July 08, 2014

Praise God 4 Blessings

I'm thankful for the two new-to-me relatives who have found my biographical postings on my History Nut Blog. Thank you, Lord, for sending them my way. We have been exchanging information like mad and it has helped me grow in knowledge about my 3rd great-grandfather whom I'm researching. He wasn't exactly popular, but as a minister of God, he strove to live the right way as he in his finite human understanding could.

 
Sometimes it's not easy living as a Christian. Sometimes you must make hard decisions and say things to people they may not want to hear.
 
 
Recently, I reminded several people on Facebook that they must be careful not to share things that might make a weaker brother fall, because regrettably, I had done the very thing myself not too many days before. I forwarded something that I thought better of later and when I went to delete it out, I discovered it was too late. It had been passed on by a weaker brother. God reminded me of the verse we had memorized together with this particular brother "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31). And the verse just under it says "Do not cause anyone to stumble . . . For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved." (1 Corinthians 10:32a, 33b). I was ashamed. But I went to God and "confess (ed my) sins, he (was) faithful and just and (forgave my) sins and purif (ied me) from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9). I made it right with him and he, in turn, extended grace and mercy.

There was at least one person in particular who did not like what I had to say and accused me of trying to embarrass her in front of everybody, but that was not my intention. I just wanted her to be aware that the devil is sneaky and the good quote she was forwarding had a little devilish tail attached to it. Having been at the butt end of too much teasing and cruel tormenting from others, I struggle with knowing the right time to "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15), afraid I might hurt other's feelings, "but the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it, And I was delivered from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (2 Timothy 4:17-18).

In the scripture, I'm reminded that I'm not to " let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29) and "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. . . Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in your faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings." (1 Peter 4:11; 5:8,9) and "In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned. . . so that in every way, they will making the teaching about God our Savior attractive." (Titus 2:7, 8a, 10c). That puts the responsibility keeping a guard on my mouth-gate at all times and if I get the urge to speak for the right, then it's not me, but "men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:21b).

Sunday, during morning worship, I thought again of this whole week and how I could express my gratitude in this post. One of the rituals we do as part of our service is the singing of the doxology after offering God our tithe for his kingdom work. It's a good weekly reminder to thank God for the blessings that come our way such as lessons learned and forgiving friends.

Praise God, From Whom All Blessings Flow
By Thomas Ken & Louis Bourgeois

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen!

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"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." (Hebrews 12:28).