Tag Archives: prayer

Investing in Blessings

 

INVESTING IN BLESSINGS

By Carolyn Dale Newell

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord,

Jeremiah 29:11-14a NKJV

Do you ever feel as if your spiritual gas tank is running on empty? Does it seem like your prayers go no further than the ceiling? Is your bank account of blessings almost overdrawn?

At times, we may reach a spiritual lull. That should send up a red flag. Warning lights should flash as sirens blast. Something is just not right.

The causes can be numerous, but let’s examine the most likely culprit. We have a deceptive enemy who strives to pull us away from God. Any of the following symptoms can be attributed to our adversary: times of prayerlessness, a decline in church attendance, slack in Bible reading, or sin.

Satan may already have a stronghold in your mind (2 Cor. 10:4). Don’t despair! God has given us spiritual weapons for the tearing down of strongholds. Prayer and the Word of God will put us back on track. And if there is sin in our lives, God is faithful and just to forgive when we repent (1 John 1:9).

As our verses from Jeremiah tell us, God has plans for us. Plans that include a future and a hope. The next verse directs us to pray and seek God. God isn’t a cosmic Easter bunny hiding eggs from us. But we must invest ourselves. We must give God our time, our lives, our money, and our all.

Consider your 401K. Your return is based on your investment. A person depositing $100 may earn $10. The individual contributing $1,000 may earn $100. The more you invest, the more you earn.

Look at a farmer who plants a full acre of crops. He tends to his crops and reaps the harvest.

But a farmer who only plants half of that acre and pays little attention to it will reap a much smaller harvest.

When we fill our days with everything but God, can we really expect him to bless us? God loves us. He desires to commune with us. He wants an intimate relationship with us, His favored sons and daughters.

I have wonderful news! You can start anew today. Get alone with God. Tell Him how you feel. He won’t rebuke you. Ask Him to help you in your desire to spend more time with Him. You will be met with interruptions and distractions as you devote more energy to the Lord.

A life invested in God will be a life of rich blessings. Maybe not worldly riches. Maybe not wealth. Maybe not a trouble-free life…definitely not a trouble-free life. But a life rich in God.

Lord, forgive us for distance. We yearn to draw near to You knowing You will draw near to us. Guard our precious moments together. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.

HIKING THE TRAIL

When you begin to devote more to God, the enemy will counter attack. What can you do to be prepared for this temptation and battle? I keep in mind that He will seek to steal that time or money away, and when it occurs, I know it is the enemy, and I stand firm.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Throwback Thursday: The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

 

THE SACRIFICE OF THANKSGIVING

Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,

And declare His works with rejoicing.

Ps. 107:22 (NKJV)

I never thought of thankfulness as a sacrifice until I began to study this verse. In the Old Testament, sacrifices of thanksgiving were made with unleavened bread (Lev. 7:12). However, in the New Testament, we are supposed to be “living sacrifices” (Rom. 12:1).”Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Heb. 13:15).

Do we give the thanks and praise to God that He deserves? No, because we can never thank or praise Him enough for our salvation, not to mention everything else. I think of the many times when my husband has hit the brakes to avoid an accident when we are traveling, and I quickly ask God for help. How do I thank Him? “Thank You, God.” That is not a sacrifice. Some definitions of sacrifice are surrender or take a loss. Spending more time in prayer thanking and praising God would be a sacrifice of time. Time is an important commodity in our busy world, and we need to give God more of it.

We have so much to be thankful for. How can we not spend the time necessary to thank God and praise Him? He has saved us, rescued us from hell. Certainly, a Christian’s life is not a garden of roses, but how could we get through the bad times without His grace? He is our protector and our provider. Through Him, we have joy and peace which the world cannot understand.

There are so many people who need prayer, but once in a while, pray without asking God for anything. Just begin thanking Him for all that He has done. You will leave the throne of grace rejoicing and feeling greatly blessed.

Heavenly Father, We praise You, and we thank You for salvation, provision, grace, protection, strength…May all the glory, honor, praise be to You! Amen!

DIG DEEPER

Read Lev. 7:12 and Rom. 12:1-2. Meditate on these verses.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What are some ways that you can make your thankfulness to God a sacrifice? Begin today and make it a habit.

 

Copyright 2014 Carolyn Dale Newell.