My sun porch

My sun porch

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Praise God FIRST!

Today's memory verse:
"You are worthy, our LORD and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being" (Revelation 4:11).

Why do we think we can "improve" ourselves on own power? We go on diets that we don't follow, exercise plans that fall to the wayside, budgets that we don't stick to...I am sure there are those who can pull themselves up by their boot straps and do anything they put their mind to...but I have found that even though I am a smart, strong-willed woman...I fail every time I try to do something like this...on my own.

God WANTS to be part of our lives and part of our plans! He created us, and knows what is good for us...AND He gives us so many blessings...why are we always dissatisfied and unhappy and striving for more?

In my studies in the past few years, I have read hundreds of examples of people who learned to praise God FIRST. Praising God in all situations, the good, the bad and the ugly, keeps you grounded and focused on God, right where He wants you.

Even if you are struggling with hardships, worries and fears, looking for SOMETHING in your life that is good and praising God for his blessings and his mercy will remind you of His greatness. Relying on this "higher power" instead of yourself will give you more strength to deal with those worries.

"Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant" (Psalm 135:3).

For example: I am praising God this morning for a lesson I learned last night at small group. My family has been struggling financially lately and it has been wearing on me as I try to figure out a solution. Notice that I said "I" (me, myself and I.) Again, I was trying to figure it out alone.

We watched a video last night and had good discussions about how we don't act as if our money belonged to God. At work, I am very responsible with what funds I have to manage, but at home, I sometimes have no idea how I am spending money. I need to remember I am merely a money manager for God! I should be doing a better job!

So, not only am I praying for God's wisdom, but I am working toward following a plan that will help me and my family learn to put God FIRST in our financial decisions. The first step is to be thankful and praise God for what He has given us!

It didn't take us a few days to get in debt or in the financial situation we are in, so I can't expect to have God magically fix it in a few days either! Along with praising God, I need to have patience AND tenacity AND work hard!, I thank God with joy for the lessons I am learning every day, and I celebrate His goodness and grace! I love God with all my heart, mind and soul and love the fact that I am blessed enough to realize all this in my life!

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