The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6).

I get tired of hearing complaints about how bad it is in our world, but recently, I learned a valuable lesson about complaining. While I was praying (or was that whining) to the Lord, I was burdened in my spirit more than usual. He asked me something I wasn’t prepared to answer: when was the last time that you brought your sacrifice of thanksgiving before me? I pray, but when it comes to giving thanks… He opened my eyes.

Thanksgiving is a sacrifice and we will not see the fullness of God’s blessings if we don’t cultivate a thankful spirit. Of course, I told the Lord that I always “enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise,” like he didn’t know it already.

He said, “You praise me when everything is going right, and every need is, by the worldly measure, abundantly met, but when are you going to thank me for the trials? I fumbled for an answer because I honestly didn’t know what to say. In the midst of a trial, it’s hard to think about the blessings that are being poured out, because we don’t see them. It is then, that we give thanks even when our cup feels so empty. That’s sacrifice.

“God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. Thou are my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever” ( Psalm 118: 27-29).

Isn’t it time that we bind our “sacrifice of thanksgiving” with cords, even unto “the horns of the altar”? The Lord requires a “living sacrifice” every time that we enter into his presence. We may not always feel like committing our thanks to the altar. Every day we fight principalities that try to prevent us from seeing through God’s eyes.

We don’t always recognize the hand of God at work in our lives, and that hinders us from being truly thankful. We must bind our sacrifice to the altar. When everything is going well, let’s don’t forget to be thankful for it, and when everything falls apart: be thankful, God is working it all out for our good. A sacrifice will cost you something.

The world’s prosperity distracts us; Satan tries to derail us. Pray! God’s mercy endureth forever. He is exalted above all the earth; he knows what we have need of. He will give us the desires of our heart in due time.

“I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 116:9).
It’s time to walk in the land of the living.

In this week’s Lattereign, we learn about The art of receiving his promises.

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When You are Confused, Look up.

This world can be a confusing place sometimes and everywhere you turn, someone is trying to get your attention. It is comforting to know that the Lord has already laid out a path for us to follow. The bible says in Psalms 119:105, ” Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” If you get confused about decisions that you must make in your life, then it is time to go to the word and find out what the Lord has to say about the steps you must take.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand” (Psalm 37:23-24).

Never have I been left empty while serving the Lord. My life is filled with joy that others may not understand. Circumstances come into our lives, at times, that baffle others when they realize that you are still worshiping the Lord. He gives us strength and the courage to keep moving forward in his will. It takes someone willing to trust him, no matter how terrible life may seem.

I challenge you today to keep following the path. Don’t look to the left or the right, just keep following God’s plan for your life even when it seems that you don’t have a clue where the next step you take on your journey may lead you. When you are surrounded by the fog of the unknown, remember that, even then, you only need to take a step and your path way will become clearer. For every step you take, you are closer to the light of God’s promise.

It is true that at times I have allowed the fear of the unknown to paralyze me to the point that I hesitate taking the next necessary step. I know that there are angels that are leading me through the situations I am called to face. I also know that trusting the Lord and leaning not to my own understanding has helped me to take many steps that I never realized that I would be able to take in faith.

I have nothing to lose and everything to gain when I allow the Lord to direct my steps. He has already made the way, and he knows the traps that satan tries to set that would throw us off track. He has already conquered the enemy of our soul, so why should I be concerned about it?

I choose to trust in him above all else. In this week’s, Lattereign, we learn that we can look to the Lord at all times. I will lift up mine eyes

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It’s Better to go Through the Fire, Than to Stay in It

Are you more likely to go through a situation or to stay in a situation? People who focus on the negative limit their ability to break free from the hold that satan has on them. We are all at different stages in our walk with God, and one thing that I have learned over the years is that being in the middle of a trial isn’t always easy to break free from, unless we learn to look beyond what we can physically see. This is where prayer comes in. Prayer will make the paths seem straight and well illuminated. The light of God continues to burn brightly,  no matter where we are on the path of life.

There are times when it is almost impossible to see a clear path before us, and when the darkness surrounds us finding light becomes even more crucial to our survival. Where do we find light? Even though our search may take us down parts of the path that are so unfamiliar, we still must walk the path. It is imperative that we don’t turn around and give up in defeat. If we do give in to it, we can be convinced of anything. Hold on to your faith in God. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.

Nothing else matters, because when you have Jesus Christ you have everything.

This week’s Lattereign reminds us to keep moving forward as we are Refined Through the Fire.

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Our Prayers are Stored Forever

We all have felt loss at times, people move away, or they pass on to be with Jesus, and no matter how often it happens, you never really get used to it. It leaves an empty space in that part of your heart that you had reserved for them. You are not alone in this situation. Life happens, and so does death.

Many years ago Sister Nona Freeman was a guest speaker at The Pentecostals of Greenville, NC. It was Valentines’ Day and we had a banquet at Western Sizzlin’ in her honor. What an inspiration she was for our church and for me personally! You see, she lived a life of dedication and complete trust in God. She had developed a close relationship with him, getting up every morning at 2 or 3 A.M. to talk to her best friend. She and her husband were missionaries in Africa, and spent over 40 years on the mission field.

After the Sunday night service, I had the pleasure to sit down with her as she autographed the eight books I had bought from her. During that time, she started telling me a story about how after her mother had died, she wailed and cried out to God, “Mama’s gone, who will pray for me now?” Then, she proceeded to share how the Lord answered her desperate plea; he asked her, “what are you talking about? I have every prayer that your mother has ever prayed store in heaven. You can rest assured that your mother’s prayers did not stop when I called her home, but they are eternally alive to give you direction.”

When we lose our way, the Lord is ready to guide us back to him. He loves us with an everlasting love and nothing will ever separate us from him. Be encouraged today in the Lord. Rest in his presence. No matter what you are facing, today, remember that someone is praying you through.

We must be willing to offer forgiveness to those who have wronged us; it’s not for their benefit, but for ours. We will never be totally free to worship the Lord unless we learn to forgive the ones who have despitefully used us. The Lord cares for you. In this week’s Lattereign, we find out that Forgiveness is the key to answered prayer.

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Free to Worship!

It is a privilege to be able to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth. We are blessed to live in a free nation, where we don’t have to fear being persecuted for our faith. As the days  before the coming of the Lord draw near, it would be wise for us to cherish our freedom. Thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph in his name.

Our freedom to worship did not come without a price; however. Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for our salvation at Calvary. Men and women of God have fought for our rights to enjoy a freedom of worship in this nation; yet, we so often take it for granted that it will always be easy to have access to the Lord and to worship. So far, no one has blocked our path to get to church and fellowship with others who believe, but for how long will we have this blessing, without interference?

On the surface it may seem that we are losing our rights to have an opinion and to demonstrate our faith to others, yet, there is one thing that no matter how restricted our world may become, we will always have: that is access to the Lord through prayer. We can call on his name anywhere, anytime, and in every situation. There will always be prayers that go up before the Lord as a memorial.

It is our last hope of defense against the enemy who has only one thing on his mind: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

I am blessed. I am blessed. I am blessed, and most of all I am thankful that I have a freedom to worship. In this week’s Lattereign, we look at that freedom. Free to Worship

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Be Instant in Every Season

I am thankful that I have an opportunity to be raised in the United States of America. We do face our situations, but if you will take a moment to think about it, most people will agree that living in the U.S.A. is a blessing. Don’t get me wrong we do have our challenges, but that is called life.

I feel that it is my obligation to live a life pleasing to the Lord, considering that he has done so much for me. He died for my sins and the sins of the entire world. He rose from the grave victorious; he is my comforter, my shelter in the time of storm; he is my high tower, the rock on which I stand, the one who never fails; is always consistent, ready to show his kindness towards me when I call, and even when I fail to call on him, he stands at the door and knocks waiting for me to open the door and let him in. When I am weak, he is strong; and when I weep, he is there to offer a shoulder for me cry on. Nothing is too hard, or too insignificant, or too great for him to accomplish on my behalf.

Even if I push him away, he doesn’t leave me abandoned, he waits for me to reach out to him. That time does happen, maybe after all the rest of my so called friends have turned away because they couldn’t console me from the deep hurts of my soul; I can look to him the author and finisher of my faith, he’ll be waiting with open arms.

Believing in God has given me hope that even in dark times, I can rise above it. Have we offered up our sacrifice of praise, lately? If not, why not? The world is changing on a daily basis, and if we aren’t mindful of those changes we may be left behind. My prayer today is this, that we be found faithful to the cause of Jesus Christ in every season.

You never know whose life your testimony may impact, so be careful that you stay ready to be the difference that you want to see made. I know that my thoughts are more like rambling tonight than usual but I trust that you sense the urgency of keeping our focus on what truly matters: our relationship with Jesus Christ.

We all have decisions to make about many life choices. Be instant in season and out of season. Stay focused as we move forward in him. Follow the link for this week’s Lattereign.

Instant in Every Season

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Have Faith In God

So many times people feel abandoned in their walk with God, and forfeit peace of mind because they haven’t learned the art of trusting God. If God doesn’t answer a prayer immediately, we get flustered and discouraged and allow Satan to plant thoughts of doubt and defeat in our minds. I am here to remind you that God is in Control.

It only takes a mustard seed of faith to believe God to remove the mountains that we can’t overcome. If we only realized that the Lord is on our side in this battle: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (2 Corinthians 10:4).

It is time that we let our praises be loud, and triumphant, our prayers be shouted out with victory and faith, and that we come to the throne with boldness.

In this time it will take a deep inner conviction and commitment to this truth to survive. “So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19).

This week’s Lattereign is about expecting a miracle. Are You Expecting a Miracle ?

How many times have we overlooked the goodness of the Lord until after a difficult season has passed? I am thankful that the Lord reigns in my life in every season.

 

 

 

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There is Something About my Praise He Loves

You are certainly in his will  when you praise God, because we are commanded to praise him. Psalm 150 begins in the sanctuary and goes through a list of places to praise him, and how to praise him. So many times people are hesitant about worshiping the Lord, and instead of yielding to worship they make excuses for why they can’t worship.

As long as I have breath in my body, I will praise him. I know what it feels like to be lost and hopeless; but God gave me a second chance to live life more abundantly and nothing will separate us. The first time I walked out trying to discover who I was;  only to discover that I had left who I was for something less satisfying (the world). Years later I left a second time searching for something more than what the world had to offer, and my search was futile, because the most important part of my existence was left behind when I walked away. One day in prayer the Lord promised to direct my steps back to the truth.

I thought that not being under his wing of protection really didn’t matter that much, but I was so wrong. My God is faithful to supply all our need according to his riches in glory. We may not always understand his will or his plan, but he knows the beginning from the ending and he promises to never leave or forsake us, and that’s enough for me.

It’s a blessed day and we are ready to worship. This week’s Lattereign emphasis worship.

We are the Sanctuary Give Him Praise

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Turning Back is Not an Option

So many times people feel like turning back and moving in a direction that is away from God rather than moving towards him. Life gets overwhelming, at times, but I have found a way to be an overcomer. The best way to overcome is to have a made up mind that no matter what, turning back is not an option. It doesn’t matter what the world thinks, or how others choose to live their daily lives. All I can do about that is pray for them. What does matter is whether or not I have been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

I knew that I could spend my remaining days focusing on the things that I don’t have, or I could learn to be thankful for the things that I do have, so I choose to be thankful. “In everything give thanks.” When you demonstrate an attitude of thanks, nothing can shake you from your purpose.

Today, the Lord has given us all today. Now, what will I do with it? Hopefully, I will not spend the day regretting yesterday, or worrying about tomorrow. Rather, I will choose to live in the moment, for it is now, that will make a difference in my life. The bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:2, “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

We must continue to run this race of life with patience.

In this week’s Lattereign we celebrate 37 years of apostolic ministry at the Pentecostals of Greenville. Let’s Finish the Race

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God is in Control. Trust Him.

It is good to praise the Lord for the great things he has done. Sometimes it may seem that it is difficult when the storms of life come crashing in on you. Nevertheless, God is faithful. The fact that you are able to read this today confirms that the Lord is faithful. He will always make a way of escape, but we have to learn to trust him.

Living for the Lord doesn’t mean that you will not face dire circumstances that are out of your control, but I promise you that no matter what you have to face in life, it is much better to have the Lord directing your steps than to feel like you have been blindsided with circumstances meant to take you off course.

Yes, you may not always feel in control, but aren’t you thankful that God is in control, and he is working out all things for our good. I am reminded of a cartoon I saw once where a man was complaining because he had a fence blocking his path, and he was so intent on going in that direction that he decided to break the barrier and so he climbed over the top. What he didn’t realize was the fence was  there to protect people from falling off of the cliff. You may not see what lies before you, but God sees, and whatever it takes he will keep you going in a right direction. You can trust in him.

In this week’s Lattereign, we are reminded that at all times we must praise the Lord, even when we don’t see our way clear.  Praise him in the evening time

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