Ponder A Little (Blog)
A blog that ponders the questions of Christianity, Christ and God's love for mankind.
|Posted on May 17, 2018 at 8:05 AM|
How can Christians be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thess. 5:18)? Is it possible? Does this even make sense? Are we supposed to be grateful for bad news? The death of a relative, the loss of a job, a terminal diagnosis. Surely God does not expect us to smile and boast gratitude for these events in our lives?
No, He doesn’t. God is not morbid. Jesus wept when his good friend Lazarus died (John 11:35). God does not expect us to be thankful FOR all our circumstances. He only expects us to be thankful IN all circumstances (1 Thess. 5:18).
Our lives are supposed to be rooted in a heart of gratitude. Job after suffering enormous loss declared, “God gives and takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). We can weep and experience the pain of loss while still having a mindset that recognizes God is in control, He is good and He knows what is best.
Having a heart of gratitude moves our thoughts off of ourselves and the pain of our circumstances. An attitude of gratitude is healthy and beneficial for us. It keeps us focused on God’s sovereignty and the bigger picture of life from God’s perspective. Because for Christians, all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).
So how do we create an attitude of gratitude? First, we need to make it a habit. Gratitude is an action, not an emotion! Giving thanks to God is something we have to condition ourselves to do regularly. Second, it is achieved through the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). By feeding on the Word of God every day, the Holy Spirit will inevitably renew our minds in many different ways. One way is to develop a permanent mindset of gratitude in all aspects of life – the good and the bad. The result is a personal, greater sense of well-being and the peace of God.
Nurture the attitude of gratitude in your life today!
|Posted on May 11, 2018 at 10:45 AM|
It’s been said that the surest test of our spiritual integrity is the personal intimacy with God we experience in our prayer life. We can possess immense theoretical knowledge of God that is never transformed into a personal intimacy of communication with God. This would be like living as a Pharisee. All head knowledge and no heart knowledge.
The great men and women of the Bible not only knew God, they conversed intimately with Him. Even Jesus spent hours alone with His Father in prayer. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he passionately prayed. How much more do we need to be intimate with God in prayer. Knowledge of God is never enough.
We should each have a burning desire to know God but not from solely the goal of attaining more knowledge. Our primary goal should be intimacy with God. An intimacy that is based on knowledge and proven in prayer. An intimacy that experiences God’s powerful presence in our lives as believers, each and every day.
|Posted on May 1, 2018 at 1:30 PM|
|Posted on April 22, 2018 at 9:10 AM|
|Posted on April 11, 2018 at 6:50 PM|
Pastor Ray Johnson from Bayside Church in Sacramento, California says there is a new idol in the church today and it is called ‘Safety’. He says society today teaches Christians to be afraid of so many things. And the fears we have, limit God’s ability to use us.
Many Christians don’t serve, don’t give, don’t witness, don’t take a stand, don’t take a risk and why? Because it isn’t safe! Our fears result in playing it safe, which then shrinks our lives, shrinks our impact on the world and even shrinks our God.
The early church described in the New Testament never played it safe. They were bold in everything they did and God blessed them for it. Even being arrested did not stop them from speaking God’s truth and sharing the Good News.
Boldness is the cure for the new idol of Safety that dominates the lives of many Christians today. Non-Christians are standing up boldly for many things they believe in, that are in complete contrast to the Word of God. The church feels overwhelmed and outnumbered so in fear they draw back for safety.
Instead we should be letting our voice be heard regardless of the consequences. We should be resting in the confidence of the Holy Spirit’s power within us and then do the right thing that God wants us to do.
There are many opposites to Boldness. Such as fear, cynicism, negativity, discouragement and pessimism. Some are subtle. But they are all negative traits that create a negative attitude that is spreading through our churches. And all these traits cause us to run for safety.
The idol of ‘safety’ is diminishing our impact on a lost world. It is limiting the power of God within us to make the difference we are called to make. Choose Boldness! God is Mighty!