Welcome again to this week's word for the week. For you to move forward in God will take some toughness on your part. You will have to be tough when it comes to the truth. Jesus said we will know the truth and it is the truth that shall set us free. Knowing the truth about something is truly the beginning of being free from what binds us and holds us hostage in the spiritual sense. Let's go further.
This week for those of us from the United States is Thanksgiving. The following day is known as Black Friday which is the "first day" of the Christmas shopping season. It is a time when most people are upbeat and generally excited. People who normally may not smile do so at this time of the year. People sit down for Thanksgiving and yet it is easy for the meaning to get lost. People get frustrated when they run out of money to shop but the real gift has already been given to us.
When it comes to life and being free we must also be tough. Everyday for a Christian is Thanksgiving. We should always be thankful because God shows up everyday for us. We ought to be grateful and willing to seek and live by the truth. It doesn't matter what the person next to you may believe. You have to believe God with everything within you and be willing to live by His word. The promises alone that are found in the Bible are more than enough reason for us to be thankful.
I'm not against buying gifts for others. I'm against spending money if you don't have it. I'm against going all out to impress a person when the only impression you ever need to make is with God. The Bible says owe no man nothing but to love him. That brings me up to a few questions. Do you go all out for God? Look at your bank statement for a moment. How much of what went out went out for God? We talk the talk and yet the whole thing God is interested in is do we walk the walk?
As Christians we cannot afford to let the world dictate to us how we should celebrate. They now call Christmas by the name of Xmas because it removes the name of Christ. We have to put Him back in the celebration but the truth is that is something we should be doing daily. Everyday we should walk according to His will. We should walk as though we are truly grateful for all that He has done and for who He is. We should conduct ourselves in a manner that shows gratitude without us ever having to utter a word. The world should be able to see our light even if they just glance at us. Christ should shine that bright within us.
These things are not hard to do. They just require toughness to do them. You can't live being worried about what others think about your walk. You can't say how nobody doesn't know when because they weren't there and then be worried about what they think about your praise. If you're thankful then show it. If you're grateful for Christ then show it. You don't have to stand on the rooftop and scream Jesus. Nobody may notice you up there. Instead, come down among the people and simply live Jesus!
Don't be ashamed about who you are in Christ. He made you and a you should be aware of how great of a cost that was. It's not difficult at all. Just look back over your life and you'll understand very quickly. We're not saved because we deserve to be saved. We're saved because Christ loved us. Be who you are not only this holiday season but in all seasons. Smile when you can. Speak when the opportunity presents itself to speak. Be silent when there is a need to do so. This is not about you and your feelings. This is about the will of God being done so that all may be saved and none will be lost.
It's time for more of God in your life. We are literally in the fall season. The leaves are changing and the temperatures are changing. Trees are being stripped as we speak and yet God willing we will see them reappear more green in the spring season. Make sure you give this some thought as we close. The leaves may be stripped from the tree but the tree is still standing. Blessed is the man that delights in the Lord as he is the one who is like a tree planted by the rivers of water. In other words, once you submit to God then it's time to be sure your life will always be watered. Give that some thought!!
May the Lord continue to bless and keep you in His grace,
Bishop Carlos J. Lennon