★ Thought for the Day – Begging God For_____? ★

As we come to the closing of another year, and the festivities begin with Thanksgiving tomorrow, and then right around the corner Christmas…I wanted to tap the breaks to help us get ready for that all important day that occurs in between….you guessed it Black Friday!  I saw this comic and thought it was priceless…and so true.  A little Black Friday humor!  I don’t know about you, but I do not subscribe to camping out all night or getting up at the crack of dawn to fight the crowd88 - Daily Dependence - Black Friday Realitys in order to get a great deal.  Now anyone who knows me, knows I always hunt for a deal and then will even try to negotiate the price further.  In fact my cousin even referred to me as Dave Ramsey Jr…but you will not see me captured on the news running through a Wal-Mart at 5 am for door buster deals.

So what is on your Christmas list?  What is the one thing you must have?  Maybe a LCD Flat Screen TV? A Coach hand bag?  A Fitbit, to enhance your workout?  Maybe a Self-Balancing 2 Wheel Scooter or a Drone/Quadcopter?  Whatever it is, you can be sure the desire for it has been feed by the incessant Black Friday marketing on which store has the best deal.  I was sick of the commercials before we even got out of October and we still have another month to go.  Tonight my wife and I made a run to the Target, and as we passed Home Depot they were in full swing selling Christmas trees in the parking lot…ugh…I want to transition from the red-faced child screaming “Daddy I want this _____” in the toy section, to what we do to God in our prayers.  Do you find your prayers centering on stuff or a job promotion or finding a spouse?  Do you pray to God with a transactional attitude that you bring a checklist of items for Him to grant?  Or do you pray to Him with a relational attitude that you want to grow closer and get to know God?  There is nothing wrong with asking God to be promoted or to find a spouse but when it is the only reason you talk with Him that is the problem.  What I hate more about the crowds on Black Friday is what the day turns people into…irrational, crazed shopaholics!  88 - Daily Dependence - Black Fridat MadnessIn the ★ Thought for the Day – Keeping Up With The Joneses? ★, we delved into the need to be content with what God has provided for us.  Proverbs 30:7-8 (NLT) is one of my absolute favorite verses on this subject, which says,

"O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die.  First, help me never to tell a lie.  Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!”
“O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die.  First, help me never to tell a lie.  Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!”

What would happen if instead of begging God to grant all of our greeds, we would selflessly pray for God to change our hearts to want what He wants…integrity and contentment?  A prayer I pray daily is for God to make me more like Him…to be a better husband, a better father and a better servant to all.  Proverbs 30 is so powerful; I especially love verse 9 that says,

“Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?”  And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.”

How different would our lives be if we embraced this wisdom?  The bridge between going to God for our greeds, to our needs is a grateful heart.  Psalms 100:4-5 (NLT) says,

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good.  His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation.”

Too often we get consumed with what we don’t have instead of being thankful for what we do.  I know myself I get lost sometimes looking at the bank account and wishing there was more money and not appreciating all that God has done for me.  It is a natural feeling to long for more, or to get twisted up comparing our situations with others but God doesn’t want that for us.  He longs for us to get our priorities straight and trust in Him to be our provider, releasing all our anxieties.  The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Steven Furtick made this profound statement about this verse…

“One of the reasons we’re so anxious about what’s coming, is because we’re not thankful enough for what we have.  And so Paul says, if all you ever pray about is what you need but never stop and thank God for what you have, you’ll always be anxious.”  

Amen!!  There is such wisdom in that statement!  I know myself whenever I shift my focus from God and to my circumstance, anxiety always results.  Verse 7 of Philippians 4 goes on to say,

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Stephen Furtick went on to say,

“We all want the ‘peace of God’ in verse 7, but to get that, we need to first go through verse 6, and be thankful for what God has provided for us.  It is all about having the right    perspective with our priorities aligned with God’s.”`

When we were in at the First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX, I saw this plaque and it got me thinking…

“What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?”

If that were true, how much would be gone when the alarm clock broke the silence at 4:30 am?  It is really convicting to me.  Cultivating a heart of gratitude really is the key, I would like to reverse this Thought for the Day and pose this question to you…

88 - Daily Dependence - I Am Thankful forFor me I am so grateful for the life God has blessed me with – a beautiful wife and wonderful children, a great home and job…words cannot express my thankfulness!  Most of all I am thankful for who I am in God!  The late, great motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar said,

“The greatest source of happiness is the ability to be grateful at all times.” 

As we, as a nation set aside tomorrow for giving thanks, I would like to challenge us to do what Zig Ziglar said “to be grateful at all times,” and in all circumstances.  Let your thankfulness be not just once a year, but all 365 days!  In keeping with this philosophy, starting on December 1, 2015, we will be starting a 25 Day series where we will delve into the Reasons for Thankfulness for the coming Advent Season.

88 - Daily Dependence - 25 Days of Thanksgiving

You can see the first post here: ★ Day 01 – Reason for the Season – Why Do We Celebrate?

Or see them all (including this one) by clicking here…Reason for the Season

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

★ Thought for the Day – The Will of God is… ★

Many people ask this question…“What is God’s will?”  There are tons of books written on the subject, and an endless amount of sermons, but all you really need to do is look in God’s Word, the Bible for the answer.

In John 6:35-40 (NLT),

Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.  But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. 

However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.  For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.  

And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those He has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. 

For it is my Father’s will that all who see His Son and believe in Him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”

God’s will is easy to know, He wants every single person to accept and believe in His son Jesus, and to spend all of eternity with Him in Heaven.  What an incredible picture of a loving father this is…God loved us so much that He sent His son to earth to create an easy way for us to be reconnected to Him.  He does not want to see even one person lost.  That is what we, as followers of Jesus, we should be actively looking for ways to reach lost people, who are far from God.

I heard and amazing sermon called “Whatever Whatever” from Stephen Furtick in which he stated it this way…

 “The will of God is really very simple…when I walk in His ways, I will always be in His will…When you’re in God’s ways, you’re in His will.”

That is the key!!  Walk in God’s ways and you will be in His will.  The problem is when we try to do things our way, that is when we stray off course and become lost.  The decision is cut and dry, black and white, there is 52 - Daily Dependence - God's Way Vs My WayGod’s Way and My Way.  When I chose the latter, I then have to deal with the consequences.

Jesus came down from Heaven and became a human being to show us God’s will and He walked in His ways, always doing God’s will, not His own, even to the point of death.  If Jesus could do that for us, could we not at least extend an invitation to someone to come to church with us, or pray for the people in our lives that we know are far from God, or share with someone our testimony of what God has done in our life?  You never know, you may be the only person in their life to share with them about the love of God and the saving power of Jesus Christ.

I will finish this thought from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT),

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

52 - Daily Dependence - 1 Thessalonians 5-16-18

Check out ★ Thought for the Day – Anxious to Do the Will of God? ★ that is a great followup to this post.