Today I am sharing Psalm 37:23-24. I chose the New Century Version in particular because of the beautiful translation of the last part: “If they stumble, they will not fall, because the Lord holds their hand.” It is comforting to know that no matter what you are going through, the Lord will always be there for us… like a loving Parent holding on to their child’s hand.
I was so excited about launching a new short series on Hospitality earlier this week that I was woefully unprepared for the arrival of Thursday. It seemed to sneak up on me when I wasn’t looking. Then, like a playful friend, it placed its hands on my eyes and asked: “Guess who? It’s Thursday! Time for His Encouragement for Your Thursday!”
What do you think of when you hear the word hospitality? Perhaps you recall a pleasant memory of a particularly fond visit with a family member or friend who seemed to have a special gift for making guests feel welcome and comfortable. On the other hand, maybe you want to invite family and friends over, but your life is so hectic and your house a total disaster and you’d feel ashamed if anyone saw it. But what if I told you that the secret to hospitality has nothing to do with your ability to keep a spotless magazine-cover home, buy fancy decor, or cook gourmet meals? Come learn the secret to great hospitality.
The Scriptures remind us repeated that God knows our hearts. He knows our needs, our thoughts, our tendencies, our habits, our strengths, our weaknesses. He knows our circumstances even better than we do. We can only see the here and now, but God sees the beginning and the end and everything in-between.
With only a few days left in the month of December, one year is ending and another is beginning. For many, this is the time for reflection and resolution. Whether your 2018 was amazing or terrible, filled with joy or sorrow, or a mixture of all of these, let us remember to always seek out the Lord’s blessings in our lives. That is why, as we close out 2018 and look forward to 2019, I pray that we all resolve to take Colossians 3:12-13 to heart. “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…”
This time of year we love to share the nativity story, but let us not forget the entire reason that Christ came to begin with. Why was Joseph directed to name the newborn Child “Yeshua”? Let’s find out!
One of the most powerful yet subtle ways that the Lord moves in our lives is through people. Today’s verse is from 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and reads: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
As I was contemplating what to share today, I was reminded of this little verse in Mathew 14:14. It is often overlooked because it immediately presides one of the great miracles of the Gospels: when Jesus feed five thousand people with two fish and five loaves of bread. But I want to focus on Mathew 14:14 today.
I do not know about you, but I find it very hard to stay sad, discouraged, upset, apathetic, hurt or any other negative feeling when I am praising the Lord. There is something about the very act of giving thanks to God, even when it seems we have very little to be thankful for, that lifts my mood, eases my burdens, and floods me with peace. It is not always easy to find things to be thankful for.
Today is November 1st, and as is my custom, I try to spend the entire month in a special spirit of thankfulness. We should be grateful all year long, but it is not uncommon throughout the world and human history for people to recognize a time of special thankfulness, usually around harvest time. In Biblical times, two of the major feasts outlined in Scripture were specifically connected with harvest and showing gratitude to the Lord for His blessings.