Enjoying the Journey

Blessed people often become the most rebellious. If you don’t believe me, look at God’s chosen people, the nation of Israel. When we are full of good things it is easy to get full of ourselves. How quickly we forget! When we are seeing answers to prayer, opportunities to serve, favor with people, and gifts of His goodness it should drive us beyond the blessings to the Blesser. Every thing we receive from His hand should cause us to seek His face. When we are blessed… We must remember that it is all mercy. We don’t deserve any of it! In fact, the only thing we deserve is hell and anything better than hell is better than we deserve. “…that…

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Several years ago I had the joy of speaking to a large group of children on the subject of thanksgiving. In preparation I learned how to say thank you in several languages. While I am quite sure that my pronunciation was not perfect, we had fun teaching the kids to say thanks in Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, German, French, and Russian. To this day it is the only word I know in most of those languages! Sometimes the hardest thing we have to do is learn to say thank you in our own language. As a small child I remember my parents giving me something and quickly asking, “What do you say?” The longer I live I am convinced…

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All month on Enjoying the Journey we have been studying the life of thankfulness. Around many tables today people will share a list of things for which they are grateful. On this Thanksgiving Day I am taking a few moments to reflect on one question: Am I truly a thankful person? Are you? You might be surprised to find that grateful people have always been in the minority. It is more natural to grumble and groan than to give thanks. In the Old Testament the Lord sent twelve spies in to the land to spy out all that He had provided for them. He didn’t need their opinion or their idea. He just wanted them to see it and share…

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Many years ago I learned how to say thank you in a variety of different languages. I am no linguist. The languages that I have taken have not taken on me! But it was enjoyable to learn how to say thank you in Spanish, German, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Russian, and French. I have used this in my travels and found that everyone enjoys a thank you…especially in their own language. This week I returned from speaking in a prayer conference in Quebec, Canada. It was my first time to this French-speaking province and I was truly blessed by the kindness of God’s people there. The family of God is wonderful wherever you go. My messages were all translated into…

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There are many commands given to God’s people. Each of the Lord’s commands are given for our good and His glory. This is certainly the case for the command most often repeated in Scripture. More than any other admonition in the Word of God we are commanded to praise the Lord! Why does God repeat this so frequently? Praise is purifying. When we begin to praise we come into the presence of the Lord, and His presence purifies every other part of life! Praising Christians are kept happy, holy, and humble. As we enter the month of November there will be much talk of giving thanks. Thanksgiving must be more than a holiday. This season of thanks should be a…

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Today is my son’s 13th birthday. We have had a wonderful time celebrating this week as a family. How could we have three teenagers?! I asked Grant to lead us in prayer for our meal the other night. Near the end of his prayer he said, “Thank you, God, for giving me 13 years.” It was a simple statement. It made a profound impact on me. Indeed, God is the One who gives us every year…every day. And we should be grateful for every one of them. As a dad I was encouraged by his prayer. As a Christian I was convicted by it. How often do I pause just to thank the Lord for life? He gave it. He…

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Today is President’s Day in the United States. In the war zone that is the American political system it is often easy to forget the spiritual conflict that is always raging. The enemy of souls is far greater than any perceived enemy on the other side of the aisle. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). I have deep convictions related to our republic and the moral issues of our day. But it is more than politics. It is spiritual. The greatest need of our country is another great awakening and we must never lose that burden.…

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We take family for granted…until they are gone. We take health for granted…until it is broken. We take sleep for granted…until it refuses to come. We take children for granted…until they are grown.   We take the church for granted…until we have to find a new one. We take friends for granted…until they are not near. We take sunshine for granted…until the clouds descend. We take rain for granted…until the drought.   We take our mind for granted…until its thoughts are clouded. We take Christ’s fellowship for granted…until our heart grows cold. We take senses for granted…until they begin to fade. We take youth for granted…until we are old.   We take the gospel for granted…until a lost friend dies.…

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I must be getting more sentimental in my old age. Over the last few years I have developed a great love for poetry. In so many ways it expresses the deepest feelings of the soul. It is my conviction that this is why the Holy Spirit used poetry in the Word of God to articulate some of the deepest truths surrounding our relationship to God. Poetry is one of God’s beautiful messengers. In my office I keep some volumes of famous and favorite poems. This week I came across a poem that I had never read. It was written by one of the truly great Bible teachers of another generation, Dr. James M. Gray. As I read it for the…

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Families will gather around tables this week and briefly mention the many blessings for which they are grateful to God. For most of us the emphasis will be on the good things we have received. God truly has given us so much. This Thanksgiving I am thanking God for something else. I am grateful for what I never received. I have not received what I should have received. You see, I should have been in hell right now. But I am not there…and I am never going there! God in His mercy has withheld the judgment that I deserve. Christ took it so that I would never have to. I thank God. I have not received what I could have…

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