Tag Archives: blessings

THANKFULNESS: INTROSPECTION’S PERSONAL STORY


William Andrew Dillard

Americans who claim to be Christians have a fairly strong conviction that they are indeed a thankful people. Perhaps that perception arises out of experiences of the past century. It was only one hundred years ago that the world was relieved by the ending of World War I, the war said to be the bloodiest of all wars. With that war ending, the nation entered an era of unparalleled prosperity in the roaring twenties. But so, soon was the rug yanked out from under the nation with the financial collapse of 1929, followed by a decade-long, Great Depression. Next, came World War II, then the Korean conflict, and Vietnam. Through these monumental events also came industrial, educational, and technological break-through in rapid advancement. The inflationary measures that now loom as a doomsday pitfall, was viewed as a blessing a half century ago, When, at last, people had some money. Production of material things flooded the markets for people to buy. There came new cars, new houses, new clothes, and a million other things. People were happy. People were thankful. Really?
Some pundit said that “America is the only country on earth where people will trample you to get to annual sales items on the day after they proclaimed they were truly thankful for what they have.” Somehow, that paints a mental picture that is oxymoronic, and far from the humble, grateful spirit – the attitude of gratitude – so prominent among the early pilgrims. They knew it was only by the grace of God that they survived the harsh obstacles of life in an undeveloped land.
But thankfulness is not an attitude franchised by the poor, deprived, and/or oppressed upon their achieving better circumstances. It is rather a vastly important plank in the platform of wisdom to those who seize and employ its model. Whether poor or wealthy, ignorant or educated, ill or healthy, the blessings of the Almighty are superabundant to those who look for them. And, the look need not be far. A peek deep down inside at a view restricted to the individual and God tells it all, and it does not lie. What is the scene? Is it spoiled, selfish longing for some self-exalting acquisition of popularity, power, or material thing that will ultimately contribute to ruin? Is it gratefulness to God for life itself? Is it the mountainous blessings afforded God’s children, and a heart of thankful realization upon confronting or hearing of so many unfortunate cases which evoke a soft, sincere, whisper: “There, but by the grace of God go I.” Truly, those who know Jesus the Christ on a personal basis should be the most thankful people on the planet. Introspection! How does it tell your story?

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THE SUPREME CHARACTERISTIC


 

Author: William Andrew Dillard

 

Parson to Person

In the comics, Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck’s uncle, was extremely wealthy. He had a swimming pool filled with money into which he would gleefully dive and throw bills and coins into the air. Certainly, this is the antithesis of the spiritual world, but there is a comparison. Think with me about it.

From the essential, initial acquisition of the new birth, there flows a virtually endless bounty of spiritual blessings and acquisitions for the child of God. The Bible is simply chocked full of them, and they are all so good. They are good because they come from the Father of lights with whom there is no shadow of turning, and Who is the giver of every perfect gift. James 1:17

Identifying and amplifying on a list of these many things would take books of articles longer than this one. Yet, of all the things God has for His people to enjoy, the greatest is love. Love is extoled above charismatic gifts in the great love chapter of the Bible, I Corinthians 13.

Love is the core of Christianity: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 Thus, love is the foundational platform of the very possibility of our existence. But there is more!

When compared to other, great abiding characteristics, it is learned that faith is destined to end. It will give way to sight. Moreover, hope is also destined for extinction. It will give way to reality. But love is destined to never end. Why? Because, God is love! I John 4:8 Therefore, to love with a high and holy love as only God’s people among men can do, is to know and to share the very characteristic of God Himself. That love is life at its best, the evidence of God living and working in and through us.

Uncle Scrooge can have his pool of money. It is a fleeting, perishing part of a sinful world, but he who has true love enjoys a bit of heaven on earth, and is destined to know it in its fullest, uninterrupted form in eternity. I am ecstatic about being a Bible-believing Christian, enjoying the supreme characteristic!

 

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HELP, SIDEBOARDS NEEDED


Author – William Andrew Dillard

Parson to Person
What am I ever going to do with all the blessings being heaped upon me? I live in a sinful body, under a sinful system. But the grace of the altogether lovely Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus by which I am eternally saved has also led me down the narrow road which His Word affirms to be correct. From other pathways, the moans and groans of sinners in the pain and agony of a life gone awry play loud and clear from community to global scenes. How I wish they knew Whom I know; what I know, and had the blessings I experience every day.
When one walks in the narrow path of the Lord, the blessing attendant to that life abound on every side. They become numerous, even mountainous in abundance. the Psalmist said, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation, Selah” Psalm 69:18 In the maze of normal life events, he cautioned himself and us to not get lost in temporal things saying, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Psalm 103:2.
Most everyone has a story to tell about someone they know who has fallen in the quagmire of sin, so why would I not be next? I think of His benefits toward me. I was given godly parents; exposed to the Word early and consistently. I have a loving Savior Who died for me. I have a faithful wife and dear children and grandchildren who love me and look up to me. I have a ministry that God called me to perform faithfully. I have a loving church to preach to and who hears my weekly messages. I live in a country where I am still free to worship God as the Bible teaches me I should. I have the blessed privilege of investing time, money, and life into His service, and He tells me that investment will net one hundredfold. The reality of my life is: Help! I need sideboards to contain the abundance of blessings that just keep on coming.
It is little wonder then that Jesus said, “ Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38. How true it is! I am a very blessed man!
My prayer for you is that you will be blessed more than I am. If you think you are not so blessed, please stop now and meditate on Psalm One. It will put you on the pathway of life that requires sideboards. Even then, your containment capacity will not be sufficient.

Sideboards for Seniors

Sideboards for Seniors

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Confident Prayer


 

1 John 5:14, 15

 

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us,” 1 John 5:14.

 

Some have preached that God does not want you poor; He does not want you sick. Evidently, Lazarus, the beggar, covered in sores and Paul, the sick apostle, did not hear that message. Paul surrendered to God’s will and experienced satisfaction in the face of his many trials (2 Cor. 12:10).

 

In 1 John 5:14, John explains that the confidence must rest in the source of the blessings. We have had people promise us something, and we didn’t even consider it possible that the promise was valid because we didn’t trust the integrity of the promiser. In the heat of adversity, some make promises they know they can never fulfill.

 

We cannot always heal every hurt and carry every burden. Just like with Paul, often adversity is God’s best teacher. Sometimes all we can do is pray and hold the hand of the hurting while God carries them forward. Paul’s confidence came from personal experience: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthenenth me” (Phil. 4:11-13).

 

The confidence must be in Him, not in our ability to back Him into a corner and use twisted Scriptures to force God to come through with the desires of our heart.

 

 

Just Saying

 

Confiding in the confidant increases confidence and security.

 

Robert Brock

 

 

 

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Truth About Clean and Unclean


 

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost,” Romans 14:17.

 

There is a certain chocolate-covered peanut candy with a hard candy shell-—that does not melt in your hands—I absolutely enjoy eating it. If there were  a small bowl of this candy in front of me, I will probably eat the entire bowl. If there were a fifty-gallon drum full of this candy in front of me, I would probably not be able to prevent myself from trying to eat it all. It is a weakness, I admit it.  Consequently, we do not keep that candy in the house consistently. I know that it is essentially harmless in small quantities. But I also know that my own natural tendency is to turn something harmless into an opportunity for uncontrolled gluttony, which would create a problem between me and my God. I must determine whether the exposure to temptation is worth the risk to sin.

 

In the text, Paul explained that he was convinced there was nothing unclean in and of itself. That is, there is no food or drink one could ingest in moderation that would affect his standing before God as His child. But in our human weakness, when it comes to food and drink, we need to understand there are at least two different kinds of people. (1) There are those who are tempted to overindulge by certain foods or drinks. (2) There are others who believe in their hearts that if they indulged in certain foods or drinks at all, they would be doing something wrong.  How do we get along and grow in the kingdom of God? We go out of our way to make sure we do not put stumbling blocks in each others’ paths and make the kingdom of God about food and drink when there are far greater blessings available—righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

 

JUST A THOUGHT

 

Will you deny yourself physical pleasure to enjoy

 

spiritual blessings today?

 

Mark Clements

 

 

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Rules For Happy Living


6. Pray everyday. Reserve a time in your day to thank God for His many blessings and ask for His guidance.(Luke 18:1)

7. Do at least one Good Deed each day. Plant the seed of “goodness” and it will produce after its kind. (Acts 10:38)

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