"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?...Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly;" 2 Cor 9:24-26

Leap Off a Cliff

Posted by Emma on February 29, 2012 | Filed under: Christianity,Daily Thought,Faith,Holidays

Today is special because it is a leap day, a day that happens only once every four years. So, why not take a leap of faith on this day?

This is a concept I have been pondering for about a week. If you are a Christian most likely you want to grow closer to the Lord. I know I do. Faith is necessary to draw near to Him. In my experience the best way to develop faith is to leap out and start doing something. It is like a little child jumping off a wall into their father’s arms. The child jumps out in faith, believing that their father will catch them. And he does. We also need to jump out of our comfort zones into our heavenly Father’s arms. Sometimes it may seem like you are jumping off the edge of the Grand Canyon, but God will catch you and hold you. The more often you leap, the more sure of His presences you will be and the more faith you will have.

It can be a challenge to decided how to jump out in faith. Here are some options that you could consider. They will not be right for everyone but perhaps they can get you thinking.

  • Give all your money away. What better way to trust God than have to rely on Him for all of your needs. If you seek Him, He promises to provide. (Matt 6:31-33)
  • Share the Gospel with someone. For some of us talking to a stranger, or even someone we know, is scary. Step past that and speak God’s words.
  • Get involved in a new ministry. Maybe a ministry at your church, a rescue mission, a crisis pregnancy center, an after school program, or something else. There are many places you can minister, find one.
  • Be friendly to someone who is different than you. We are all made in God’s image and inside we are similar. You never know the good you can do or the blessing you will receive when you be friend someone who is different than you are. This could be someone at your church, school, work, or grocery store. Maybe it is a homeless person, someone of another nationality, a drug addict, or just an average American who wears a different style than you do. Jesus was friends with Pharisees and tax collectors. He knew no bonds of society and in Him there are no lines of divisions.
  • Go deeper with God. Your leap of faith maybe taking a step God has shown you to take or just taking time to seek Him. If you know you need to spend more time focusing on Him why not start doing that today. You could fast from food for a day to several days or give something up for a while. The amount of time we can free to spend with the Lord if we just give up social media, books, the TV, movies, entertainment, the internet or our downtime is amazing. Give something up and spend the time with God.

Again, these are just suggestions. You may have something you know God is telling you to do but you are not quite ready to do it yet. What better day to start? One of these may be something you want to do. Good, do it! Or you may have another idea for a leap of faith. Go for it!

So what leap are you going to take today?

The Things We Take For Granted

Posted by Emma on February 9, 2012 | Filed under: Attitude,Christianity,Perspective

I’ve been thinking recently about how much we take for granted. How many things we just expect to be there. How little we really are thankful for.

When we look honestly at ourselves, we are extremely selfish people. We expect things to just always be there. Seldom do we stop and thank God for our blessings. In fact we usually do not realize that they are blessings. We take things for granted.

Let us take a look at a few of the things we should be extremely grateful for but tend to act like they are rights. We expect them and we nitpick at them. Instead we should be blessing God for them and thankful to just have them.

Food. When is the last time you thought about the fact that you were eating food, that you had food on your pantry shelves, that you had food in your refrigerator. Probably the last time you were hungry, but do you know what hunger really is? Have you gone a whole day without food? Two days? A week? For most of us the answer is no. Sure, we’ve been hungry for a few hours but we go get food and are fine. Few of us know the feeling of extreme hunger, the stomach aches, the gnawing pain. We are always full and we do not realize how blessed we are. If you realized how blessed you were to have food, you would not complain because it was a little burnt or did not taste as you think it should. Once you have felt the true pains of hunger, you are just grateful to eat and be full. You no longer care that it does not taste just right or it is not your preferred food. But we have not felt true hunger pain and so we take food for granted.

Houses. You probably live in one. But do you thank God every day that you are living in a house. Not everyone has a house. People are sleeping in cars, a friends apartment, or on the street as I write this. You are one of the privileged who has a house to sleep in, lights to turn on, running water, heat, and so much more. If we really were thankful that we had a house to live in we would not mind so much when something broke down and needed fixing. We would not fret that a room was not the perfect color or that the carpet had gotten a stain on it. When you realize the blessing of a house you are suddenly thankful that the pipe broke and you can fix it. A lot of people in the world either do not have pipes in their house to fix or do not even have a house. They would love to have a house even if it meant fix a pipe or living with a stain in the carpet. Yes, we take houses for granted.

Internet. So this area might not be taken for granted all of the time, but most of the time it is. Especially by my generation and those younger than me. We barely remember a time without the world wide web, some of you reading this may not remember those times. We have gotten so use to living in a culture where we get emails, we can video chat with someone, find any information we want, and keep up with friends on social media. When the internet is running slow we complain. When we cannot get online we complain. When a website is not functioning properly we complain. There are lots of people in the world today who do not have internet. They would not complain about it being slow, they would be glad to just get on. But we have gotten use to the internet and think that we have a right to it and a right to have all sites working and working fast. We take the internet for granted and it is not even a basic necessity of life.

I could go on about clean water, vehicles, stores, cellphones, the Bible and basic freedoms. All of these we take for granted. We feel they are rights and we should have them. When we do not have them, we grumble and complain. People, these are not rights! These are privileges that we should earnestly be thanking God for. When you start realizing how much we are blessed, you have to thank the Lord. He provides our needs and so much more.

So stop and think about everything you have around you. Thank God for His blessings on your life. And the next time you have to fix something in your house, you are hungry, or your internet is running a little slow remember that you have a house, food, and the internet. Quite taking things for granted and start living a life of gratefulness to God!