace,
which goes far beyond anything we can imagine,
will guard your hearts and minds
in union with the Messiah Jesus.
Philippians 4:7

You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on You,
    because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3

Colossians 3:15

3) God strengthens us to do all the things He desires of us

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

4) we receive mercy grace and help in time of need

Therefore let us draw near with confidence
to the throne of grace,
so that we may receive mercy
and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16

5) we are assured that in all things God works for our good

I am not saying this because I am in any need,
for I have learned to be content in whatever situation I am in.
Philippians 4:11

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good
to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

Therefore, I urge each one of us not to murmur and worry when we face the  adversaries of this life.  Take it to God in prayer.  He is the Author and Finisher of our faith.  And there is nothing hard for him.  All things are possible.  Remember He has all the power to change any situation.  He was able to part the Red Sea for the Israelites to pass through; is it impossible for Him to take care of that problem you have?  He was able to calm the storms; do you think He can’t calm your storms?  Remember He never changes.  He is always the same… yesterday, today, and forever.  Whatever He says He will do, He will do it.  He said to cast all your cares to Me and I will take care of you.  And He will.

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Dear Lord, we bless You, we glorify Your Name for there is not any other God besides You.  You are the great I AM, the immortal, the  invisible, the One who is sovereign.  We bless You for You are God. We thank You for the everlasting love and mercy You shower upon us. We give You all the praise, Lord.  Thank You for Your Word that shows us Your lovingkindness for as long as You shall take care of our petitions; we see Your greatness, dear Lord. We thank You for taking care of our anxieties.  Help us, Lord, to trust You with our lives and everything about us more and more in Jesus’ name.  We give You all the praise and all the glory.  Thank You, Father, for answering our prayers.  In Jesus’ name I have prayed.  Amen.

Thankful For the Blessing

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Don’t worry about anything;
instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need,
and thank Him for all He has done.
Philippians 4:6

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You know those ever familiar verses in the Bible?  …This is one of them. It’s one of those verses that we can hear so many times that we just say it, read it and hear it, but it doesn’t really resonate in our hearts or minds.  It’s easy to do this with the familiar.  This is one of the reasons why I like to switch up between reading the New Testament and the Old Testament.  Another word for familiar can be mundane—just normal, something you expect, nothing special.

We have to be careful with these types of attitudes when it comes to the Word and when it comes to God.  You remember that car that you prayed and prayed for, and finally God blessed you just in time with the car you needed.  You know the one that you now complain about having to change the tires, change the oil, get a tune up on, and fill with gas; right?  It can be easy to forget that what you were given was first a large desire and then a blessing. Philippians 4:6 says, “…thank Him for all He has done.”  So, we are to tell God what we need (or want) and then we are to thank Him for what He has already done. I feel that we are told to do this, because it is to help us remember that God is faithful and has shown us that He is faithful, but to also keep us grateful for all the Lord has helped us with and provided for us, AND it’s to help us keep a thankful heart.  Our mindset is just so different when we are focused on being thankful.  The Lord knows the human mind oh-so-very-well.  He is just amazing!!!

When’s the last time you thanked God
for a blessing He brought you?

Worry versus Thankfulness

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Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
Philippians 4:6 NLT

Do not be anxious or worried about anything,
but in everything [every circumstance and situation]
by prayer and petition with thanksgiving,
continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.
Amplified Version

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God does expect us to care about our lives (and about the lives of others).  But when that caring becomes filled with anxiety and fear, it is counterproductive and wrong.  Life presents us with many things to worry about—family, friends, relationships, jobs, finances…and on and on.  There’s no end to this list if we let ourselves go there.  However, God’s Word tells us to do something very different about all those things.  He tells us not to worry, not to be anxious about anything. That’s a tall order, but it is possible.  How?  God says, “Pray.”

I urge, then, first of all,
that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving
be made for all people.
1 Timothy 2:1

These Scriptures in Philippians and 1 Timothy tell us to pray about everything-–every circumstance, every situation, every person in our life.  We are to tell God about everything we need (and even the things we perceive we need.)  Why? Because He cares about you (each of us.)

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—
whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear.
Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?
Matthew 6:25

When we pray, our focus is more on God and His mercy, grace, and provision. The more we pray, the more our mind is filled with Him.  It leaves less room for worry.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You,
all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
Isaiah 26:3

How often do you start your prayers with “Thank You, God….”?  I know I do pretty often.  In spite of my needs at the moment, I have so much to thank God for that I can’t pray without saying, “Thank You.”  He gave me the gift of salvation many, many years ago.  God has protected my family and me over the years.  He has seen me through many trials, and supplied for my needs.  Because of His faithfulness in the past, I can trust Him to care for me now and in the future.  Even as I write this, I am compelled to stop and say “Thank You, Lord!”

During this Thanksgiving season, make it a point to “thank Him for all He has done,” (Philippians 4:6) for all He is doing, and for all that He will be doing in your life.  Then make it a way of life to thank Him daily.  When caring starts to turn into worry…stop and pray with thanksgiving…reminding yourself how much He has done for you, and how much He cares for you.  Prayer, petition, and thanksgiving will bring you closer to God and farther away from anxiety and worry.  That’s what we all want, right?

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Dear Lord God, as humans we are presented with things to worry about almost daily.  But You said, “Don’t!”  Instead of worrying, You said, “Pray!” And pray “…about everything!”  Lord, we need our hearts and our minds open to Your Holy Spirit to help us to pray without worry, and to pray with thanksgiving.  We have so much to be thankful for, and when we take time to be thankful our trust level goes up, and worry is pushed back.  That’s what we want, Lord.  Thank You for caring for us even beyond our comprehension.  May we grow in our trust that You will see us through the hard times.  You have done and are doing so much for us, thank You, thank You!  In Jesus’ Precious Name we pray, Amen.

With A Thankful Heart

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Do not be anxious or worried about anything,
but in everything [every circumstance and situation]
by prayer and petition with thanksgiving,
continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.
And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart,
that peace] which transcends all understanding,
[that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus [is yours].
Philippians 4:6 and 7

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With a thankful heart
And a song of praise
We’ve come to You
Gathered in this place
For the things You’ve done
And for who You are
We worship You with a thankful heart

So we lift up our praise
And we lift up our sacrifice to You
Lord, we offer our prayers
And we offer our lives in gratitude
For all You do
We worship You with a thankful heart

With a thankful heart
We will give You praise
You’ve been so good
Covered us with grace
You have been our strength
In a time so dark
So we worship You with a thankful heart

This Week…Psalms 136:1-3

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Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His faithful love endures forever.
Psalms 136:1-3

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Here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, we are focusing our thoughts for the next few weeks on giving thanks, gratitude, and being thankful.  This week our devotional writers have been so encouraging in reminding us that about our good God—Whose faithful love endures forever.  Please click on the indivdual links to read each complete devotional; here are a few excerpts from their thoughts….

In God’s Goodness, Ann wrote about our good God Whose love endures forever…

“This repeated refrain ‘His love endures forever‘ teaches us that God’s love is the foundation for all His actions on our behalf and the fountainhead of all our thanksgiving.  His love includes His mercy,  His faithfulness, and His kindness.  God, by His nature, is good.  We are seeing His love always.  He sent His Son to die for us…”.

In Aware of Being Thankful, Tina  encouraged us to recognize the opportunities we have to be thankful (and say so)…

“Everyday, every morning, before our feet touch the ground, we should give thanks to God for a new day, a new opportunity to praise and serve Him.  As we do this, our hearts will change, we will grow stronger in our faith walk…”.

In Steadfast, Cynda defined the word for us and gave us a broader understanding of God’s steadfast love…

“I don’t know about you, but there is nothing in my life, outside of God’s love, that is immovable…not subject to change…resolutely firm and unwavering.  Life seems to be constant change. How wonderful it is to know God’s love remains firm…”.

In What If, Ahmee shared a childhood game and the perspective it placed on thinking about God’s faithful love…

“Remembering that made me think…

  • What if God’s love did not endure forever?
  • What if God was not the only True God?
  • What if God’s love were not faithful?

Could you even begin to fathom what our lives would be like if God was not the way He is?..”.

God’s Goodness

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Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.
Psalms 136:1-3

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This repeated refrain ‘His love endures forever‘ teaches us that God’s love is the foundation for all His actions on our behalf and the fountainhead of all our thanksgiving.  His love includes His mercy,  His faithfulness, and His kindness.  God, by His nature, is good.  We are seeing His love always.  He sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16).  All for His love for us—the love that endures forever.

The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of His unfailing love.
Psalm 33:5

Being full of His unfailing love means not ever reaching a point of lack in all aspects of life because He is giving Himself fully to us.  It is only  when we realize this kind of love and meditate on this kind of love that we appreciate how deep the Father’s love is for us, how incredibly vast beyond measure.

Our God loves us with all His heart.  Let us reciprocate by loving Him,  too, with our inner being.  Let us not live a life that displeases Him but rather a life that is set on pleasing Him.

Some people depend on chariots, substituting other gods for the One True God.  Remember God is the only One who is good.

“Why do you ask Me about what is good?” Jesus replied.
“There is only One who is good.
If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.
Matthew 19:17

I just love how He loves us all! Even those that are living in sin He still loves them because He created them.  However there is judgement to them that are not in Christ Jesus. And those that are in Christ Jesus they testify of His love that endures forever for they shall not be judged and so the joys shall never cease.

Therefore let us choose, brethren, to live a life that pleases the Lord. We should love Him for He first loved us.  We should also exercise the same love and goodness to others for we are created in His own image and likeliness.  There has to be no difference.

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Father, we give You all the praise and all the glory for You are the great God, the ‘I AM who I AM,’ the all-knowing and always present God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth.  The earth is full of Your lovingkindness, dear Lord, and so we worship You.  Heavenly father, thank You for showing us Your goodness and mercy that endures forever in Your Scripture.  We love You and adore You; and thank You for the love that is given to us.  We pray for forgiveness for at times we have taken Your love for granted.  Teach us to appreciate Your love more and more.  And to love others and do good to them.  We adore You and give You thanks; in Jesus’ name we have prayed. Amen.

Aware Of Being Thankful

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 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalms 136:1-3

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Two weeks ago, one of the ladies I volunteer with on Thursday nights came in asking for prayer for her husband. He has leukemia and has received a bone marrow transplant. He is now in remission but is having  infections from his compromised immune system. In his most recent emergency room visit, they discovered nodules on his liver. He was to have a test the next day to determine if the cancer had spread. We all gathered around her and one of the young women prayed such a powerful prayer filled with God’s authority to take this disease captive and acknowledging that our bodies are not made to be diseased.  We all declared his body would be healed and that no cancer would be present.  How inspiring that was!  The following Saturday, I received a text from the wife saying the test was negative!  She gave praise to her heavenly Father for His faithfulness as did all on the text!
Think about this: If we are praising God with our mouth, can we speak words of criticism of others without a check in our spirit?  I think not. Everyday, every morning, before our feet touch the ground, we should give thanks to God for a new day, a new opportunity to praise and serve Him.  As we do this, our hearts will change, we will grow stronger in our faith walk. We will develop the courage to speak and declare God’s words over any and all situations.
With reference to Psalms 136:1-3, Matthew Henry’s Commentary states, “Whom we must give thanks to him that we receive all good from, to the Lord, Jehovah, Israel’s God (v. 1), the God of gods, the God whom angels adore, from whom magistrates derive their power, and by whom all pretended deities are and shall be conquered (v. 2), to the Lord of lords, the Sovereign of all sovereigns, the stay and supporter of all supports; (v. 3). In all our adorations we must have an eye to God’s excellency as transcendent, and to his power and dominion as incontestably and uncontrollably supreme.”
God is in control. When things do not seem to go the way we want, we need to stop and ask God if we are going our way, or His. Have we asked God what He wants us to accomplish for Him? It may not be easy. We may have to make sacrifices to achieve His way, but I imagine the rewards will be far better than anything else we could ever have imagined on our own.
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Father, we give You all the praise, honor and glory!  You are the reason we are here.  You have the ultimate authority in our lives.  You, Who put rulers in place, and can remove them.  Father, lead us, let Your Holy Spirit direct our paths when we seek Your will for our lives. Forgive us when we are prideful and forget to ask You.  Teach us to wait, be still, and listen for Your guidance.  Father, we forgive those who have wronged us; and, in so doing, we receive the blessings You have for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen!!!

Give Thanks

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Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.

His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
Psalms 136:1-3

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Give thanks to the Lord (for He is good)
For He is good
Give thanks to the Lord (for He is good)
For He is good
Give thanks to the Lord (for He is good)
For He is good
His love endures forever

His love will reign forevermore
His power will reign forevermore
His grace will reign forevermore
His peace will reign forevermore

His love endures forever (praise the Lord)
His love endures forever (Hallelujah)
His love endures forever

This Week…Colossians 3:15-17

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 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.
And always be thankful.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.
Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives.
Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
And whatever you do or say,
do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Colossians 3:15-17

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Here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, we are focusing our thoughts for the next few weeks on giving thanks, gratitude, and being thankful.  This week our devotional writers have been so encouraging in their reminders to always give thanks to God through our Lord Jesus.  Please click on the indivdual links to read each complete devotional; here are a few excerpts from their thoughts….

In Good Deeds, Ann posted a few excellent questions to consider regarding our actions, our deeds.  And reminded us of the reasons…

“Sisters, it is good to do good deeds to everyone around us as it gives glory to God…”.

In God’s Peace, Tina shared Jesus’ example of peace…

“I like how Jesus always paced himself.  Taking the time to pray…being intentional about it.  Jesus always had a peace about Him…”.

In Thankful Representatives, Clella encouraged us to be thankful and draw others to Christ…

“When we live in peace, joy, thankfulness, and God’s wisdom, we will be representatives that show the world around us our God of love. With thankful hearts, we can sing, speak, and do that which draws others to Christ…”.

In Be Thankful, Ahmee reminded us of a few of the many things we do have to be thankful for…

“We can decide to focus on what we do have or what we don’t have.  When we choose to focus on what we do have we are generally going to find ourselves in a happier disposition than if we focused on the negative…”.

Be Thankful

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And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.
And always be thankful.
Let the message about Christ in all its richness, fill your lives.
Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives.
Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
And whatever you do or say, do it as representative of Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Colossians 3:15-17

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When I first read this passage, verse 15 stuck out to me, “…and let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”  The part that I got stuck on was “…and always be thankful.”  I know it’s cliché to say that you should always be thankful—but you should.  It’s so easy to say that you have nothing to be thankful for when you aren’t focused on the bigger picture.

When you focus on what you don’t have it’s easy to forget what you already do have.  For instance, perhaps you want a new car, but you just can’t afford it.  Yes, it would be helpful, but you can still be thankful for what you do already have.

  • Do you have a ride to work? Be thankful.
  • Do you have a vehicle that just needs some fixing up? Be thankful for that.
  • Do you have working legs that can get you to work? Be thankful for that.

Maybe your circumstances might not be exactly the way that you want them to be right now, but at least you do have.  And that is something to be thankful for.

When you can’t find anything at all to be thankful for, the very basic thing to be thankful for is mere life.  Of course, you could say that you would be better off dead…but at this point it’s time to realize that you are having a pity party and it’s time to leave this event.

Being thankful is something that is so simple to do, but it also so simple to not do. It is a choice that we have to make.  We can decide to focus on what we do have or what we don’t have.  When we choose to focus on what we do have we are generally going to find ourselves in a happier disposition than if we focused on the negative.  So be thankful.