It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

White Dog or Black Dog?

Which one will you feed? “I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD” (Psalm 116:17).

A new day awaits in front of you, but already your restless mind is walking you through the countless problems and chores left over from yesterday. You feel the negativity crawling up your back like an impending viral cold. Once again, you face the choice of feeding the white dog – hopeful expectations and thankfulness or the black dog – despair and complaining. Which dog will you choose to feed with your thoughts?

To feed the white dog of thankfulness is really a choice each of us will make. After all, doesn’t everyone have issues to deal with in life? Maybe the issues involve wayward children, a lack of finances, hurt feelings, or the loss of a loved one. Whatever the problem, God asks us to continue to look to Him and express a heart of thankfulness. “In EVERY THING give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

There were ten lepers in Luke 17:13 who needed healing and cried out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Yet, why was there ONLY ONE who came back to thank Christ when He healed them of their dreaded disease? Apparently nine of them hadn’t yet learned the lesson of feeding the white dog of thankfulness. Selfishly, they went on their way enjoying their good fortune. However, one leper UNDERSTOOD like Job that it was God who gives us everything we have: “The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21b).

How about you? Which dog is barking at you the loudest today? Will you choose to feed the white dog with thankful thoughts for your children, home, and other blessings, or will you feed the black dog with your thoughts of frustration, failure, and anxieties over what you do not have? Both dogs want to grow stronger in your life.

Which will you feed?

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Glory Days

“I’m bored,” complained my oldest son.  “I don’t have anything to do.” Normally, those words created images of countless tasks to give my son during our homeschool day.  However, today I sensed the Lord asking me to teach a lesson from His Word instead.

“Mountaintop experiences don’t happen every day,” I said.  “You’ll find that life is usually 80% ordinary and 20% extraordinary.  Most of your life will involve being faithful in the normal everyday routine, but when God chooses, He will give something that changes your life forever.”

Exciting experiences can be bought in this life, but the life-changing moments that give true satisfaction and fulfillment come only through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Think of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who faithfully lived a quiet life until the angel Gabriel told her she would give birth to the Savior.  Joseph became ruler over Egypt after years of suffering and separation from his family.  Moses met God through a burning bush after 40 years of isolated living as a shepherd.

Looking back on your life, how many extraordinary moments have you had? Faithfully serving God in the ordinary makes you a candidate to serve God in the extraordinary.  “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21).

Father, help me remember that You have a special plan and purpose for my life. May I be found faithful in the everyday things, so I am ready for the extraordinary moments when they come. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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