• salted path

In life there are trials and challenges, which can present and affect us in different ways. During these times hold on tightly to God’s promises. He said that He will sustain us and will see us through.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)

#god #protect #fire #faith #life

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By default (as human beings living in this world) we are quite self-centered and selfish, and being thankful is not something that comes naturally to us. One would think that saying 'thank you' would be a natural response of gratitude when we receive something, but even this has to be taught - and learned. How often have you heard an adult remind a child to "say thank you" after they received a gift?

Yes, it is not always easy to be thankful. We might find ourselves in a situation that we wish we could run away from or change. We might be going through a loss, heartache, pain: something that is causing us to experience a range of emotions, which are foreign and unwelcome.

But making a conscious decision to have a mindset of thankfulness will change the way we view life, people, situations and experiences. It will make us realise how much God provides for us and how He leads us. It will make us look for blessings - even during difficult times - which are sent our way. It will make us notice the stars on a dark night. An mindset of gratitude will lead us to see our challenges as times when God is walking closely with us, growing our faith and wrapping us in His arms.

The words written in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 are as relevant to us today, as they were when they were written to the the church of the Thessalonians: "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Giving thanks in good times shows our gratitude for the blessings we receive. Giving thanks during challenging times builds our faith in a God whose wisdom is beyond ours and who will see us through.

Psalm 136:1-9 (NIV)

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

His love endures forever

Give thanks to the God of gods

His love endures forever

Give thanks to the Lord of lords

His love endures forever

to him who alone does great wonders

His love endures forever

who by his understanding made the heavens

His love endures forever

who spread out the earth upon the waters

His love endures forever

who made the great lights

His love endures forever

the sun to govern the day

His love endures forever

the moon and stars to govern the night

His love endures forever"

#thankful #givethanks #thankful #appreciate #gratitude #god #jesus #christianlifestyle #saltedpath #faith #trust

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God uses the unexpected, the unusual and the unexplained to get our attention. He sees our potential in the midst of the mess we find ourselves in and calls us to a greater purpose. Moses, a Hebrew, adopted by Pharaoh's daughter, seemed to have it all. As Pharaoh's adopted grandson, he got to live like royalty. But his human way of solving problems led him to kill an Egyptian, forcing him to flee from Egypt. On a human level Moses had become a nobody. Yet God saw the potential of a mighty leader in this murderer and fugitive, turn shepherd. God decided to meet Moses where he was - in the desert, surrounded by sheep. But He appeared to him in the most attention grabbing, spectacular way: A bush on fire that didn't burn up! With his attention grabbed and curiosity awakened, Moses decided to get closer and investigate this incredible sight. And then he heard God's voice!

Where are you in your journey? Have you noticed the unexplainable and strange things God has placed in your life to grab your attention? Are you ready to hear what He has to say to you? Or are you happy living the 'royal' life that this world has to offer you?

You can read the story of Moses' life and encounter with God in the Bible, in the book of Exodus chapters 2 and 3.

#faith #unexpected #godcalling #moses #leader #burningbush #saltedpath #godisspeaking

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Sometimes we reach a point in life where we feel like we have come to a dead end. We know we need to move forward, but we don't seem to be able to find the way out.

It's at those times that we get the opportunity to fully trust God.

God has a way out - even when the road ahead is blocked.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight." Prov 3:5, 6

#wayout #help #bibleverse #saltedpath #christianlife #faith #noroad #godisfaithful #trust

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God knows our future from the beginning. He knows which life path is most beneficial for us. Yet He gives us the freedom to choose for ourselves how we wish to live out our life. But what would my life be like if I let go of all my pre-conceived ideas of what 'my life' should be like. What if, instead of making my plans and trying to incorporate God into them, I first went to God asking Him to show me His purpose and plan for my life and lived that life?

King David had something to say on this topic. For David, God and His purposes were not an after thought. David longed to know God's directions for his life. He knew that God's words would give wisdom and understanding. He had confidence that God protects, loves and shields those who choose to put God first. He didn't want to be under the control of wrong influences, but desired for God to guide and lead him throughout his life.

So what about you? How do you wish to live your life?

"The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. I opened my mouth and panted, for I longed for Your commandments. Look upon me and be merciful to me, as Your custom is toward those who love Your name. Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me." Psalm 119:130-133 (NKJV)

#christianlife #lifestyle #faith #God #jesus #lifeyourlife

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Work in proportion to the skills and abilities that you have been given.

If you were entrusted with looking after $1 million dollars for ten years - how would you go about it? Would you put the money in the bank? Buy some property? Perhaps you would consider buying some shares? Or would you keep it safe by hiding it under your mattress?

Now imagine that you could keep the profits that the $1 million would bring in over the ten years. Would that alter your method of looking after the money?

A story was once told of a boss putting three of his workers in charge of his business. Each one had different skills and abilities, so they were put in charge of different amounts of his wealth. Two of the workers put the money to use and achieved 100% returns on their investments. The third worker hid the boss's money in the ground.

What is one of the lessons that we can draw from this illustration?

God created each one of us with a purpose and gave us specific skills and abilities which He wants us to use to meet the needs of others. It is too easy to make excuses as to why we should not use the skills and opportunities that we are given. "I'm too young..", "I'm too old..", "I'm too busy..", "she does it better than me.." are words that are often spoken to justify our lack of action.

But what if we could keep the returns gained by our investment? What if there was something in it for us? Would that change our attitude to how we use our skills for the benefit of others?

When we use the skills and abilities that we have been given, we gain extra experience, which in turn improves our skills. Having more experience takes us from being a novice to an expert. It creates new opportunities and friendships along the way. And seeing the gratitude of those who we are able to assist is just something that cannot be measured. It is yet another form of return on our investment.

God calls us to use the skills and opportunities He has given us for His purposes.

But our lives are enriched with the dividends we receive along the way.

So what is stopping you from using your skills and abilities to their maximum potential?

Matthew 25:14-30 New Living Translation (NLT)

Parable of the Three Servants

14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

#christianlife #lifestyle #faith #liveforgod #parable #servant #lifepurpose #christianblogger #christianlifestyle #riches

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Some life experiences are positive and welcomed with open arms. Others leave us confused and lost for words. There are also those which seem common or insignificant. But every life experience has a lesson in it for us. These lessons might not always seem obvious and we may need to search a little deeper in order to discover them.

Leaving the shops the other day, my heavily overloaded, reusable shopping bag ripped, with more groceries than what my hands could carry spilling onto the path. Immediately two people jumped in to help me! A lady asked if she could help me carry my groceries to the car, while a man ran over to me, handing me a shopping basket to put my scattered groceries into.

This experience taught me what a big difference a stranger's act can make. It also reminded me of the importance of looking for opportunities to be that stranger.

When you entrust your life to its sustainer, you can face every life experience with confidence, knowing that all He does is fuelled by love and that the experiences are God's practical way of shaping your character into a reflection of His.

"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matt 28:20

#practicalfaith #christian #jesussaves #jesus #faith #believe #life

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Updated: Apr 10, 2018

"The Lord is my shepherd" - what does that even mean?

David, a shepherd turn King, wrote a beautiful poem in which he uses the imagery of God caring for us like a shepherd cares for his sheep. We commonly refer to is as Psalm 23. The words of this psalm may be familiar to you and you may even be able to recite it.

When David wrote this psalm, he was using imagery that was familiar to him. But have you ever tried re-capturing the essence of David's poem using your own words?

I encourage you to contemplate the meaning of the words of this psalm as you write your own version of it. Claim the promises for yourself.

Here is my take on Psalm 23:

My God, the one who made me, looks after me.

He gives me all I need.

He knows what is best for me and where I need to go,

but He doesn't make me go there alone.

He leads me along the way of my life.

He provides a time and a place for me to a break from things.

He refreshes my soul.

The "I AM" does not deceive, but always leads in truth and love.

I do not have to fear the future.

Even though I will encounter tough times,

I will have the strength to get through them,

for You are always with me.

You lead the way and protect me.

What others think of me doesn't change your opinion of me.

You claim me as your child and treat me like royalty.

I am blessed beyond belief.

I am sure that you will continue loving and blessing me

every moment of my life.

And I will spend eternity with You.

#bible #psalm23 #faith #walkwithgod #blessedbeyondbelief #god #iam #promises #jesus

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Updated: Jan 15, 2018

"What's God's plan for my life?" "What does God want me to do next?" "Does God want me to do this?" These are just some of the questions that I have often thought about and have attempted to answer for myself many times. I'm sure you have heard the words, "God has a plan for everyone", but at times I struggled to see whether God had a clear plan for my life. Yes, I knew that I didn't come about by an accident and that I was created for a purpose. But I would often ask: "What is my purpose? What should I be doing now? Which direction should I be going in?"

In November 2017, I was attending a worship service at 'The Grove' church in Adelaide, when I heard a message that changed my perspective on these questions.

It's not about you!

The preacher spoke about how God knows the end from the beginning and how He has a plan for all of humanity. God's plan is to reach the hearts of all people and change their lives. So it is not all about ME and God's plan for MY life, but about HIS plan for all of humanity.

"It's not about a plan for your life. It's about God's plan."

Living is not about a specific step-by-step program which God has pre-arranged and I need to act out in order to feel like I am 'living out God's plan for my life'. Life is about something bigger. It is about who God is, His plans and how you and I fit into them. God gives each one of us the privilege of being able to play a part in reaching people and showing them His love and true character - but He also gives us the free will to be able to choose to work with Him, or not.

So next time you start questioning whether God has a plan for your life, remember that it's not about you. It's about Him.

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

#devotional #faith #christian #lifestyle #god

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