The longer I live and the closer I get to the Lord, the more sins He exposes in me so I can get them cleaned up and right/forgiven/confess/repent before I face Him in eternity. It is very kind of Him to show me the error of my ways. And it is humbling. For that I am thankful and truly feel loved. But I wanted to share in case anyone else needs help seeing it in themselves.
I always thought of myself as funny- don’t judge me lol. I also am thr most positive and optimistic person I know. However, in all my “funny”, I have a strong tendency to sarcasm, which is a disguised spirit of griping. Think about it. I have made almost a science of pointing out what was wrong in a flippant but real way and having fun at their expense. I have been a griper. “Venting” is another area I have been guilty of griping and criticising. And I was convicted how guilty I was. And I read in the Bible that God hates this practice. In fact, He had the ground swallow a good chunk of Israelites who were grumbling in the desert after being rescued from slavery in Egypt. That tells me grumbling is sin and is hated by God. And this makes sense because it is the opposite of thankfulness and praise.
So, I have had a major re-adjustment, yet another come to Jesus moment. And I am now working aggressively on a spirit of appreciation and praise, an obedience God will love in me, an act of worship to the precious God who made and saved me. And I am so very thankful to grow and change and see another fault within me to work on for God’s glory. Praise God!!!❤❤❤
So we finished “30-Day Praise Challenge” in my Sunday school class (which was amazingly good) and now we are growing more together with a larger class and we are starting “Attitude is Your Paintbrush: It Colors Every Situation” by James W. Moore. And the reading for this week (the first chapter) is about the attitude of gratitude.
I like what the book says. It says that we are born ungrateful (and rather selfish) and giving thanks is a learned behavior. Some of us take longer to learn that lesson but a sign of spiritual maturity is when gratitude is automatic.
I detest that horrible song that was popular in the 90’s, “What Have You Done for Me Lately?” I cringe even now when I hear that. It is the epitome of selfishness and our natural coarsest impulse. And those of us who really love the Lord will always resist that inclination and instead dwell on our gratefulness for every situation. That is entirely our choice and a sign of growth and spiritual development and maturity.
As made creatures in a made world, we truly need to be thankful for everything, our breath, the good, the bad, all of it. As made creatures, God loves us despite our lowly state of being made, where He has always been and always will be. We should be thankful for all of it then, that the God who made us provides all we need and even many wants out of love for us. It is truly amazing and we should thank Him consistently with an attitude of gratitude. ❤
Nothing opens us up to closeness with the Father like praise. It focuses us on thr Lord and away from distraction faster than anything else I know. Praise builds intimacy with the Divine and restores focus and perspective to the most important Being in the universe, God. Nothing does so as quickly as praise. And praising God is easy because one could spend hours on any of His amazing traits/fruits of the Spirit, just in adoration and appreciation. God is worth our sacrifice of praise every day, many times a day. ❤❤❤
Ever really wanted to get out of your head? Or needed desperately to see anything good? Or ever get frustrated and wonder if you are the only one who really wants people saved and they do not seem to care at all, like life will go on forever on this planet? All of these issues can be resolved or at least greatly minimized in negative value by praising God. Here is how and why and proof…
Praising God focuses your thoughts on the Highest Power, Who happens to love you enormously. Such a focus on Someone so much more powerful, loving and yes, perfect elevates your mind from the menial physical world to the grand eternal one. When we do this, it puts things into their proper temporary perspective and the eternal spiritual world rises in prominence. When this happens, we are reminded that God who loves us wants and can help with anything we are going through. And this is liberating. We do not walk alone unless we chose to. Likewise, anytime, anywhere we can have the God of the universe answer our humble prayer we choose to pray and help us and just be with us. Proof is my life. When my dad and two beloved close friends died around the same time, I became depressed and withdrew from everything and everyone. I was numb and felt so alone and had no energy at all. This went on for some time and became habitual. Then God pulled me out and started me on a regiment of reading my Bible, then praying, then praising Him. Once I started that, my perspective changed in the ways I said above. And n it is legit, it is real that positive change and focus and healing occurs when we humble our hearts and praise God every chance we have. ❤
God never ceases being faithful. God always answers prayer and always knows how best to do that for everyone and His kingdom. Today, He answered yet another prayer for the church. The pastor was having to retire due to severe health issues and decided if he had to retire, no one would have his congregation and would destroy it. It is woundedness, sin sickness, grief all rolled into one. And I saw this almost instantly and started praying and fasting over it for the purity of the church and truth to come out. And God allowed the preacher to be dumb enough to send the truth and proof in hard evidence and was caught and will retire early with truth as the reason. And my next prayer is that He confesses to the congregation for his sake and the sake of the integrity of the church. We are very very forgiving. It is (or very well should be) our M.O. we forgive so Jesus will forgive us (see the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6). So praise God for answering yet another prayer!!!! God is worthy of all praise!❤❤❤
So, been comparing women’s Bible studies and looked at several books to possibly use for my Sunday School class, and I keep doubling back to the 30-Day Praise Challenge by Becky Harling (http://www.beckyharling.com). This book meant so much to me and I grew much closer to the Lord as it guides through praise verses in the Bible for focused praise for many topics. There is no substitute for praise and no greater therapy or tool for growth and healing than praising and focusing on God through life. I am so excited!😄❤
God chose for me to now lead a ladies’ Sunday School class. So next week I start with the Lord’s help. Sometimes we are put where we are needed, not for our benefit overtly but for the good of the kingdom of God. He is the most important part of everything and without Him, nothing good happens. He is in charge and I go where He leads. So praise God for seeing in me a humble enough spirit to want to work through. And may that always be for me and you and all of us who wear His name.
“Praise the Name of Jesus. He’s my rock! He’s my fortress. He’s my deliverer and in Him will I trust. Praise the Name of Jesus!” ❤