Grateful in Jesus

How Jesus helps us become more grateful…

Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!

Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon].

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].

Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you. —-Philippians 4:4-9

So, today I’ve been thinking about becoming more intentional about thanking You, Jesus, and… I want to live in an attitude of thankfulness like Philippians says. Your peace will guard my heart and mind – I will rejoice, I will focus on You, I will not fret but pray about everything. Life may not always be going “as planned.” There may seem like there is more downs than ups. However,  there is always one things I can be certain of being thankful for: You rescuing me from my sin and rebellion. Thank You, Jesus! AMEN!

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Stumbling into Grace Journal Entry 13 -Putting Down the Pen

…How Jesus Helps Us Become More Content…

If you’ve put your faith in Jesus Christ, you can enjoy deep contentment. We can bask and revel in the reality that we have been completely accepted and are totally adored by the Son of God. –Lisa Harper  (Thank You, Jesus!!)

So, today I’ve been thinking about putting down my pen and becoming more content with You as the author of my life, Jesus, and… May I be able to say what Paul does in Philippians 4:11-13

…I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

AMEN!

How is God teaching you contentment?

Stumbling into Grace Journal Entry 12 -Becoming More Honest

So, today I’ve been thinking about how I can be more authentic, Jesus, and …

I must first of all be more authentic with You. You know everything anyway!! However, You desire my honesty as my Savior, my Father, my Teacher, my Friend, my Lover… so You an heal me, grow me, prune me, help me, guide me, teach me… Jesus, have your way in my life, please!

Then I must be more authentic with Matt. He is a godly man who wants to know me better than any one else. (And thank You, Jesus, for that!) However, sometimes I choose to put on a happy face to either protect myself from pain or sadness or irritation. Sometimes it’s just because I’m too tired to be too real. Jesus, You gave me Matt, so please help me to allow his iron to sharpen my iron. As Your Word says in Proverbs 21:17 (NCV) “As iron sharpens iron, so people can improve each other.”

Lastly, I need to be more authentic with the dear family and friends You have blessed me with. In this area I also need Your wisdom because not all relationships are the same. Whom to trust? When to share? What to open up about? Thank You for the ones that even though we know each others’ secrets- hopes & dream, ups & downs, fears & failures -we STILL love and accept each other!

Amen!

Stumbling into Grace Journal Entry 11 -Becoming Less Critical

Hope for our ongoing stories… For the sake of the gospel and the sake of the mistake-prone people we rub shoulders with every day, Christians have to recognize that Christ alone has the perfect combination of righteousness and compassion to stand in judgement of the human heart. We have to remember the only One worthy of condemning us chose instead to pardon us. Only then – when we’re honest about the fact that apart from God’s grace we deserve to be damned too – will we find ourselves extending kindness instead of criticism. Only then will we be able to empty our bulging pockets of rocks. –Lisa Harper in Stumbling into Grace

So, today I’ve been thinking about becoming less critical and judgmental, Jesus,and…

The woman bought in adultery reminds me so much of myself. My sin is every bit as black as hers; I’ve just never been publicly exposed like that. Thank You for disciplining me privately and forgiving me lavishly. Thank You for applying holy ointment to my wounds instead of rubbing salt in them. Only the velvet chains of You love can keep my wondering heart faithful. So I pray as King David, please hem me in behind and before, Lord. And help me to extend some small measure of the grace You’ve given me to the people You place in my path. –Lisa Harper in Stumbling into Grace (I know, again! But she just seems to be writing from MY heart!)

Jesus, help me to live by these verses in how to and now not to respond to those around me…

**Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. –Ephesians 4:29 (MSG)**

I love the word picture “each word a gift”! It reminds me that what comes out of my mouth matters, and I need to be more careful.

**Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! –Romans 12:15-16 (NLT)**

Don’t you love it when people understand (or at least try to understand) how we are feeling. I do too! Also, I’ll emphasize the “don’t think you know it all” point for myself!! 🙂

Any thought from you, Readers?

Stumbling into Grace Journal Entry 10 – The Gift of Rest

So, today I’ve been thinking about the much-needed gift of real rest You offer us, Jesus, and…

I have much to learn in this important area. As Lisa Harper says in her book, “Busyness isn’t a Spiritual Gift”! Amen! Christians need to show the world something different. Let’s look in Your Word for more about rest…

**True rest comes through trusting in God**

Psalm 37:3-7 (AMP)

Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.

    Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.

And He will make your uprightness and right standing with God go forth as the light, and your justice and right as [the shining sun of] the noonday.

Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.

Psalm 91:1-2 (AMP)

HE WHO dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].

    I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!

**True rest comes through resting in God**

Psalm 23:1-3 (AMP)

 THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.

    He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.

He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him–not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.

Psalm 62:1, 5 (AMP)

 FOR GOD alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation….   My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him.

**True rest comes through experiencing God’s presence**

Exodus 33:14 (AMP)

And the Lord said, My Presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.

Psalm 31:19-20 (AMP)

Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear, revere, and worship You, goodness which You have wrought for those who trust and take refuge in You before the sons of men!

In the secret place of Your presence You hide them from the plots of men; You keep them secretly in Your pavilion from the strife of tongues.

**True rest comes through coming to Jesus**

Matthew 11:28-30 (AMP)

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]

Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.

For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

John 16:33 (AMP)

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

**True rest comes through the Spirit of God**

Isaiah 63:14 (AMP)

Like the cattle that go down into the valley [to find better pasturage, refuge, and rest], the Spirit of the Lord caused them to rest. So did You lead Your people [Lord] to make for Yourself a beautiful and glorious name [to prepare the way for the acknowledgment of Your name by all nations].

Stumbling into Grace Journal Entry 9 – The Gift of Community

So, today I’ve been thinking about Your generous gift of true friendships, Jesus, and…

I want to thank You for the blessing of friendship – family friends, old friends, new friends, always around friends, rarely seen friends but when we get together it’s like we’ve never been apart, friends to laugh with, friends to cry with,… Thank You “for the dear men and women who’ve helped lug me through life when I was too weak or scared or overwhelmed to propel myself alone. Please help me to be a better friend to my “pallet pals” by being slower to take offense and faster to forgive. And please help me to be more sensitive to those who need a lift, the ones who are having a hard time getting close to You on their own.” (from Stumbling into Grace)

Amen.

Stumbling into Grace Journal Entry 6-Forgiveness

So, today I’ve been thinking about the lavish gift of forgiveness You extend to sinners of all shapes and sizes, Jesus, and…

Wow! Just that sentence reminds me of how much I am loved! Thank You, Jesus! I want to live that out fully and be an example to others. Also, may I always remember that we are all loved lavishly (what a great word!), so please help me extend forgiveness like You do… LAVISHLY!

With all my love,

Sarah