The Journey Thoughts

November 23, 2016

I am thankful today that our God is such a loving and forgiving God.  I know
that in many ways, I am not worthy of forgiveness, but I have come to
realize that He knows that too, but my being good enough is not the reason
He forgives, otherwise there is no hope for me, or you.  We might think that
we, as believers, are now good enough, because we go to church, and
generally treat others ok, but are we really?  When we are "saved by grace
through faith," I am thankful for a Father so loving, that He will look past
the mistakes, the stubbornness, the unloving attitude we have so often, and
still think that we are worth His sending His Son to die for us. It seems
like it takes us so long to change our hearts to total surrender, instead of
rebellion.  Yet, that "goodness" we strive for is coming, although slowly,
it is coming as we mature and age.  The one thing that we can use as a
measure of how we have actually changed is in the way we love others.  This,
within itself, is a great measuring stick for us to fully realize that we
still have a ways to go. John writes: "The one who does not love does not
know God, because God is love. God's love was revealed among us in this way:
God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through
Him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and
sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Dear Friends, if God loved
us in this way, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. If
we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us." 1
John 4:3-12  So you see, this great love that God has for us, He wants us to
understand and copy that great love.  That becomes a choice to love the
unlovable, to put that love into action, even when we don't want to.  It's
thinking about others before self.  It's going two miles when we are asked
to go one. Our lives become a picture of love, not that we have that
capability, but that He does, and all we have to do is to let the Spirit
lead, instead of trying to lead ourselves.  When we let the Spirit lead, the
Love of God is revealed to those who are always looking for an excuse to
call us heretics.   While we are revealed to some who think we are uncaring
and unbending when it comes to accepting them, we may tell them that it is
their behavior we hate, but not them, but do we show that?  Do our actions
decry rejection to the sinner?  I believe we are given an opportunity to
show Christ to a world, not by the way we want to live, but by the way the
Holy Spirit lives in us.  That's love put into action.  This is a great day
of celebration in which we can give to others.  We can invite them in to the
banquet, that we want to have.  We can let them know that God loves them.
Why not put that into action this year, and show the Love that already
exists within you, because it is the love of the Father, existing in the
Holy Spirit.   So when we talk about being thankful this special day, let's
be thankful for the love that so freely is given us, through Christ. Let's
be thankful that in spite of ourselves, God loves us, and still wants us to
become more like Him.  My prayer is that this will spur us all on to one
more step to total surrender, so that we are fully under the control of the
Spirit, and so that God can perfect this love in us and that we will become
more like Him. I pray that you all will have a very blessed Thanksgiving,
and that true thankfulness will spring from your lips and your heart as you
celebrate what God has done for us, and in us.

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father,  Change us this year please.  Make this the time that we
will soften the hardness that builds so slowly that we don't even see it.  I
pray for You to repair us, and make us more like You Lord.  I pray for
healing today, not only of these who face trials of health, circumstance, or
situation, I pray for the angry, the distant, the hardhearted, that You
Lord, would heal and soften our hearts so that others will see You and not
us.  Please fix us!  I pray for: Cindy, Carol's family, Mary, Dillon,
unsaved loved ones, such as Tara and Kristena, Kristen. I pray for Eric,
Marcy, Kenny, Carolyn, Gene, Terry, Angie, Isabel, Ellen, Virginia, William,
Don, Dwight, Jim, Vanessa, Becky, the Markle family, the Young family, I
pray for the church leadership, for those who willingly are used by God, to
manage the fellowship. I pray for: Travis, Eva, Max, Rita, Pastor Berkey,
Nancy, June, JT, Candace, Meredith, Barbara, Mike S., Ramona, Loren, Ben,
Robby, Kathy, Montella, Charlie, Kim, Nada, Shelly and her mom, Richard and
his dad, Pam and her son, Kelly and her son, Julissa, Abby, Malachi, Corbin,
Ryan, Olivia, Jeremiah, Joanna, Tom, Evelyn, Joy, Ruth, Ada, BJ, Ida, Betty,
Briggs Church, Jackie Ann, Tonia, Todd, Liam, Aiden, Alan, Fisher, Tuly,
Michelle, Trevor, Maria, Choya, Alex, Ken, Sandy, Andrea, Shannon, Robert,
Pat, Ryan, Tyson, Wendy, Joyce, Shelby, Gus, Lisa, Alice, David, Phyllis,
Devon, Marliana, Cynthia, Johnny, Annette, Kim, Gary, Gavin, Shawn, Laurie,
Heather, Codi, Ron, Deane, Dan, Rheba, Pam, Mike, Austin, Harriet, Fred,
Dotty, James, Scott, April, Craig, Hunter, Asher, Lynette, Patrick, Kathy,
Jennifer, Abe, Trent, Garret, Mayeaux, Ben, Jason, Ashley, Marc, Macy, Jade,
Bob, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah, Japheth, Mike, Megan, Matt, Liz, Matt, Bethany,
Jeff, Laura, Carmello, Kaitlyn, Tim, Michele. I pray that we will pause to
pay honor to Your holy name tomorrow, as we remember our thankfulness to You
for loving us so much, and I pray for these in Jesus name.

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