Stinkin’ Thinkin’

November 28, 2012

I woke up yesterday with a lot on my mind.  A ton of things that needed my attention, things weighing on my heart, and I really wasn’t sure where to begin.  I had fixed my coffee and was standing in the middle of my kitchen, contemplating what to do first.  I breathed a prayer and said “Lord, what do I do first?!”  At that moment, my eyes fell on my Bible lying on the kitchen table.  It was almost as if God shined a spotlight on it.  I sort of laughed, and said “Ok…I hear you.”  Although I would be leading a Bible study in a few hours in my home and I did need to look over my notes, I sensed that I just needed to open it up and let God speak.

I did and He did.

After flipping through several passages, I landed where I almost always do…Psalms.  My eyes fell on the verses 9-10 of Psalm 119, “I have sought you with my whole heart.  Do not let me wander from your commands.”  I felt that voiced the desire of my heart.  I continued reading and then came to verses 15, 16

“I will meditate on your precepts
I will think on your ways
I will delight in your statutes
I will not forget your word.”

Those words just jumped off the page at me!  Two reasons.  One, I am the world’s worst at rehearsing my woes over and over and over in my mind.  What I should have done or said, what can I do or say, how can I fix this, what if….., etc.”  I talk to the Lord constantly about them (not a bad thing, but I have a feeling even HE sometimes wishes I’d give it a rest!).  I know better.  I know not to dwell on those things, not to worry, but I still do.

So when I read those words, it was as if God was reminding me GET YOUR MIND ON THE RIGHT THINGS !!

The second reason was that the Bible study I’ve been leading has been about God’s Story.  We have been doing a chronological study of the Word of God and the one thread we have seen throughout the Bible has been the thread of Bible literacy and how important it is to the survival of a nation and of a life on a personal level.  These verses speak directly to that!

So I have challenged those in my Bible study to memorize these 2 verses for next week.

The first line says “I will meditate on your precepts.”

What does it mean to “meditate”?  Webster defines meditate: “to focus one’s thoughts on, to ponder, to chew over, to study, to question, to ‘kick around’, to wrestle with.”

What are precepts?  “A command or principle intended especially as a general rule of action”.

So, if we are to “mediate on your precepts”, we will ponder, chew on, wrestle with and question a command or principle put forth in the Word of God.  That will require more than a mere glance at this principle or verse.  It will require that we take it with us, either by memory or in written form.  We will think on it again and again throughout our day.  We will contemplate what it means for us specifically.  We will ask the Lord to open the eyes of our understanding to His meaning for us and for our lives.  Once we begin to do that, we will begin to “own” that verse.  It will no longer just be words on a page.  It will be personal to us, to our situation, and that is when, I believe, that God will begin to change us and maybe even our circumstances.

“I will think about your ways.”  God’s ways are not our ways.  He is our role model.  When we begin to think about and read about His ways, we will learn to follow after Him.  We will begin to see how He wants us to live.  That, too, will change our lives.  We are to be image bearers to the world, witnesses to the world of the life that resides within us as believers.  If we never give any thought to God’s ways, we will never be like Him.

“I will delight in your statutes.”  A statute is defined as “an ordinance or a law.”   God gave a number of laws and ordinances for us to live by.  Do we “delight” in them?  We should.  They are for our good and for our protection.  It is important for us to know what they are so that we can live within their boundaries.  We can feel secure and cared for when we know the laws that God has instituted for our good and when we obey them.  God never enacted any rule or law to harm us.  Just like we, as parents, make rules for the good of our children, so God has made rules for the good of us, His children.  It just shows He loves us and wants what is best for us.  For that reason, we CAN delight in His laws.

“I will not forget your Word.”  If we are meditating on His Word, thinking on His ways, and delighting ourselves in His laws, we will NOT forget His Word.  It will become a part of us.  If we allow God’s Word to fill our minds rather than our problems, agendas, and concerns, we will find those things somehow becoming “strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace”.

I challenge you to memorize those verses with us this week and free your mind from “stinkin’ thinkin'”!

Pat Thomas

Woe to America

November 7, 2012

After the children of Israel (the Israelites) went into the Promised Land, the land of Canaan, which God had promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they were to possess the land, removing the people from each of the territories and removing ALL vestiges of their religious practices.  The Israelites were to be a ‘set-apart’ people, God’s peculiar treasure.  They were to demonstrate to the world what it would look like to live in obedience to the one true God.  They were given strict laws and statutes to follow so that they would not in any way resemble these pagan nations.  God promised manifold blessings for their obedience, BUT….He also warned them if they did not obey, there would be severe consequences.  They were a wicked, obstinate, stiff-necked people and they continually strayed from His paths.   Time after time He showed them mercy.  He pursued them.  He sent prophets to warn them they were going to face dire consequences if they did not repent and turn back to Him.  They refused.  So, He took His hand off of them and allowed foreign nations to take them into exile for 70 years.  II Kings 17: 7-20 explains:

7 All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods 8 and followed the practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced. 9 The Israelites secretly did things against the Lord their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns. 10 They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 11 At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the Lord had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that aroused the Lord’s anger. 12 They worshiped idols, though the Lord had said, “You shall not do this.” 13 The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.”
14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.”
16 They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. 17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.
18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, 19 and even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. 20 Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence.

Fast forward to 2012:

America left the God of her founding fathers and chose to worship what man could create.  Man’s inventions and creations became the gods of America.  They sought money more than God.  Bigger houses, cars, vacation homes, and all kinds of technology soon consumed them.  The Word of God was removed from the schools and evolution and the Big Bang Theory was taught in their place.  The Ten Commandments were ripped from schools and courthouses and situational ethics became the by-word.  Children were murdered in the womb and old people were tossed aside as worthless.   Hollywood became their god, parading sexual immorality before their eyes and perversion of every sort, til their minds and hearts were corrupted.  What God called an abomination was legalized and uplifted, being taught as an alternate lifestyle in the schools and accepted in the pulpits.  The Word of the Lord was watered down and re-translated to suit the people.  False prophets proclaimed a false gospel but the people were too blind to see.  America has been led astray and no longer worships God, but does what is right in their own eyes and one day God’s judgment will fall as surely as it did on the house of Israel!

Pat Thomas

What Lies Beneath

July 5, 2012

We were at the beach last week as tropical storm Debbie approached.  The waves were enormous…especially for the gulf coast.  As I sat watching the weaves build and then crash as they rushed to shore, a thought occurred to me.  How beautiful…how powerful…and yet how deadly!  You see the rip currents beneath the surface were extremely strong.  All day they had patrolled the beach warning people to stay out of the water!!  Double red flags dotted the landscape, again spreading the warning to stay out.

What is frightening to me is to think of the years we went to the beach, oblivious of those rip currents.  My children were small and yet we would play for hours in the ocean, jumping wave after wave or riding in our boat-like float.  If there were flags, I had no clue what they were for.  It was not until our son was in high school and I chaperoned a youth trip that I learned about rip currents.  It was then I learned about the flags, too.  Green – it’s ok to get in the water; Yellow = caution; Red means stay out.  Double red means “No really, STAY OUT OF THE WATER!”

However, it was on a green flag day that I learned first hand about rip currents.  We were sitting on the beach with a group of our kids, when suddenly we heard the voice of a panic stricken mom, yelling for help.  Her son was being pulled out and she could’t get to him.  One of our girls was a life guard.  She instinctively ran to help, as did a couple of men.  However, by that time the little boy had been pulled farther and farther out.  I had jumped up to try and keep our teenager out of the water (after all we were responsible for her), but it was too late.  As I stood watching her go out, I saw that one of the men had gotten the boy.  But the other man was now caught in the current and was struggling.  Our teen was trying to help him, but he was battling her and they were both obviously in trouble.  She was yelling for help.  I knew I had to do something…I could not just stand there and do nothing.  So in I went.

Before I knew it, the strong current was taking me farther and farther out.  Every time I’d come up after being pulled under by a strong wave, another wave would overtake me.  I could see the beach getting farther and farther away.  I really thought it was the end.

Suddenly, someone was in front of me saying “Pull to the side”.  I was so exhausted.  Another wave took me down.  Again when I came up, this person said “Don’t try to go forward, pull to the side”.  I could not tell you anything about this person, whether it was male or female or any distinguishing features.  All I could see was a form of someone and hear their calm, but commanding voice.  I cried out “I can’t!!”  But the voice responded “Yes you can.  Pull to the side.”  When I came up again, I pulled to the side with all the strength I had left.  Then I pulled again.  I went under and when I came up I pulled and suddenly my feet touched bottom.  I was shocked and thrilled to realize how close I now was to safety and the shore.  I stumbled into the beach and looked around to thank the one who had saved me. There was no one there.

Thankfully, all the others had been safely rescued, too.  But I learned a valuable lesson that day. I learned that as beautiful and inviting as the ocean is, what lies beneath can kill you!!

So as I sat watching these monster waves being propelled to shore by Debbie, I was reminded of how attractive sin can be too.

It can come in the form of a handsome, charming man who can sweet talk a girl into going farther than she ever planned to go.  His good looks and smooth talk concealing what really was lying beneath…a conniving, devious spirit bent on nothing less than getting his way.  Then once the conquest is made, he will leave her broken and used.

It may come in a bottle or a pill, promising only a good time, a way to “fit in” and be like the others.  But before you know it, it takes more and more to satisfy the craving that develops so suddenly and you realize what started out as “just a little fun” has suddenly become an addiction.  No one could have told you what lay beneath that pretty little drink in the frosty glass could ultimately steal your looks, your family, your home and your health.

Or maybe what lies beneath in your case is jealousy or bitterness or deep-seated anger.  Maybe it has festered for years.  And the longer it goes, the worse it gets.  You look fine to everyone around you, but they can’t see what lies beneath.  Yet the anger builds and builds.  Forgiveness would set you free.  But instead you hold tight to your feelings and as you do, it’s like holding a burning coal in your hand.  The longer you refuse to let go, the more you will suffer.

So I ask you today….in your ocean of prosperity, good looks, charm, success, etc. what really lies beneath?  Don’t let sin pull you under.  It can destroy you.  God wants to throw you a lifeline.  Grab hold and let Him give you true life.  A life of meaning and purpose…a life with  Him as your lifeguard.  Today you can experience TRUE freedom, lasting freedom.  I hope today will be YOUR real Independence Day!!

Pat Thomas

I Choose Jesus

April 5, 2012

“We love Him because he first loved us.”  I John 4:19

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Those two statements are some of the most important verses in the Bible.  They show us that God has pursued us.  We did not come after Him.  He came after us!

He loved us first.

He sought us first.


God SO LOVED us that He sacrificed His only Son for us.  And now we have a choice.  We can CHOOSE to accept that precious gift that He offers through His Son, Jesus.  Or, we can walk away.  We can CHOOSE the world, self, and to live life the way we choose.


I choose JESUS because He first chose me.

I choose JESUS because He first loved me.

I choose JESUS because He chose the nails that held Him to that cross.

I choose JESUS because he chose to lay down his life for me.

I choose JESUS because HE chose me for all eternity.

What is YOUR choice today?

JESUS…………….or the world?

Pat Thomas


March 5, 2012

In the Old Testament we read about the series of kings who ruled over Israel, each one getting progressively worse as they did “what was evil in the sight of the Lord.”  These were not nomads. These were not uneducated people.  These were the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the patriarchs of Israel.

So what was the problem?

It can be narrowed down to one single thing.  Bible literacy.  Although they were religious in that they made sacrifices, worshiped idols and had a “form” of religion, they were not following or obeying God.

God had clearly defined for them in Leviticus 26 how they were to live.  He outlined the many ways He would bless them IF they would follow Him and obey His commands.  He also spelled out for them how things would go if they did NOT follow and obey Him.

However, the children of Israel chose not to follow God and with each successive generation, the Word of God was not passed down.  God had commanded that it be read before the people every 7 years, but it had been a long time since that had happened.

But I bet if you had stopped the average Israelite on the street, he would have told you that he was a follower, that he was, indeed, religious.  Yet, if you had asked him what the Word of the Lord was about a specific issue, he would not have had a clue.

I know lots of people like that.  Many of them call themselves Christians.  They believe in God.  They are not opposed to the Bible. In fact they probably have a couple laying around the house somewhere.  Not that they have opened it recently, but it is there.  You could ask them “Do you believe that the Bible is the Word of God” and they would not hesitate to say Yes.  You could ask “Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?” and again the answer would be Yes.

But you wouldn’t have to track very far down that line of questioning, getting more and more specific, til you would have soon have them squirming.  Why?  Bible literacy.

After a number of kings passed through the nation of Israel, one came on the scene who was vastly different.  Shockingly, he was only 8 years old when he became king!!  II Chronicles 34:2 says Josiah “did what was right in the sight of the Lord and walked in the ways of his ancestor, David; he did not turn aside to the right or the left.”

You see when Josiah was 16 he “began to seek the God of his ancestor David” and when he was 20 he began to cleanse the land of all the idols, high places and images that previous generations had erected.  A few years later while they were cleaning out the Temple to rebuild it, an amazing discovery was uncovered.  The book of the Law!!!  As it was read to Josiah for the first time in his life, he tore his clothes in grief as he realized how they had failed to keep the Law of God.

I couldn’t help wonder as I read these passages this week, What is it going to take to wake people in America up?!  What will it take to turn people I know and love BACK to God, back to His Word?

God gave us His word so that it could be a “lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path”.  Yet many have chosen to walk in the darkness, blind to all that God had planned for them if they had just followed Him.  The really sad thing is that they do not realize that they are blind.  They think they are just fine.

Pat Thomas

I Will Trust You Lord

February 11, 2012

Life is hard.  That’s a fact.  Ups and downs.  Upheavals.  Broken relationships.  Heartache and more.

The children of Israel knew all about hardship.  They had known years of hard labor at the hands of the Egyptians.  They had trekked in the desert for 40 years.  They ate the same meal for years.  YET, God never left them nor forsook them…not for one moment.  No, rather He hovered over them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  The Shekinah glory Himself, watching over His treasured possession.

The same God who watched over the Israelites and took them through the Red Sea and across the Jordan River….

The same God who marched them around the walls of Jericho for 7 days and on the 7th brought it all down with one shout….

The same God who promised to make them a great nation…

The same God who made promise after promise and has kept EVERY SINGLE ONE….

That God is with me today.

And even when it’s hard, I will trust Him.

When my heart aches, I will trust Him.

When my prayers go unanswered, I will still trust Him.

When no one understands, I will trust Him.

When I don’t understand, I will trust Him.

When there seem to be no answers, I will trust Him.

When things don’t turn out the way I’d hoped, I will trust Him.

When I am disappointed, I will trust Him.

When I can’t SEE Him working, I will believe that He is, and I will trust Him.

When I fail AGAIN, I will trust Him.

When I don’t know what to do, I will trust Him.

He is MY God, my refuge and my strength, my strong High Tower, the lover of my soul and I will trust Him because He has claimed me as His own and He has promised He will never leave me, He will never let me down or let me go.  And….I trust Him.

Pat Thomas


January 25, 2012

I am continually amazed at how the Word of God is new every day, how we see things we NEVER saw before even if we’ve read the passage a hundred times.

That happened to me this week.  We have recently begun a chronological Bible study, His Story, My Story.  We are in Genesis, which I have read many times.  I’ve read and studied and taught the creation story more times than I can count.

But as I was reading it this week, there it was.  Something I had never really grasped before, at least not in the way I did as I read this week.

“Then the eyes of them were opened and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”  Genesis 3: 7

When we read they were “naked”, we naturally think of them in the buff, without clothes, suddenly trying to cover up themselves with their hands.  So that not being adequate, they grab the first thing they can find large enough….fig leaves.

But as I read that this week, it hit me.  Yes, they were PHYSICALLY naked, but more than that, they were EXPOSED.  They had taken of the forbidden fruit and immediately sin entered the picture and their sin was exposed.  They could not hide it, even though they desperately tried.

And though they tried in their humanness to cover their sin, it was not good enough.  An innocent animal had to be slain, blood had to be spilled in order to COVER their exposed sin.  Why?  “Because without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin.” Hebrews 9:22

But, all that the sacrifice of the animals could do was to temporarily COVER their sin.  It could not remove it.  “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.  ” Hebrews 10: 4  But when Jesus came, His sacrifice on the cross REMOVED our sin and our guilt once for all.  “By this will, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once and for all. And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can NEVER TAKE AWAY SINS.  But this man [JESUS] after he had offered one sacrifice [HIMSELF] for sins FOREVER, sat down on the right hand of God.”  Hebrews 10: 10-12.

HALLELUJAH!!!  What a Savior!! Our sin is no longer covered, but it is removed once and for all, as far as the east is from the west.      Not COVERED and to be remembered and brought up to us again and again, year after year.  But totally and completely REMOVED!

That precious royal blood did what the blood of bulls and goats never could.  It set us free.  Like the old song said “What can wash my sins away?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”  I am so thankful for the blood, so thankful for what Jesus has done for me.  What about you?  Have your sins been REMOVED??  Fig leaves may cover, but Jesus’ blood will wash you white as snow!

Pat Thomas


January 18, 2012

I remember as a child, kneeling by my bed, saying the child’s prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

I guess that was my first experience of kneeling in prayer.  After I grew up, I continued to pray, not “canned” prayers or recited ones, but from my heart.  I can’t say I was ever taught that…guess I just picked up how from listening to others at church pray. 

As an adult there have been some times that I knelt to pray.  It seems the more serious we get in prayer, the more our posture gets low.  I can remember reading Kay Arthur’s testimony years ago.  She talked of lying prostrate on her face before God.  That was new to me.  I had never done that.  More recently, we have had Bible teacher, Angela Thomas, at our church.  She spoke of getting face down in the carpet quite often.  And I have learned to do that a few times myself, again, more in times of deepest need.

It’s in those times of bowing our knees or lying face down in our carpet, that we are humbled.  We are brought low before a righteous and a holy God.  It puts us in our place, if you will.  And somehow, the more on our face we are, the more humbled we become, the nearer we feel to Him.  Because then we are in a position that we have to look UP to Him.

At our church, we get on our knees every Sunday. 

Funny thing is, at our former church, they also did that, but I was not raised to do that.  It felt odd.  Sad, isn’t it, that getting on my knees in God’s house felt “odd”, but it did.  And there, some people did and some didn’t.  But where we are at church now, there is scarcely a person who does not bow, and most of them are because they can’t for physical reasons.  And, you know what?  It doesn’t seem odd any more.  It feels right.

God has blessed me with an added bonus of being able to worship with our daughter and son-in-love most Sundays.  And to be able to bow with them and to see them bowing before the Lord together blesses this momma more than words can express.

May I ask you who are reading this….when was the last time YOU bowed your knee before the Lord?  Maybe you do it on a regular basis, or maybe you never have.  That is not to say that you don’t pray, but you just don’t bow.  I certainly believe you can “bow” in your heart in an attitude of worship and humility.  But, I can tell you firsthand that there is something powerful and humbling by actually bending the knee before the Father. 

Maybe you don’t bow because it really isn’t important to you.  You acknowledge that there is a God.  Maybe you even pray occasionally when you get in a jam.  But most days, you really do not think that much about Him.  Or maybe you don’t bow because you do NOT believe.  Maybe you think that any god will do as long as you believe in something or someone. 

But you need to know that one day, EVERY knee will bow to God the Father. 

“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.   I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.”  Isaiah 45: 22, 23

Did you catch that word in red?  EVERY!!

That includes every person who reads this blog.

Every person on Facebook.

Every person in the U. S.

Every person around the world.

Yes, EVERY person past, present and future…..including:

Billy Graham

Tim Tebow

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich

President Obama

Martin Luther King

Mother Theresa

Christopher Columbus

George Washington

Abraham Lincoln

George Wilkes Booth

The list is endless because it says “EVERY” knee.  That also includes you and me.

So you see, whether we ever find time to bow now or not.  Whether we ever think it is important or not.  Whether we have ever even THOUGHT about it before or not….one day, “EVERY knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.”  Romans 14:11

If you have never bowed your knee to the Father, I pray that you will today.  Personally, I want my knees to be so used to bowing that when that time before the Father comes when ALL knees are bowed, that it will not feel “odd”, but it will feel more like coming home as I bow before MY Heavenly Father.

Pat Thomas


January 17, 2012

by John Piper

For thoughtful people, how they pray for the soul is governed by how they believe God acts. So, for example, if they believe God changes people’s souls so that they make new and right choices, then they will ask God to make those soul-changes through evangelism and nurture. But not everybody is thoughtful about the way they pray. They don’t think about what view of God is behind their praying.

So what I suggest is that we learn first to pray for the soul from the way the Bible prays for the soul. If we do that, then our prayers will probably be good prayers, and in the process we will also learn about how God acts. Here is the way I pray for my soul. I use these prayers over and over again—for myself and my children and wife and for the staff and the elders and for all the church. This is the meat and potatoes of my prayer life.

The first thing my soul needs is an inclination to God and his word. Without that, nothing else will happen of any value in my life. I must want to know God and read his word and draw near to him. Where does that “want to” come from? It comes from God. So Psalm 119:36 teaches us to pray, “Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to gain.”

Next I need to have the eyes of my heart opened, so that when my inclination leads me to the word I see what is really there and not just my own ideas. Who opens the eyes of the heart? God does. So Psalm 119:18 teaches us to pray, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.”

Then I need for my heart to be enlightened with these “wonders.” I need to perceive glory in them and not just interesting facts. Who enlightens the heart? God does. So Ephesians 1:18 teaches us to pray “That the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.”

Then I am concerned that my heart is fragmented and that parts of it might remain in the dark while other parts are enlightened. So I long for my heart to be united for God. Where does that wholeness and unity come from? From God. So Psalm 86:11 teaches us to pray, “O Lord, I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.”

What I really want from all this engagement with the Word of God and the work of his Spirit in answer to my prayers is that my heart will be satisfied with God and not with the world. Where does that satisfaction come from? It comes from God. So Psalm 90:14 teaches us to pray, “O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”

But I don’t just want to be happy in my own little private world with God. I want my happiness to be as full as possible for spreading and expanding for others. I want to be strong in joy. This will make me durable in the face of threats or adversity. Where does that strength and durability come from? It comes from God. So Ephesians 3:16 teaches us to pray, “That God would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man.”

Finally, I want my strength in Christ to produce good deeds for others so that the glory of God will be seen in my life. Who produces these good deeds? God does. So Colossians 1:10 teaches us to pray, “That [we] will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord . . . bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

All this I pray “in Jesus’ name,” because God gives these things to my soul only because Jesus died for me and removed the wrath of God so that the Father might “freely give me all things” (Romans 8:32).

To remember some of these prayers, I use an acronym—IOUS—almost every day in praying for those I love, asking God to give us an inclination to his Word and not to money or fame or power (Psalm 119:36), and to open our eyes to see wonderful things when we read his Word (Psalm 119:18), and to have hearts united in the fear of God rather than fragmented over a dozen concerns (Psalm 86:11), and to be satisfied in his steadfast love (Psalm 90:14).

Shared by Pat Thomas


January 16, 2012


Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines commitment as follows:

(1)  an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially : an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date

(2) the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled commitment to a cause

Furthermore, the word COMMIT is defined as “to obligate or to bind” as in a contract.

In today’s fast paced society, commitment is a word that has lost a lot of its value.  People do not keep their commitments like they used to.  In times past, a man’s word was his bond.  A handshake sealed the deal. Not any more.  Even when you have it in writing, with every ‘i’ dotted and every ‘t’ crossed, those deals are broken.

How many men and women have stood before God and a congregation of witnesses and vowed….”committed”…. themselves to each other til death, only to find a few years down the road that one or the other tossed that commitment aside for something they deemed better?

It is not uncommon today for couples to marry and go through the motions of a traditional wedding, saying all the vows of commitment, yet with the mindset of “If it doesn’t work, we’ll just get a divorce and start over”.  Is that real commitment?  I think not.

God takes vows and commitments seriously.

“If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.”Number 30:2

“That which has gone from your lips you shall keep and perform, for you voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God what you have promised with your mouth.” Deut. 23:23

“Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You,” Psalm 56:12

“Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. ” Eccl. 5:5

“But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment” James 5:12

Yes, there is definitely a difference between just having an “interest in” and being COMMITTED.

Whether in marriage, in exercise, in Bible study, or in any other arena, a commitment is serious business.  Do not enter in lightly.

January is a time for “New Year’s Resolutions”.  Most of them fall broken by the wayside before the month is out.  Why?  Because we are “interested in” making changes, but not “Committed”.

This month, I encourage and challenge you to take a look at those things you really WANT to do to make a difference in your life.  Then decide, “Am I committed to this or just interested in doing it?”   As the sign from yesterday said, if you are committed, you will accept NO excuses.  You may stumble.  You may even fall down a time or two.  But you will get back up, dust yourself off and get back on track.

I, for one, am committed to this Bible study, His Story, My Story.  I want to know the full counsel of the Word of God.  I’m committed to reading all the way through the Bible this year…not just 1/2 way.  What about you?  I hope you will join me!!

Pat Thomas