Thanksgiving is only a week away. It's really hard to believe we have reached the holidays already. As I review the year, I ask myself, where did it go? Perhaps the older we get, or the closer to the return of Jesus, time goes faster. We could probably find that we've not reached all those lofty goals, lost all that weight, or stayed true to the reading Bible schedule. But no matter, we are quickly approaching the end of the year. The great thing is we can begin again!
1 Thes. 5:18 says, "In everything give thanks, this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." It does NOT say 'for' everything! In the midst of all trials and circumstances, whether good or bad we are to give thanks. Give thanks for what, you say? Thanks that God is on our side, thanks that He has made a way of escape, thanks that He is our provider, thanks for His unconditional love, and so much more.
It is with a heartfelt gratitude we send you this blog, thanking you for your continued support and prayers, as well as service to God. We are grateful for your praise reports and encouragement.
With sincere hearts, we wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving. May all the things, for which you are thankful, become a resounding praise to His Name. Enjoy your holiday and continue to give thanks to God IN everything!
If you've ever watched any movies that have secret agents in them, you've noticed the whole modus operandi is no one knows they are an operative. Secretly they do their work, all the while deluding everyone. No one knows they are agents. You probably didn't know it, but there are also undercover Christians. That's not how it's suppose to work! Jesus' command was to go to all the world and make disciples. (Mat. 28:19-20) One can not do that and still remain incognito. Matthew 5:16 Jesus said, "Let so shine before men, that they may see good works and glorify Father in heaven." Now the question we should be asking ourselves....Is our light shining? Do your friends, your family, your co-workers or your neighbors know you're a Christian? Or are you acting as a 'secret agent'? Jesus referenced believers as the 'light of the world' and just like a city on a hill cannot be hidden, neither should our light.
2 Cor. 13:5(Amp) says, "Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it. Test and prove yourselves [not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you—unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected?" It's not for others to judge us, but we need to judge ourself. Let us view our deeds and words. Are we the 'Light', God has instructed us to be? Acts. 13:57 "For so the Lord has charged us, saying, I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles (the heathen), that you may bring [eternal] salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth."
#1) Is my conversation encouraging, holy, kind and considerate? As followers of Christ, my dialogue should be different than the worlds. Profane words are not edifying to the listener nor do they bring Glory to God! Belittling someone so I can feel big does not build others up.
James 3:10 "Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so."
Eph. 4:29 "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."
Col. 3:8 "But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth."
#2) Is my lifestyle holy and righteous? The Lord and His Spirit abides within me. My 'temple' should be clean and without sin. My conduct expresses who I am. Professing Christianity and behaving ungodly does not line up with the Word of God. A double minded Christian (clinging onto the world while trying to embrace God) exhibits confusion to others and exempts me from blessings of God.
1 Cor. 3:16-17 "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are."
1 Pet. 1:15 "but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,"
Heb. 12:14 "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:"
1 Tim. 4:12 ".....be an example (pattern) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity."
It's real easy, even as a Christian, to forget values and morals only to behave like the rest of the world. Getting sucked into lying, cheating, immorality and such, doesn't just happen all of a sudden. It begins with small things and slowly creeps into our lifestyle. Telling a simple lie to avoid hurting people's feelings, if done often enough, eventually develops into habitual lying. We are being desensitized to ungodliness daily, through all types of media. Movies, television, music, and non believing friends can influence us if we listen long and often. It is then that we become like a secret agent. Secretly professing Christ, yet outwardly living carnal.
The only secret we need in our life is to be IN the secret place of the Most High! (Ps. 91:1) Make a decision today to live for God and exemplify His nature. Don't be a Secret Agent!
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."