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Posts Tagged ‘good works’

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.2 Give thanks to the God of gods, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords, For His lovingkindness is everlasting

Psalm 136:1-3 (NASB)

Daily Theme

Thank God for His everlasting and enduring love.

Give Thanks

Read Psalm 136 & meditate on God’s love, mercy, and lovingkindness. Spend some time reflecting on how God spoke with you through His Spirit to keep you grounded when you wanted to lose it or to help you remain steadfast when you felt like it was just all too much to handle. Think on it and thank God for where His love, mercy, and lovingkindness helped you endure and embrace your own challenges in your life.

For His lovingkindness is everlasting repeats over and over again in Psalm 136. It is equivalent to the modern popular music’s hook. But it creates a sense of assurance for the Bible reader. It makes its case crystal clear to the newly enlightened person of the faith. Read the blog of the Psalmist and see it in the shared poems and other expressions. It simply helps us to know that God’s love is here to stay and that this very same love is available to us all as we accept Him as Lord and Savior in our lives.

Give Back

Praise the Lord & invite others to join you in worship. Go beyond just a shared worship experience with others from within your congregation. Go to someone and ask them will they join you for worship today.

What that looks like might be different where you are. You might be able to attend worship in the sanctuary or outdoors. You might be in an area that restricts worship due to curfews and health regulations during this period of increased COVID-19 cases. Whether it be in-person or online, invite someone to join you and share in the worship experience together.

Go Beyond the Norm

Take things up a notch and invite someone to church, but also go beyond that. Pick up them for church services or invite an elderly person to brunch. You might be offering them the only interaction that they will get with another person all week. Do not neglect the fact that a small task or gesture on your end can carry so much meaning to someone else. As Judy Dykstra-Brown lays it out in her blog post, our actions prove our beliefs. Let your actions speak volumes about your faith.

This has been an adventurous journey this week. Look back at all that has transpired and what you have been able to do. Thank God for the opportunity to provide a blessing to someone else. Thank Him for equipping and endowing you with what you needed in order to bless someone else. Continue to look for those opportunities to show compassion and the love of Christ through your service and good works just like it is said in Drawing Closer to Christ and Lisconnect. Even if the other person does not take you up on your offer, you have been obedient to the leading of the Spirit and what God has called you to do.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

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You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

– Psalms 145:16

Daily Theme

Thank God as your provider for all your needs.

God’s name Jehovah Jireh means “God the Provider.” “It’s the name given by Abraham to the place where he had sacrificed a ram provided by God, instead of his son Isaac ( Genesis 22:14 ). The meaning plainly is that the Lord sees and provides for the necessities of His servants,” according to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Giving Thanks

The Book of Psalms has plenty examples of thanksgiving within its pages upon pages of praise to the Lord. Read Psalm 145:16 & thank God for meeting your needs day by day. Truth2Freedom’s blog expresses it through a list of passages with thanksgiving and gratefulness, while Period Pastor Pad has been reflecting on the Book of Psalms since Lent of 2020 amid church closure due to the pandemic.

This season has taken many names and labels but I believe that we must watch and guard ourselves against what Daily Disciple called ” a season of discontentment.” Aside from being Black Friday, you know that there are daily necessities that God meets for you. Take a moment to thank God for the daily needs He provides for you. Thank God for His provisions that make your life smoother and easier. Thank God for all that He has done on your behalf. As CFoster20 simply put it in a recent post from earlier in November: Let’s be grateful.

Giving Back

Instead of buying items for your Christmas list, donate clothing or food. Give away old clothing that fills your closets that you will never wear again or better yet fit again. Give away canned goods and other nonperishable items to food drives or food banks in order to address hunger and food insecurity. Give back to help others today as a sign of your gratefulness for God’s provision for you and your family. Try to match God with your giving back. After all, the song says that you can’t beat God giving.

Go Beyond the Norm

Provide clothing or food directly to people on the street in your community. Meet people at the point of their need and embrace the opportunity to share with them. Take advantage of an extra day off if you have it and enter the streets with bundles of blankets and jackets, even socks, to share with people on the street and simply be a blessing to someone else today.

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DAILY THEME: Thank God for sharing His Word with us

Giving Thanks

Read Psalm 119 throughout your day It is a psalm that has the Word of God, His laws, His precepts, and His statutes at its core. It was used as encouragement by the Christian Fiction Girl Blog. A Child Shall Lead Them stressed the importance of teaching the Word with Psalm 119:11.

Psalm 119 consistently and repeatedly directs the reader to the Word of God. Use it for your morning devotional reading. Dive into it during your lunch breaks. Take it via audio Bible resources like Faith Comes by Hearing or YouVersion on your drive home from work today. Find a way to take in His Word and let it stick.

Giving Back

Share the Word with someone today.
Don’t hold back. Just share it.
Use whatever you have as a means of sharing the Word.
Go on TikTok or IG Stories and read a verse or two.
Take to Facebook Live or Instagram Live and offer up your favorite verse.
Tweet your favorite words from the Scriptures with a link to the full chapter on sites like Biblegateway or Studylight.
Go Beyond the Norm:
Inbox or DM someone with your favorite verse and what it means to you. Make it a personal appeal to share the Word with someone. Let it be a direct share between you and that one person. And make yourself available for the possibility of the person asking questions of you. You never know how much it might settle on someone’s heart and make their day today.
Check out more with our training download available online.

Just in Case

The Spirit might have pricked your heart and motivated you to do something. But that also might present you with another dilemma. You might not have planned anything for this season or this week of good works.

Don’t sweat it too much. You can still do something rather than give up and do nothing. You can actually partner with another church or local service agency. Or, you can still do your own thing by piggy-backing on another group’s project or event like a food giveaway.

Be sure to download the Partner or Piggyback Tip Sheet for more information on how to make that happen this week.

#GivngThanks #GivingBack

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Today we start with Sunday as the kickoff for our Fall 2020 seasonal campaign Giving Thanks by Giving Back. It is so appropriate to do so.

Why?

Sunday represents the day when most faithful Christians make their way down the aisle and into the pews to hear a stirring medley of hymns and spiritual songs and a soul-stirring sermon. That was at least the case before COVID-19 hit us in the spring of this year. Ever since we have been under the attack of the coronavirus, we have managed to worship differently. The CDC and county health officials have become additional sources of guidance for how churches operate with the designation that terms them as non-essential businesses within their communities. Regulated to outdoor or online worship services, depending on the locale, the church has taken a hit due to coronavirus.

Add the tension and division over the recent election and a summer full of protests regarding Black lives Matter, police reform, anti-masking, and Trump rallies and parades to the disheartening and discouraging effects of coronavirus with evangelical Christians split on nearly each and every item listed and you have the makings for the church in need of a come to Jesus meeting of its own. It’s high time that the people of God turned their attention to the very things that God called them to proclaim and produce rather than proliferate and pontificate rhetorical rants about ballot counting, turning the red states blue, and election fraud conspiracies.

It’s time that we as the people of God get back to God’s business. I love what C. H. Spurgeon said with such simplicity: “The business of the church is salvation. . .Our main business is winning souls.” John Wesley similarly surmised, saying: “You have one business on earth- save souls.”

So let’s get to it without wasting any time. Let’s take our day of worship and kick things into gear for a week of works.

Download a copy of our latest training presentation.

Think about it from a different perspective. This is the prime opportunity for us as believers to gather in His name, and then take all that has inspired and edified us from that gathering to go out into the world and spread goodwill through good works. We could turn the world upside down while altering the perception of Christians as hate mongers who want to protect Second Amendment right to bear arms a little bit more than the pro-life sentiment of anti-abortion. Our faith is so much more than modern worldviews and social-political confrontations. It is on us to show the world the core of our faith in action as we serve, providing a living breathing example of good works before their very eyes.

Let today serve as a day where we enlighten the world and encourage the world as we let our light shine. Let today start new beginnings of new ministries designed to serve more of the “least of these” while providing an open opportunity for us to “look after orphans and widows in their distress.” Make today the day where you make a difference and make an impact.

Start today by giving thanks by giving back.

#GivingThanks #GivingBack

Learn More About the Campaign

NOTE: A big thank you to bloggers like Dan Zimmerman, The Simple Preacher’s Blog and other folks whose blogs I have linked here. Your posts say so much more on the subjects than I could convey on my own, so I appreciate your work and efforts to communicate with the world at large on the things at hand and on your heart and mind.

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I had the pleasure of presenting our Fall 2020 campaign Giving Thanks by Giving Back yesterday. The livestream was an opportunity for me to present and pray over the project with an open and earnest heart for the work ahead. As always with our Life Path Multimedia livestreams, the recording remains available via YouTube. A copy of the presentation is available for download online.

Good works are part of our calling as believers. StopAndPrayTV speaks on being fruitful in our good works, every single one of them. The reference to Colossians 1:10 centers the post and makes for a compelling read. I truly love how Kim Petitt lays it out there and explains good works. Naturally, Being Benedictine would reference Saint Benedict as it explores the topic of good works. I guess part of my take on it is aligned with the combined stances and approaches to good works, summing up my views by quoting NT verses from Titus 3:14 to Ephesians 2:8-10. I believe good works are the fruit of our faith, not the root of our faith. (One of my preacher friend’s will steal that and use it, and it’s okay.)

Part of Giving Thanks by Giving Back was covered in the previous post, but yesterday’s training session allowed for me to delve into finer elements of the campaign. This post gives you some of the highlights from yesterday’s session.

Our Latest Inbox Inspirations promo tweet

The Campaign Includes Guidance

What we presented is designed to serves as a guide for generating ideas and stimulating conversations around how to give thanks by giving back within your local congregation and community. It is by no means designed to serve as the only source material or resource for doing good works or charitable service. Every congregation and community is unique, so it would behoove anyone seeking to do something with this campaign to identify local issues and priorities that fit with the theme of the campaign as they plan and strategize any kind of project or event.

You Have to Keep COVID-19 in Consideration

The numbers don’t lie. There is a major upswing in COVID-19 deaths and case throughout the United States. In California, we have many counties shifting into the most restrictive tier due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. It is difficult to plan and organize any project or event without considering the implications of COVID-19 on those plans.

Some advice on how to handle COVID-19 restrictions and precautions comes from the CDC. As many of us have learned over these past months, be sure to check with your local public health officials for restrictions and guidance related to large gatherings and events. Some of the most basic precautions such as face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing have been touted to help limit the spread. Always check and keep updated and abreast of the latest restrictions and precautions as you plan and organize.

Develop Connections within Your Community

Whether it is working with the local food bank or another church in its efforts to distribute turkeys, make connections that provide a win-win for your group or church as well as whoever you might partner with to make things happen. Do not neglect the idea of serving as resource to your congregation and community by providing updated information for clothing drives, food distributions, turkey giveaways, and special events happening within and around your community. Make connections that help make a difference and make an impact.

I like how another blog puts it out there with Psalm 100 and “Daily Service: Give Thanks.” It ought to become more natural for us to serve and give thanks. It should become part of our Christian DNA. Similarly, another blogger references Simon Sinek when speaking on a lifetime of service. No matter how you see it, giving back a way that we can show our gratitude and our own way of giving thanks that touches someone else’s life.

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I am grateful for what I am and have, my thanksgiving is perpetual.

– Henry David Thoreau

Perpetual Thanksgiving

Perpetual is defined as “never ending or changing; occurring repeatedly; so frequent as to seem endless and uninterrupted.” Let that sink in for a moment. Meanwhile, the dictionary defines thanksgiving as “the expression of gratitude.” Now put that together and you would have a never ending or changing expression of gratitude. Imagine that as part of your daily life.

To make your thanksgiving perpetual, you are grateful continually and do not limit your expression of gratitude to one Thursday in November. Imagine if your daily attitude expressed your daily gratitude.

I looked in my inbox this week and I got just what I needed from the Simple Preacher. I am oftentimes intrigued by self-inflicted limits many Christians in ministry or Bible teaching place on themselves in the realm of faith teaching, a limitless and boundless space when you consider that our God, Elohim, has no limitations and offers us so much. Yet, I received a post related to Obadiah, an obscure book of prophecy from the Old Testament Scriptures and thanked God that there are at least a few kindred spirits like the Simple Preacher and Georgetta Head in the struggle for God’s people to know the entirety of God’s Word. Thanks and praise be to God for the encouragement found in His Word daily as we seek Him through devotion and Bible study.

2020: Make a Difference, Make an Impact

I have attempted this before and I will continue to try to make this a regular annual campaign through the Life Path Mobile Ministries. Giving Thanks by Giving Back is back again. With your help, we can make this a reality despite the limitations and requirements due to COVID-19.

During November 22-29, Life Path Ministries & Services will actively push and promote Giving Thanks by Giving Back: A Week of Works.  Through our Holiday Outreach Service Team (H.O.S.T.) and the Saved2Serve Volunteer Network, this campaign works with Faith Impact Training (F.I.T.) to support any other ministries, parachurches, and local churches as well as individuals seeking to do good works and give back during this time..

This year’s theme is simply stated as: Make a Difference, Make an Impact. That is support by the NT Bible verse: And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful (Titus 3:14, NKJV).

So, what will be different this year than in the past? Think about the pandemic and its restrictions and guidelines from the CDC and your local health officials. The health guidance on contact tracing and small groups for your area will drastically impact how we will launch our work this year. In response to the limited contact, we will host a brief presentation and a walkthrough of the campaign and its components along with some tips and technical assistance for implementation on November 14th at 12:30 PM PST via livestream on YouTube.

https://bit.ly/2U5vWW7

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For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10  (ESV)

silhouette-photo-of-3-cross-under-the-blue-sky-70847

We’re not saved by works. That is not how salvation works. we are saved by grace through faith. Our salvation is a gift from God.

So how do works fit in?

We are saved to serve the Lord.

Growing in His Word

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works . . .

That is what it says. Verse 10 says as believers, we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” The conclusion is that we do not get engaged in good works as a means for obtaining salvation. Nor do we perform good works as a means of paying back God for His goodness.

We serve because we are saved.

We have been saved in order to serve the Lord, our Master, our God.

What makes it difficult to stick with that is the ideas and interpretations folks have that do not fit the theological framework of salvation. People believe half-truths that have been passed down for centuries from the pulpit to the pews. People take commentary as gospel. People accept the words of the pastor without checking the Scriptures like the believers in Berea (Acts 17:11).

The problem comes down to how folks accept and apply what they hear from others rather than placing their focus on what they hear from God.

Being called to salvation is the recruitment and enlistment into the kingdom of God, while it also ushers in the next phase of being called to serve the Lord. Just as we accept the terms of salvation, we must readily accept the terms of service to the Lord. The text in verse 10 says that “we should walk in them.” In other words, we should live out our faith in service, through good works.

The calling of a Christian is not just to salvation.  God wants us to understand that we were not just saved.

We were saved to serve the Lord.

 

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“Be not simply good – be good for something.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Imagine if you had nothing getting in your way, nothing holding you back.

What would you do with your life?

Could you see yourself doing whatever you could to help someone else?

Could you see beyond yourself and make a difference for someone else?

Just imagine if you had that opportunity.

No obstacles.

No opposition.

No other objective.

Just being in the position to do good for someone else, uplifting their spirit and blessing them through what God has already done for you.

Now it’s time for a reality check.

The only thing holding you back from doing such mighty works is you.

YOU…Your Own Unwillingness

If you could somehow shake that unwilling spirit, then you can do it.

Oh, that’s not you?

Then it must be. . .

YOU. . . Your Own Unworthiness

That is the pitiful self image that says that you are not worthy of doing good because you know that you are of no earthly good.  Our Bibles tell us that we are a “new creation” based upon the work of the Lord.  We are worthy!

So, you still think that’s not you?

How about. . .

YOU. . . Your Own Unfaithfulness

You just don’t believe that God can use you in such a way.  You don’t believe that you can be a blessing, especially since you are in the need of a blessing yourself.  Elijah was fed by ravens by a brook, and then he was fed by an impoverished widow.  There was another widow who gave all that she had when she placed two mites in the offering.

Get YOU out of the way and let God have His way.

Sit YOU down and set yourself up to be a blessing to someone.

Give YOU his walking papers and give God an open opportunity to use you like He’s never used you before.

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8 (NASB)

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He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son

– Colossians 1:13 (ESV)

We have been saved.

Our deliverance has come through Divine intervention in the Son of man who suffered, bled and died for sake, only to rise again from the tomb and conquer death itself to reign and rule this kingdom forever.  He did it to save us and he asked for very little in return other than for us to accept Him as Lord and live under His Word as his servants.

However, He did share a caveat with His followers.

We will suffer for His sake.

Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. – John 15:20 (NKJV)

But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you,delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. – Luke 21:12 (NKJV)

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. – Matthew 5:11 (NKJV)

We may not see it, but many suffer for His sake.  They claim His name in places where they face firing squads and lifelong imprisonment for doing so.  They preach His Word in places where death stares them in the face for uttering a word of the sacred text that others find to be blasphemous.  They walk in His ways in places where they are persecuted, punished and put out due to their newly found joy and freedom.

These are modern day martyrs.  They are not the early church believers of the First Century of whom we read about in Acts.  These are not the famed Apostles of Jesus who endured persecution by the Sanhedrin for speaking in His name.  No, these are men, women and children who were once Hindu, Muslim (Moslem) and countless other faiths prior to coming out of the darkness that Paul speaks of and into the kingdom of the Son of God.  They face terror and treachery, not for fame or glory.  They do so for the sake of the Savior.

For those of us in the United States and other free countries in the West and elsewhere, we must look at all of the freedoms that we take for granted and all of the freedoms that He has granted to us in light of the realization that we do not suffer like these other Christians.  The threat of losing your nonprofit status due to taking a public stance on abortion, immigration or same-sex unions/ marriages is not  persecution.  After all, there was a church that did good works and accepted free will offerings long before there was an IRS that provided an added tax benefit of a write-off for yearly contributions.

Let us renew our vision of working for the Lord.  Let us recharge our spirit of joy and thanksgiving as we exercise our freedoms to spread the Good News with fervor and tenacity.  Let use every ounce of our being to take this charge and calling of Christianity to a higher level of manifestation with prayer and through His power.  Let us awaken American and all of the communities, barrios, ‘hoods and trailer parks within it by a force of faith that sweeps every street and attacks every avenue with the Word of Jesus Christ.  Let us use Bible tracts, billboards, newspaper and magazine ads, Twitter feeds and hashtags, and everything else that we have within our legal means to spark a new spirit for the sake of the Savior.

There are those who still suffer for His name.  We may not see them.  We may never hear of them and their stories.  Yet, we must do our part for the kingdom in His name and for His sake.

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I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. – Psalm 69:30

I can publish praise of God openly with my voice.  However, I begin to wonder about the effectiveness of that praise in light of good works that reflect in the shadow of His wondrous works.  My works, no matter how much good that they actually do for God or others, are totally eclipsed and overshadowed by His great works.

This Thanksgiving say a prayer for those who seek to do good works.  Many will feed the homeless.  Some will offer them clothing and shelter.  Others will open their homes to them.  Some will go and spend volunteer time with wounded veterans while others will read to children in the cancer unit of the local hospital or wash feet at the neighborhood hospice.

Offer a prayer for those who offer their service.  Join the ranks of men and women who make Christ come alive for some people who will never set foot in a church’s sanctuary or crack open a Bible to find an inspirational passage.

Thank God as you give the world a glimpse of Him in action.  Remember, He could choose anyone.

It did not have to be you.  The least becomes greatest and the last becomes first in God’s economy and on His balance sheet.  We should be thankful to have been chosen and in a position to give back.

 


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