“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1
In all our accomplishments, triumphs and recognition, let us not forget to acknowledge and praise the One who made it all possible. Our blessings don’t come from our own strengths, but from the Lord. Don’t let the desire to be aceepted and adored by man deceive you into believing you and you alone are responsible for your successful endeavors. Thank and praise the Lord in your fertile seasons with the same fervor you have during your dry seasons.
May the Lord’s blessings continue to rain upon you.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” Luke 6:37-38, NIV
You can’t judge a book by its cover, as the saying goes, yet we do it everyday. It’s human to take another’s outward appearance and instantly believe we know their circumstances. That unkempt man over there must be a homeless beggar; the woman in the nice business attire must be on her way to work. In reality, that unkempt man may the president of a bank returning from volunteering to repair homes for the elderly. The woman may be wearing a donated suit and going on her first job interview after years of being homeless.
And that’s the danger of judging and condemning others. We don’t know what someone has been through or is currently going through. By judging them or condemning them, we actually bring judgment and condemnation on ourselves. Our output dictates our input. If you spend your time judging and criticizing others, you probably receive a fair amount of judgment and criticizing in your life. The box or category in which you place others will often turn out to be the box or category in which you are placed. If someone’s constant critical judgment of you hurts your feelings, then know your constant critical judgment hurts others as well.
Don’t stay caught in a vicious cycle. If you are tired of being criticized and judged, stop criticizing and judging others. Forgive those who have hurt you and start this day anew, free from the yoke weighing you down. Start dispensing love, encouragement and acceptance to all and the same shall be extended to you.
May God bless you today and always.
“The heavens are Yours and Yours also the earth; You founded the world and all that is in it.” Psalm 89:11
I’ve traveled by train through America’s rural heartland and marveled at how the landscape changes from green to amber fields. I watched farmers tend to crops and waved back at their smiling children as they ran alongside the tracks, excited by a daily occurrence that had not yet become tiresome and commonplace.
I’ve traveled by plane across America. I am always struck by the beauty of the heavens as we slice through the blue sky and fluffy clouds. I am further amazed by the sun’s brilliant red, yellow and orange hues whenever we ascend higher to avoid turbulence. This is a peaceful world, and I respect its majesty.
I’ve traveled by ship across the deep blue waters of the Caribbean. I enjoyed the dolphins and flying fish vying for my attention. When we docked, I found shade under towering fruit and spice trees and enjoyed the hospitality of locals who were kind and tolerant to tourists unaccustomed to such sights as white sandy beaches and lush green forests.
Finally, I have traveled by car. Admittedly, I have been less than thrilled by the traffic, exhaust and congestion. But I have been touched by lovers stealing kisses at a red light, a young man ensuring an older woman safely crosses an intersection and friends and families laughing with one another in the cars next to me.
Yes, there is a lot of wrong going on the world, but there is also a lot of right. I guess it’s all in the way you choose to view it.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
Christians are human and face human trials and tribulations daily. One common misconception is once you commit your life to Christ all your problems go away. Anyone who has walked this Christian path knows that is not true. With Christ, our problems don’t instantly go away; with Christ we have an anchor to steady us through life’s storms.
If life’s storms have you feeling down on yourself or others, remember that we are all God’s workmanship. Workmanship is defined as the art or skill with which something is made or executed. We are God’s artwork, so to speak. We should not feel that we – or others – are inferior or without merit based upon the world’s ideals. God has already deemed us worthwhile and valuable. The world’s opinions are constantly changing; God’s Word is unchanging. Let’s start believing what God says about us and place less value on the world’s view.
May God’s blessings continue in your life.
“Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise:
Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food for the summer;
coneys are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags;
locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks;
a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces.”
So what does this mean? Just how are ants, coneys, locusts and lizards wise? We can actually learn a lot from these animals and insects. The ant demonstrates preparation. The coney (also called rock rabbit which is a rodent-like mammal with feet that have hoof-like toes) demonstrates wise building. Note: a crag is a steep rugged rock or peak. Locusts demonstrate cooperation and order. The lizard shows us fearlessness.
Go about your day today as the ant, coney, locust and lizard: Be prepared, reach for the heights, get along with others and don’t live in fear. May God’s blessings continue to rain upon you!
Have you ever had a problem that kept you awake at night? A hurdle so prevailing that you have actually lost your appetite and couldn’t focus on routine activities? An issue that, despite all your concentration, planning and maneuvering, you cannot solve? Instead of relying on your own strengths and understanding, rely on God. His power and abilities are limitless. Your problems are powerless before Him. But, first, you must make the decision to rely on and trust in Him. Once you humbly submit yourself, you will feel the yoke of your burdens being lifted. Do your part and be amazed at how God does His!