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Be Thankful and Praise HIM in All things

JESUS my Lord and Savior

Anastasia Diamond © Copyright 2011

I have submitted this post to Faithful Bloggers Group Writing Project at  http://faithfulbloggers.com/blogging/group-writing-project/in-every-thing-give-thanks/comment-page-1/#comment-3335

First Thessalonians 5:16 -18 tells us…“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for it is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

You might be thinking…Can that be true? Am I actually supposed to be joyful forever, pray continually, give thanks in everything, and trust that everything is God’s will for me? 

This scripture encourages us to joyfully call-upon and glorify God throughout our life; continually, without stopping or finishing. We are to draw near to God and seek His face in prayer daily…little by little, over and over again. It also reminds us to be thankful in everything because it is God’s will for us who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, in unity with God the Father, through our relationship with Him.

Why would we thank God in the midst of our problems?  James explains it this way, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2-4

In 2 Corinthians 7:4 Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation”. He knew, even though he was going through trials, that God was working all things together for his good. –Romans 8:28

Perservance in tribulation brings about the process of sanctification; which consecrates, dedicates, blesses, makes holy, purifies, approves, and sets apart believers due to accepting a relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Is everything concerning me truly the will of God ?

What about the death of my child, my illness, my loved one’s terminal illness, natural disasters, divorce, abandonment, financial debts I can’t pay, job loss, the murder of my loved one, being robbed, being raped, my homelessness, my addiction, imprisonment, unfairness in my life, other’s lies about me, the fright of global turmoil…and on, and on?

What about all those dreadful human conditions we encounter that bring pain, suffering, anxiety, loss, and grief? Can we truly approach God with a thankful heart, mind, and words while deep in the midst of worldly adversity?

It is easy and right to praise God on the good days and for all the good things in our lives and the lives of those we love. We are ever so willing to give Him thanks for our home, good health, happiness, finances to meet our needs, food  to quench our hunger, employment, position, children, and so on.

However, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 appoints us to give thanks in all circumstances that He allows, and to know that everything is His will in Christ Jesus in relation to us.

All is the opposite of nothing; it means every part of every thing.

What about the bad days? What about the days filled with complaints, hissy-fits, deep sorrow, and the ugliest circumstances of our life when it is clearly not easy to praise the Lord? One test of  our faith is learning to praise Him in all things…no matter how difficult the circumstances. That’s a tall order.

Praise Him in the midst of your circumstance. Though He does not promise an earthly life of continual bliss and happiness, He does promise His comfort and perfect peace in the midst of the storm. He wants us to allow our life circumstance to become a sacrifice of praise…all to His glory.

Giving Him thanks in all things leads to believing and understanding that we are to praise Him in all things! We are to glorify Him, worship Him, honor Him, applaud Him, and exalt Him…be truly thankful to Him in all things.

Step out of the boat…take His hand…in trust, faith and thankfulness. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete…not lacking anything.

If we are not thankful and praising Him in the midst of our difficulties, we must ask this profound question: Who is getting the glory in the midst of my storm… if not God?

The answer is difficult…and one we don’t like to consider.

The evil one is always waiting in the wings…lying, conniving; nay saying; working overtime to convince us that life is terrible, there is nothing to be thankful for, and that God does not care for or love us; if He did, He would not allow the pain, not only in our life, but throughout the world for all time. Part of the evil one’s mission is to plant questions and doubt so we will not praise God and be thankful in the midst of our brokenness, which gives him a toe-hold into our minds, hearts, and body.

However, God has a plan for our lives that is often worked out through adversity. Are we willing to trust God and let Him mold and shape us according to His will? Are we willing to be led; willing to go, to be, to do, and to accept everything God might choose for us?

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 

Oh, that every day would be a Thanksgiving Day; that we would  be thankful, cheerful and glad; praising and exalting Him in the midst of our problems; trusting His perfect will in all things.

Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”

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I AM the Resurrection…and the Life

JESUS My Lord and Savior

©2011 All Rights Reserved

Anastasia Diamond

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Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. John 11:25-26

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very heartbeat of Christianity. However, though most Americans view Easter as a religious celebration, many do not know why.

A recent Barna Group study asked adult Americans what Easter means to them…

While 67% consider Easter a religious holiday, there was some serious confusion: 2% of those said Easter is about the “birth of Christ”; another 2% indicated it was about the “rebirth of Jesus”; and 1% said it celebrates “the second coming of Jesus.”

An additional 3% said Easter is a celebration of spring, or a pagan holiday.

Of the 67% who acknowledged Easter as a religious holiday…only 42% rightly identified the resurrection of Jesus as the true meaning of Easter!

HE is Risen

Dear one, do not be confused…our salvation depends on faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9 tells us, “if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

In 1 Corinthians Paul states, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen sleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”

Then Paul victoriously announces, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” The resurrection of Jesus Christ secured our justification; He died for our sins and was raised for our justification.

Resurrection Sunday Blessings

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Philippians 3:10-12

May your Resurrection Sunday be blessed with the truth, knowledge, light and life of the resurrection of Jesus in your heart…and in your life.

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Easter…I Prefer RESURRECTION SUNDAY

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JESUS…was born, lived and died for our salvation

JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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Making room for JESUS in the inn of your heart

JESUS was conceived by the Holy Spirit of God in a young virgin called Mary.

JESUS is the second part of the Holy Trinity; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who existed before the creation of the world.

JESUS is the only begotten Son of God, who came to us in as a baby in human form to offer and fulfill God’s perfect plan and purpose.

JESUS came to live and die for all of us in payment for our sins.

JESUS provided the free gift of salvation to everyone who chooses to accept it…and follow Him.

Scripture about the birth of Jesus

Isaiah 7:14 – Prophecy…a virgin will bear a son

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”

Isaiah 9:6 –Prince of Peace

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Matthew 1:16 – Jesus, Mary and Joseph

to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Matthew 1:21 Son and Savior, called Jesus

And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”

Luke 1:3 – The Son of God

And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God

Luke 1:14 – Rejoice

“And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.

Matthew 2:1 – Jesus born in Bethlehem

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem

Luke 2:9-12 – Good News and Great Joy

And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:21 – They named Him JESUS

And when eight days were completed before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

John 1:14 –The Word became flesh

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

My favorite childhood Christmas carol

‘Away in the Manger’

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle ’til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

Words: John McFarland (1851-1913). Music: James Murray, 1887

JESUS is knocking!

I pray you will open the door to the inn of your

heart, and receive HIM…

God’s divine gift of salvation this Christmas.

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HE Knocks…Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

Jesus my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

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What happened at the door to your heart?

Did you not open it the first time He knocked? Did you hide and pretend you were not home? Did you peek out and talk to Him through a half-closed door? Did you open the door widely, invite Him in, and offer a quick ‘ten-cent tour’? Did you say, “Mi casa su casa” (My house is your house)…and allow Him immediate access to every room, closet, and drawer? Did you seat Him in the living room, serve Him there, but not allow Him to wander around, for fear of embarrassment? Or…is He still knocking?

As for me, I opened the door very slowly.

Thankfully, I knew who Jesus was, and that He was there. But, I needed to learn to trust Him, to walk in faith, to build my side of the relationship, and accept that He was not only my Savior, but also my Lord.

Thankfully, He was patient.

Thankfully, He was still there knocking when I chose to open the door and invited Him in.

Thankfully, He accepted me just as I was, sin-filled and broken.

Thankfully, He provided the ongoing process of sanctification, after I invited Him in.

Thankfully, as I grow ever closer to Him…He grows closer to me.

The day to celebrate and proclaim our thankfulness is approaching. We call it Thanksgiving.

Yes, God has blessed me with a loving family and loyal friends, a healthy body and mind, food for my stomach, shelter over my head, and good work for my hands.

Yes, I praise and thank Him for these things daily.

However, I am most thankful for the day I opened the door to His knocking, my relationship with Jesus, and the salvation of my soul.

Thankfully, God does not show partiality.

What He does for one…He will do for another.

Will you fully open the door to your heart today? Let Him in…with no boundaries. Give Him full access to your life, that He can mold you and shape you into the man or woman that He desires you to be.

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at:  https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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May Your Christmas be Joy-filled and Blessed to Overflowing

Jesus my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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The best Christmas present doesn’t come from Wal-Mart, Macy’s, or even Tiffany’s. It has no shiny paper, streaming ribbons…or a fancy card.

The best Christmas present isn’t downloadable…you can’t drive it, play it, or watch it on U-Tube.

The best Christmas present is perfect for all ages…and is truly best when shared with others.

The best Christmas present cannot be bought or sold. It cost nothing…yet is priceless.

The best Christmas present is found in a manger…and wrapped in simple swaddling clothes.

The best Christmas present is over 2000 years old, inspires hope…and gives unconditional love.

The best Christmas present has a blood-scourged back, nails in His hands…and wears a crown of thorns.

The best Christmas present chose to die for you…that you may live.

The best Christmas present offers Himself to you again this year…He is the One true sacrificial Gift of  life.

Yes, the very best Christmas present – is the presence of Jesus Christ in your life…today, tomorrow, and forever.

Won’t you open your Gift…and receive His presence?

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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Bethlehem…

Jesus my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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Was Jesus Christ truly God manifest on earth in the flesh?

If that is true, and I believe it is… Christmas is actually the glorious celebration of Almighty God, the Creator of the universe, fulfilling Biblical Messianic prophecy when He came to earth manifest as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, over 2000 years ago.

Almighty God has always been with us in that He has always been with His creation. However, this all powerful Creator chose to have an even closer relationship with His creation.

The birth, life, and death of Jesus was Almighty God’s personal demonstration of His Divine will for each of us to have an opportunity to go to Heaven… and live life everlasting…with Him.

God chose a young virgin for Jesus’ mother, and a humble manger in Bethlehem for His birthplace. Did you know that Jesus’ birth alone fulfilled 48 of the over 300 prophecies about Him.

This Christmas, let us celebrate the birth of the Son…and the manifestation of the Father, God Almighty in His Son. For the true message of Christmas is one that is close to incomprehensible: Our Creator and Abba Father, the One and and only Almighty God chose to come to earth as one of us, that He could live and die for us.

For it is God Himself who lies in that manger; vulnerable and human, while still Divinely omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful) and omnipresent (present in every place at the same time).

Almighty God came to us, embodied as His only begotten Son, the baby Jesus. His sole purpose was to understand, forgive, and take our sins upon Himself; that He may live and die for us.

This Christmas, yes…let us celebrate the birth of the baby, Jesus. Let us  also celebrate the divine gift and sacrificial offering of our heavenly Father, God Almighty, for He chose to give Himself to live and die for me…and for you.

Scripture from the King James version of the Holy Bible

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel. ” Isaiah 7:14

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”           Matthew 1:23

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; and all things were made through Him and apart from Him nothing was made which was made…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”  John 1:1-3, 14

Jesus said:

“I and the Father are one.” John 10:30

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also.”  Jon 14:6-

“Whoever hates me hates my Father also.”  John 15:23

“If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” John 10:37-38

“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” John 14:10

“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished.” John 5:19-20

“The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.” John 5:22-23

“If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”  John 8:42

“All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Luke 10:22

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/




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JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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Seek HIM in All Things

Spring Will Soon Be a Memory…Summer is on the Way

It is that time again. Spring will soon be a memory. Summer is on the way. Here on the Mojave, that means  emotions may run as high as the outrageous desert temperatures, as people struggle to stay cool, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Whether living in the dry hot desert, or in the city sweltering in humidity, soon we will all be re-adjusting to the change in season. Tension and stress can run high, as summertime is often packed with increased financial strain in the best of times…and will be even more so in today’s faltering economy. For, with Summer often comes the anticipation and high expectations for that hoped for dream vacation, home improvement project, trip to the theme park, picnics, sporting events, swimming, BBQ’s, concerts, more movies, more eating out; more, more, and more. Summertime often holds the promises of the things we want to buy and activities we want to do…to fill our time, sooth ourselves, and entertain our easily bored children.

Have You Ever Hung Out a ‘Gone Fishing’ Sign?

Have you ever wanted to just hang out a ‘Gone Fishing’ sign?  Have you and your loved ones ever wanted to just slip away to truly refresh and reflect on things that really matter? Have you thought about how truly relaxed you might be if you were not rushing around doing things that are not relaxing?

Why not promise yourself, and plan for some vacation time that really meets your need for restoration. Now is the time to develop a summer itinerary with purpose that will build lasting spiritually and emotionally satisfying memories. Why not make plans to do some things that will not cost anything but time. Why not turn some of your recreation time into personal and family re-creation time. Why not lay a renewed foundation for every day by praying together. It sounds so simple. However, and unfortunately, even in many Christian homes, it is often a much needed but overlooked…or avoided activity. If you are alone in a family of one, find someone to be your prayer partner. If that isn’t possible, one on one communication with your Abba Father will meet your every need…and then some.

Why Not Hang Out That ‘Gone Fishing’Sign Today?

Why not hang out that ‘Gone Fishing’ sign… Ask God to direct you to use your time wisely, and He will reconstruct your days. He will teach you how to be refreshed in Him, while leading you to become a fisher of men…perhaps even within your own family or circle of friends; in your leisure time. He will guide you on His footpath throughout the summer months as He shows you new, refreshing, and exciting ways to draw closer to Him, and to each other. He will show you how to take a debt-free spiritual vacation in every season; at no cost to you, because Jesus already paid the price in full.

Give Yourself a Well Deserved Spiritual Vacation

Sure, it is still okay to have fun and do all the typical summertime things. But please do not forget to invite the Father, the Son-Jesus, and the most Holy Spirit to be with you wherever you go; be it around the world, Disneyland, down the street…or in your own back yard. Make room for them in your life every day; in the good times and bad. Take them with you on your next vacation. They travel for free and do not have extra luggage to pack, or pay for. Life will be sweeter wherever you go, and whatever you do. Give yourself a well deserved spiritual vacation.

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