The Art Of Christian Living

Exploring & Sharing Life | Lessons | Experiences

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

Oh, how great it is to be able to recognize and know the goodness and mercy of God in and through all things. This year makes it even harder to see the goodness and mercy of God because of everything that is happening, yet it is our greatest weapon to withstand everything with contentment.

I am sure that, like me, many of your plans from the start of 2020 have not gone as you expected. None of us saw this coming, but we ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that” James 4:15. When you include God in your planning it will help leave room for any surprises. Surprises always come when, yet God is already aware of any surprises and knows what steps to take if only you trust in Him and His timing.

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Waiting with Patience & Thanksgiving

Waiting is part of life just as breathing is part of living. We are always waiting for one thing or another, and sometimes multiple things at once. Thanksgiving can keep your mind from wandering with doubts or uncertainty. If we have to go by our feelings we’ll be missing a lot from God.

Negative emotions and feelings are on the rise. It is amazing how much depression and anxiety have surged in the past months. Many are nurturing negative feelings through our conversations with others and within ourselves. The more we focus on problems the more prevalent they become and negative thoughts and feelings can turn into our default. As Christians, the Bible encourages us to choose life; meaning to speak with faith and trust God. That thanksgiving helps you to stand fast in the Will of God while waiting for Him to work everything perfectly.


Consider His Mercy

In His love and in His redeemed them. Isaiah 63:9

For many, this time of the year brings memories of pain, grief, sadness, loss, hopelessness, etc, adding to what is already happening. Giving thanks to God does not mean denying our circumstances or undermining them. It is an opportunity to acknowledge them while focusing more on the one who loves us so much that He gave his only begotten son. Through it all, He never forsakes and continues to give the strength and grace to keep enduring. God is tender, forgiving, generous, and loving toward you and your loved ones.

Recognizing His Mercy & Blessings

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

When we recognize the mercy of God then we will be able to show appreciation as Paul did. “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all” 1 Timothy 1:15.  Paul recognized God’s grace and the cost of the cross. May we be able to recognize God’s blessings no matter what we’re going through. He is always in the midst of everything, cheering us to stand fast in our faith and trust his mercy and power to save us.

I love this quote from Dr. Charles F. Stanley “No one can serve the Lord with real passion until they are persuaded of the everlasting and overwhelming kindness of God”.

Let today be the day that you will spend time counting all your blessings, and consider what your life would be without the goodness of God. When you recognize His presence it inspires you to give praise with great enthusiasm and passion.


Prayer:  Jesus, thank You for Your magnificent mercy and love! You have redeemed me from so much, and I will praise Your name forever. Amen. (Dr. Charles F. Stanley).

I guess it is not too late to say Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Keep thanking God, because when we are thankful it shifts our perspective. Also, it makes you realize that you have everything because of his marvelous grace. Sometimes the feeling won’t accompany the gesture of thanksgiving, but gratitude is more than a feeling. Therefore, practice Thanksgiving as your strategy to withstand the troubles of life.

Thank you for reading. You are blessed to be a blessing. Have a wonderful weekend. Stay Blessed Always!

https://theartofchristianliving.blog/2019/11/28/happy-thanksgiving-grateful-to-you-all/

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; Galatians 5:22-23

God wants you to be the physical manifestation of His presence in action today. He desires you to bear the fruit of His Spirit and make a difference in the world through you. This means your life will be characterized by:

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Love – all the other qualities associated with having the Holy Spirit flow from the presence of God’s love in you. You need love in order to express or produce the other fruits because love is the highest value that you will ever experience and express towards others.

Joy – is rejoicing in His work and possibilities in every situation. When you have the fruit of Joy you will see the good in everything because there is good in everything even when you do not See or Feel it.

 Peace – is resting on the promises of God and expecting their fulfillment. The presence of peace in your life helps promote trust in God and the spirit of endurance.

Patience – is waiting for God to reveal Himself to you and expressing grace to those around you. This fruit of the Holy Spirit is needed in all aspects of life.

Kindness – is reaching out to others in their need, thinking about others and their needs. No matter how small your action may be it is worthy of showing kindness to others.

Goodness – is choosing to do what is right and good in God’s eyes. When God is your motivation in life it does not matter who else approves your work because you will do what pleases God.

Faithfulness – is remaining true to Jesus and clinging to Him regardless of what happens. I believe this fruit is much needed in this season when there are so many uncertainties surrounding us.

Gentleness – is empathizing with people in need or pain. It is one of the requirements that Jesus asked of us if want to find Rest (Matthew 11: 28-30).

Self-control – is actively resisting temptation. This world is full of different types of temptations and as a believer having the gift of Self-control is very beneficial to your Christian journey.

Photo by Caleb Gregory on Unsplash

As you can embrace and manifest the fullness of God’s love to you, these other character qualities are going to be expressed through your life. Therefore, say to your heavenly Father, “Work through me today, Lord. I want to be Your hands and feet.”

Prayer: Yes, Jesus, work through me to shine Your light to whoever may need You. Amen.

This a devotion I read this morning from Dr. Charles F. Stanley “God’s Purposes Never Fail”. It blessed me a lot and I thought I would share with you guys. I added some touches that inspired me while I was reading. I hope it blesses you. Remember that the Fruit of the Holy Spirit are gifts and not earned by your hard work. You simply need to ask your heavenly Father and He will grant them to you according to his will and timing.  

I also want to use this opportunity to thank everyone for their wonderful prayers, indeed standing in the gap for each other is one of the greatest ways we can show love to one and other and also showcase the glory and sovereignty of God.

Thank you for reading. Have a blissful weekend. Stay Blessed Always!

https://theartofchristianliving.blog/2020/07/03/listening-anxious-hearts-need-open-ears/

When the rain keeps pouring like a fountain

And the light at the end of the tunnel disappears like vapor 

Faith swings like a pendulum to and fro

And life grasps for fresh air to breathe again

But moisture hangs in the air like a canopy

As the rain refuses to let the sun shine again

Yet, the one who sits on the throne laughs

For he can ignite the faltering light in your soul

Even amid the Endless rain in darkest hour


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Endless Rain

“They say when it rains it pours.” Occasionally, you may find yourself in a season of endless not-so-good news similar to that of Job’s in the Bible, receiving bad news back to back. Meanwhile, God is seemingly silent as doubts mount up like Mount Kilimanjaro.

These moments can cause great vulnerability because of its ability to strip you of all hope, power, and even faith. Yet, many are suffering in silence afraid to reveal what’s going on in their lives for fear of their faith being questioned.

One thing still daunting to me as I progress in my relationship with God is my inability to predict his thought or will about certain things or his next move even in similar situations or circumstances. This is sometimes very hard to comprehend, especially if you’re always seeking answers and reasons as to why this or that.


Grace to Persevere

When the rain seems endless, and there’s no light to behold at the end of the tunnel, and you have more questions than answers, what do you? I know previous I would have said “Jump on to the wagon of faith” but, life has taught me that it is simpler said than done.

Yet, I’ll encourage you to hang on there. Take it moment by moment and let his grace carry you through. Sometimes you need God’s special grace to hold on to faith. Otherwise, no one would have ever given up. It is not easy to have or even exercise Faith after multiple series of bad news over a long period without his grace. The fact that you’re still here and fighting for that faith to keep believing in his Promises marks the presence of his grace.

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes. Job 42:5-6

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Keep fighting the good fight of FAITH and you see with your eyes his goodness and might as you have already heard with your ear. No matter how long it continues to rain the sun will always shine again, we all have witnessed it over and over again. Therefore, hang on to faith.

Prayer: May Job’s testimony become our testimony as we journey through this fallen world with uncertainties and obstacles on our way to victory. Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful and peaceful weekend. Stay Blessed Always!

Related Post

https://theartofchristianliving.blog/2020/04/14/devotion-a-farmers-faith/

https://theartofchristianliving.blog/2019/06/20/why-do-i-write-writing-is-therapeutic-it-helps-calms-the-mind/

Greetings and grace to everyone. It’s been a whole week since I posted. This week has been incredibly challenging in many ways. The fact I am writing this is a miracle in itself, and proof of God’s faithfulness. For he never waivers even when we drift a little in the currents and storms of life.

I wrote a short poem and commentary which I will post right after this to encourage anyone who is also waiting and praying for a breakthrough. I’ll leave you with this verse below to pray and meditate upon and may God’s love overshadow any doubt, pain, or suffering, or unbelief that is challenging you.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

Thank you for reading. I am praying for you, and kindly remember me in your prayers. Let us stand in the gap and uplift each in these difficult times or seasons. Together we will surely get through everything and even come out stronger than ever before. For he that promised is faithful. Happy Saturday. Stay Blessed Always.

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“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are” C.S. Lewis

Imagine the Apostle Paul writing to churches and telling them how horrible things are and how life is unbearable.

Dear beloved, I wanted to let you know that the chains are heavy and weigh me down, I can barely stand. Joy left me like death, never to return.  I fear Christ’s commission of spreading the ‘Good News’ is at standstill. Each day I worry whether I would be able to see another day.

Thankfully Paul saw everything that happened to him from a different perspective. And instead, he wrote this;

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[b] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[c] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. Philippians 1:12-14


Perspective is Essential

Experiences alone are not what determines our heartaches or trauma, but how we respond to them. Of course, some people are more predisposed toward negative self-narration while others see the good in everything. Our personality traits, backgrounds, and cultures play important roles in how we interpret circumstances and situations.

A person sees the world how his/her mind interprets it. The mental pictures a person gathers throughout their life can have a tremendous effect. It is similar to what psychologists call ‘Schemas’ – Cognitive generalization that organizes and guides the processing of information (Behavioral Research Methods).

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Three Important Questions run Everyone Minds


1. What does it matter?

We all asked ourselves ‘What does it matter?’ millions of times, often when things are not going our way. When you concentrate on what you can control rather than things you can’t life will be different. Paul saw his imprisonment as a chance to further spread the gospel in an unreached environment. Rather than lamenting on his predicament, he saw a blessing in disguise.

Knowing what matters to you is vital because it will drive your perception of the world around you.

2. What shall I choose?

In life, you’re faced with decisions all day long, especially those dealing with some form of emotional or mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, etc, or even daily choices.

Paul made a choice that “For me to live is Christ and to die is to gain.”  Whatever happened to him was alright because he would glorify God at all costs. No wonder his perspective about his pain and suffering differs from what most of us would have or expected him to have.

Acceptance and not avoidance is the KEY: For to me is for Christ and to die is gain.

3. What does it mean?

What is the purpose of everything I am going through? A question we’ve asked many times and will continue to ask as long as we are alive. It is normal for human beings to look for meaning in everything.

Anything you find amidst great pain will mean a lot to you. No hardship is ever wasted except when we don’t give it meaning. For example, pain and suffering is a theme that many Christians don’t want to be familiar with yet, the Bible stated that “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us” 2 Timothy 2:12

Our world changes rapidly, even while on lockdown, and it is hard to joy amidst the hardships that come along with it. In the story of Joseph; God was with Joseph despite everything that he endured, yet if Joseph would have self-narrated his story perhaps we would see that he did not necessarily feel God’s presence through it all.

Photo by Mark Fletcher-Brown on Unsplash

Things to Consider

  • Pain or suffering does not equate to God’s absence or inability to save you
  • God’s blessing can be displayed in different forms (Your interpretation matters)
  • Not every uncomfortable situation is caused by the devil
  • God’s Love for you is beyond your temporary pain and hardships
  • Your life is not limited to the scope of your circumstance (there’s more to your life than meets the eye)
  • Align your perspective with God’s truth and let your core beliefs reflect God’s grace and mercy
  • You give meaning to whatever is happening to you

No matter what you’re going through, strive to have a perspective that helps interpret things in God’s light that helps you endure. You live in a fallen world, therefore pain and suffering will always exist. You have to make a choice to endure, interpret, and give meaning. Cheer up and be encouraged that this world is not your final destination, and the best is yet to come. Hold on to your faith, and trust in the God who can do more abundantly than you could ever ask or imagine.

Thank you for reading. May God grant us the right perspective during this season, and the wisdom to discern what we can control and what we can’t control. Stay Blessed Always!

This post is inspired by Pastor Steven Furtick.

Peace is always in the midst of it all
Running through like an endless river
Flowing from the inner core of every being
Monitored and sustained by the Prince of Peace
No matter the ordeal, peace will be there
Whether in the highest mountain or lowest valley,
Peace will always mark its presence
Take a deep breathe and let peace remind you of its presence


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Hello everyone, I am believing everyone had a graceful week. It is the weekend, and hopefully, it will be great for you. I just wanted to say hi to everyone, since I have not posted anything this week.  You all are on my mind and I have not ceased praying for you.

Prince of Peace

Since it is the weekend, my prayer is that you encounter the marvelous peace of God. His peace is endless and cannot be tamed by anything in this world. It is always present no matter your situation. Nothing happening to you is a surprise to your maker. God is not back at the drawing board trying to figure out how to deliver you or restore you. He’s an all-knowing God, and nothing is outside of his reach including you and your circumstances.

Remember this when peace seems to be fading like water vapor – do not panic, ‘Be still and know he is God.’ Also keep in mind this conviction from Paul to silence the raging seas “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). There’s no loss in the kingdom of God. Either way, you still win and victory is yours in Christ Jesus.

Therefore, don’t let anything trouble your peace. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

Thank you for reading. Wishing you all a very peaceful weekend, with God’s constant reminder of whose child you are and who is the one that sustains you, amen. Stay Blessed Always.

Related Post:

https://theartofchristianliving.blog/2020/04/29/let-peace-guide-you-2/

Mighty and impeccable God,
How great thou art

None can compete with you in the squad
You’re at the top of every chart

You reign in a class of your own without a facade
The universe only reveals your glory in part

Scientists efforts to prove your nonexistence abound
Generation after generation without stop

Yet, their efforts prove futile, their failure resounds
Because you’re more than a theory to adopt

You’re unfalsifiable
The Ultimate Truth,
Omnipotent,
Omniscient,

An enormous force too powerful to miss
Nature showcases your presence

So your existence none can dismiss
As you paint the sky with quintessence

You alone are King of wonder and bliss
Clothed with all glory, power and Omnipresence

Supreme God, we bow in awe of your majesty

What a wander you are to the human race. Day by day billions seek your face while billions of others questioned your existence. The universe awaits your final, majestic, glorious display.

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Majesty: Psalm 8

For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David.

1 Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?[c]

5 You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels[e]
    and crowned them[f] with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their[g] feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!


Thank you for reading. May God continue to show us His majestic nature as we keep desiring Him more and more. Stay Blessed Always!

Related Post

https://theartofchristianliving.blog/2020/08/28/a-glimpse-of-glory/

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:3-4

To the one who looks around and wonders
When will it be my turn, or have I missed it, or will there be anything left for me?
To you I say, there is never a tree without a seed, nor a seed without a tree or plant.
Yet, every tree or plant has its own season.
They are sown in different soils and germinate at different rates
And each tree has different qualities and quantities of fruits.
Yet, each tree and its fruit serves specific purposes.

Shall the Bamboo mock the Weeping Willow because it grows slowly?
Or shall the Weeping Willow boast to the Bamboo about its firm roots?
To each their own. Tend to your tree and let it grow according to its time, purpose, and capacity. 
To desire another’s tree is to lose focus, and delay the potential growth of your tree
Both the bamboo and weeping willow are created for different reasons and both have different purposes to serve.


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“Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.”
– Zig Ziglar

As bloggers here in WordPress sometimes it may be hard to understand why some bloggers sprout up so quickly.  There are different theories out there, but I believe WordPress represents the world in a general sense. Some of the people that you attended high school or college with are living completely different lives than you thought they would, including yourself. 

Success isn’t about competition, because it means different things for different people. Sometimes you may get carried away by another definition of success if you do not take your time and define it for yourself.

Keep doing your best in whatever area you’re looking for success and seek God’s guidance. Yours shall come to pass at the appointed time.  Cheer for others ahead of you, encourage those beside you, and motivate by installing hope for those behind you.  In the end we will all enjoy success through his grace. The road to success may be narrow but there’s plenty of space at the mountain top.

Prayer: May God grant each one of you good success at your appointed time as he finds you faithful in the little you have now

Thank you for reading. Happy Wellness Wednesday. Stay Blessed Always.

https://theartofchristianliving.blog/2020/08/10/the-benefits-of-time-and-its-proper-usage/

Even if a thousand steps seemed like one
I must keep moving
Yesterday is no more and today is already fading away
I must keep moving
To catch with up tomorrow, slow but steady
For a thousand days is like a day in eternity
Therefore, I must keep moving
Even if the sand and the wind of life keep erasing my footsteps;
To make it seem like I’m only at the beginning
Yet, still, I must keep moving
For the best is yet to be seen
Henceforth, I must keep moving to behold it

Photo by Leon Macapagal on Pexels.com



Sometimes in life, everything Stands Still and no proof of progress has been made in almost every aspect of your life. It is okay to wonder why, and reflect on your life. But remember the story of the man who only saw one set of footprints in the sand during difficult times and asked God where He was.

Because you know Christ, your best days are before you and never behind you. Whether in this life or that which is to come. Keep moving, no matter how slow your steps. God walks with you till the end.

Scriptures to Encourage to Keep Moving

The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger. Job 17:9 

I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God’s heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18

 
Forgetting the past.

Forget what happened in the past, and do not dwell on events from long ago. Isaiah 43:18 

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. Philippians 3:13

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Corinthians 5:17



Thank you for reading. Have a restful and wonderful weekend. Stay Blessed Always!

Related Post

https://theartofchristianliving.blog/2020/02/22/life-is-still-good/

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love

Fear holds no bearing when love is present that’s why a parent can run into a burning house for a child without thinking about the ramifications. Love carries a power that signifies the personification of God. God is love, therefore love is one of the strongest emotions that we are blessed with as human beings.

I recently watched a research video on babies and their caregivers regarding non-verbal emotional communication. In that study, the babies were placed on a tabletop, and the illusion of a hole or depression was created on the other half of the table to see whether the babies will cross over depending on the expressions of their caregivers.

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Fear Loses its grip

The findings show that the babies crossed to the other side if their caregivers were smiling and had approval on their faces. But they would not cross if the caregivers’ faces expressed fear and concern. While watching the research this verse came to mind “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” I marveled at the revelation of it. Sometimes love felt through non-verbal communication is even stronger.

When you know and understand the love of God, fear will only pay you a visit but will not make its sanctuary in your heart and mind. You will realize that the God who created and reigns over the universe loves you enough to put his son in your place and you adopt into his family, and He will not let anything harm you or make you suffer for nothing.


God’s Love Through Non-verbal

God’s love is communicated even through non-verbal means such as feeling awe when His Presence is felt in your heart and soul. “Non-verbal communication is the process of communication by means of which messages are sent without the use of words.” Sometimes when reading God’s word you can be filled with his love because “Written texts can also include non-verbal elements given by style, spatial setting of words or by the use of emoticons.” (PĂUNESCU, A., & INDREICA, E.-S, 2014)

In conclusion, it is important to keep in mind that fear knows no boundaries. It will show its ugly head whenever it can, but you have the perfect weapon to silence fear each and every time it comes knocking at your door. Seek to know and understand God’s love for you. Many of us have grown up in households or neighborhoods where love is never expressed or where the meaning of love is misunderstood.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Rejoice, for the love of God is unconditional, perfect, and never runs dry. Keep loving others, even if they are unable to return your love, because “We know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” 1 John 4:16

Thank you for reading. May God’s love continue to abound in your heart and mind, that it might overflows to others around. Stay Blessed!

Related Post

https://theartofchristianliving.blog/2019/08/06/fear-why-you/

Reference

PĂUNESCU, A., & INDREICA, E.-S. (2014). Use of Non-Verbal Communication in

Preschoolers Emotional Development. Journal Plus Education / Educatia Plus, 10(2), 283–292.

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