Who Should Thank God?

[H]ere’s one of those cool things we learn about God because He tells us about Himself.


Anyone can thank God regardless of how they understand Him.  There are certainly greater steps to be taken in knowing Him personally but anyone can and should thank Him.

Family Giving Thanks


In this letter Paul spells out things about God for mature believers (Romans 15:14 – “I am satisfied … that you are… filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.“).

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Prayer – Intercession

The Principle: Standing in the Gap

“I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.”
Ezekiel 22:30 NLT


Praying Woman
Praying Woman


God does not need anything from humans.  He doesn’t need help with things, He doesn’t need praise from us; He doesn’t need our money in the offering plate.

He allows us to join Him as He brings about His plan.


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The Angry Christian

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
and give no opportunity to the devil.
Ephesians 4:26 – 27 ESV


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Fighting in Anger


Our church is studying what it means to be members of the church.  Recent lessons are on unity within the church and building one another up.  As I read the passage above I was struck by Paul’s command five verses later:


Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Ephesians 4:31 ESV

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Forgiveness For Every Sin

[O]ften those of us that follow Jesus can find it emotionally challenging to let go of the shame of our sins.


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Shame and Separation


It is valid to experience shame that accompanies our guilt before the only holy God when we are in our sinfulness for He is perfect and we aren’t.  The sense of shame that accompanies our recognition of how we’re sinful, however, isn’t God’s ultimate goal.  Our recognizing Him, coming into a right relationship with Him on His terms then worshiping, glorifying and enjoying Him is.  Once we’re forgiven based on the blood sacrifice of Jesus, He sees us through His grace as perfectly sinless; the shame should lead to repentance and then freedom and a deep sense of value as we realize the living God loves us but often we get hung up on what demons, our messed up human brains and our fellow humans tell us.

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The Purpose of Paul's Salvation

1 Timothy


I’ve made the mistake of thinking my salvation is primarily about me.  To be sure, God’s love is for me but a deeper reason He saves is for His purposes and to bring glory to Himself.

In my myopic existence I don’t focus my attention on Jesus.  I often consider my benefits and blessings, which are truly benefits and blessings and I should recognize them as such and thank God for them but His purpose goes beyond just saving me; He saves me as a testimony to His faithfulness, His grace, His love, His patience and His sovereignty.  His desire is to see all people choose Him and enter into an eternal relationship with Him but in Paul’s case, specifically:

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God's Grace, Our Foundation

2 Timothy - header 600x300

Reading through 2 Timothy this morning I ran across this which sounded so familiar.

“… God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace ….”
2 Timothy 1:8-9 ESV

Also stated by Paul famously in

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV

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The Fullness of Time


But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,
so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. –
Galatians 4:4-5 NASB


I don’t know any details of God that He hasn’t shared with everyone but I take the clause here “… in the fullness of the time ….” to apply to history.

Jesus was born when God, the Father, planned; not before, not after; His birth wasn’t hastened or postponed by anything.

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Translating Opportunities; Does It Matter

1 Timothy


God’s word, the Bible, is powerful.  Both the Jewish Testament and the New Testament tell us that God’s word is profitable.

Sometimes, however, English translations have subtle differences from the original texts.  Take for example a passage from Paul’s first letter to Timothy.

The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.
1 Timothy 1:5 NLT


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Seeking Holiness – Because God Is Holy

God expects that Christians live lives characterized by holiness (1 Peter 1:14-16 “You shall be holy, for I am holy”) and Paul explains to Christians how they are to not live in sin but be slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:1-19).

Holiness –

Holiness in the highest sense belongs to God (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 15:4), and to Christians as consecrated to God’s service, and in so far as they are conformed in all things to the will of God (Rom. 6:19, 22; Eph. 1:4; Titus1:8; 1 Pet. 1:15). Personal holiness is a work of gradual development. It is carried on under many hindrances, hence the frequent admonitions to watchfulness, prayer, and perseverance (1 Cor. 1:30; 2Cor. 7:1; Eph. 4:23, 24).
Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary

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