Thankfulness. What are some things that come to your mind when you think on that word? My train of thought leads me towards things like saying thank you to people when they do something for me, having a heart of thankfulness towards God, not having an attitude of entitlement, and living a life of gratefulness.
Those all sound like nice things in our minds, but when put to practice they can actually be pretty hard! Why? Because as part of our fallen nature, we are naturally inclined to ungratefulness and dissatisfaction.
But as Christians, we have the power through Christ to live lives that reflect Him, which means our lives are different from the worlds. The world lives for, “What’s next?”, never being satisfied with what they have. We as Christians should look at what we have and say, “What can I GIVE?”. See the difference there? We have a heavenly mindset, whereas they have an earthly mindset. That’s not to say our mindset can’t slip away from heavenly things and onto earthly, it’s happened to me more than once. It’s a constant struggle, but one we can win through the power of our Savior.
Let’s look into a few things that can help us keep our mindset above, and cultivate a heart of gratefulness to our Savior.
Spend time with Jesus.
When we spend time with our Savior, we are learning about Him, taking His Words – His commands – to heart. And written all throughout the Bible we read example upon example about thankfulness and what happens when our priorities are either here on earth or up above in heaven.
Memorize verses pertaining to this subject.
As I mentioned before, there is a plethora of verses pertaining to this subject so why not memorize some of them so they come to mind when we are tempted in this area? Here are a few for consideration:
1 Chronicles 16:34
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Colossians 3:15, 17
And so many more…
Ask God to create a heart of thankfulness in you! He loves to give good gifts to His children and this is no exception. So ask Him, He is always there to listen and knows the deepest thoughts and desires of your heart.
Take inventory of what you have.
What do I mean by this? Look around your home. Do you have food in the fridge? Do you have clothes in your closet? Do you have a bed covered in warm blankets? Do you have soap in your shower? Does your roof have no leaks? Then you are so, so blessed! There are so many people in this world who have nothing but a few rags to cover their bodies, and here we are with all of this and yet struggling with ungratefulness. We truly have SO much to be grateful for! We have so much, even beyond what we actually need. So, look around at that which you have and then…
Look and see what you can give.
What can you give of what you have? We all have something we can give – every single one of us – so here’s a list to help you get started:
While at the grocery store; is there anything you can bless the food bank with? (*food banks can do far more with monetary donations than physical items however, so that is also an option)
Go through your closet; I guarantee you’ll find at least something you can give to someone you know in need or to your local shelter or non-profit thrift shop.
Use your talent! Do you know how to play an instrument? Offer to give lessons to children in a family in your group who you know would love to learn, but just can’t afford the expense. Can you sing? Use that talent to bring happiness to others whether it be in your Church or maybe in a local elderly care center. Are you an artist? You can teach others your skill, or create pieces to give to others or to sell and give the profits to Christian organizations to bring help to others.
A thankful heart manifests itself outwardly too, so be that ray of sunshine! Shine your thankful, happy heart into all the areas of your life and the people therein. Set an example.
I’ve seen the effects in my own life of just purposing to be thankful. I can find myself looking at my life and only seeing the things I wish I had, when in reality, if I would just change my mindset to what I have already been gifted from God, it changes the entire thought! Keeping my eyes on heaven, I know that I have enough. And the things I need will always be taken care of by God. There is no need for worry. As Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) so beautifully puts it, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” What a beautiful way to sum up this article!
So friends, keep your eyes on heaven and take every opportunity you can to practice thankfulness and to remove unsatisfaction from your life. You will experience so much joy as you lead your life in line with the beautiful plan our Savior had for us all along. I’m taking this challenge as much as giving it – will you join me?
The sun is bright, isn’t it? It’s so bright that if you stare at it for more than a swift moment, you will experience permanent eye damage. What other things can you think of that are bright? Flashlights, candles, headlights…hmmm, candles. You want to know where I’m going with this? All of these things are very bright visually, but internally you are brighter. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, confess our sins and He changes our lives to reflect His we become shining beacons of light for others to follow, ultimately leading to our Savior Jesus.
How do we be those beautiful candles for Jesus? How can we be Christ's Light? There are so many things but in this devotional I’m going to focus on encouragement. Encouragement is one of my favorite words. Why? Because being encouraging and kind is one of the top things we can do as Christians not only to other Christians, but to unbelievers too.
How can we be encouraging? Here is a list I have compiled of things you can do to be an encouragement – a candle – to others. And this is only scratching the surface…
~Smile at everyone you see. A smile can literally turn someone’s day from bad to glad just by that simple act.
~ Hold a door open for the person behind you.
~ Help an elderly person you see at the grocery store and perhaps even give them a tract!
~ Pay for the person behind you in line’s meal/drink/etc.
~ Send a text, email, or make that phone call to someone you love to surprise them and make their day
~ Check on people. The people who appear strongest face the hardest battles inside, so even if someone seems put together, be sure to check on them along with the people you know need checking in on.
~ Do a favor! Clean the dishes for your sibling, wash the car for your dad, do the laundry for your mom – there are so many ways to do a favor for someone!
~ Bake cookies and give with a tract to a neighbor, friend, mail carrier, dentist, doctor – you name it!
~ Offer to help someone. Whether it be babysitting for the busy mom in your group, or volunteering at a homeless shelter, do good and help people! (Always ask parents permission beforehand.)
~ Send a letter or package. Do you know someone who is sick, or maybe an elderly shut in? Put together a stuffed letter or small package full of little goodies to brighten their day.
~ Use your talents. Are you musically inclined? Offer to play at your local elderly car center. Are you creative? Use your creative talents to make things you can either gift to others or sell and use the profits for Christian organizations.
~ Give a hug to those you love. Hugs just make people happy, so spread them around!
Encouragement is so important in our lives, it truly is. To stress this fact, picture this. Our world, with everyone on it, but void of all kindness. Can you imagine it? I can, and it is a dismal, sad, wretched sight. Our Lord calls us to be kind, to be filled with light so that through that light He can shine through to those who need Him.
Have you ever met someone who is like a sunbeam, and in the midst of that light you can clearly see Jesus standing in the midst of them? I have, and those people are true treasures. I don’t know about you, but I want to be one of those shining sunbeams for Jesus!
A lot of people ask this question, and I want to ask it of you as well to truly make you think: When you leave this earth, what do you want people to remember about you? Do you want to be remembered as someone who was dismal, negative, unhappy – a rain cloud – or do you want them to remember you as happy, encouraging, kind – a sunbeam – for Jesus? It’s a sobering thought! So, let’s make a point to be the beautiful lights Jesus created us to be.
Together, let’s change this world. Let’s “knock people down with kindness” and watch how it makes an impact for Jesus. I dare you today, go do something beautiful for Jesus, then do the same tomorrow, the next day and the next and watch how your life and the lives of those around you change for Jesus. The world will never be the same.
I recently read a super good book and wanted to share it with you all! “Undaunted” by Christine Caine is one of the best books I’ve read in quite a while.
To borrow from the back cover, it says this about the book:
“Embrace your identity as God's beloved, step out of your own brokenness, and bring hope to a darkened world.
You have a calling to fulfill. Are you ready to take the risk of moving past your past to fulfill it? Christine Caine faced hurdles that seemed insurmountable--abuse, abandonment, and the loss of a child. Yet she decided to answer God's call on her life no matter where it would lead her. Many times, the only thing that kept her going was knowing that she was God's beloved. She was God's chosen. Secure in those truths, she moved beyond her pain so she could live the adventure of bringing God's light and love to others around the world.
In this updated and expanded edition of her bestselling book, Undaunted, Christine challenges you to embrace the reality of God's love so you can speak it to others as you live out your own unique calling. As Christine writes, "Love like Christ's can lift you out of betrayal and hurt. It can deliver you from any mess. Love like that can release you from every prison of fear and confusion. And love like God's can fill you up till it spills out of you, and you have to speak about it, share it, spread it around."
You already have all you need to bring hope to others. With additional biblical teaching, new stories, and a new epilogue, this updated and expanded edition of Undaunted will awaken you to how God wants to work through you and in you as you dare to become who God created you to be.”
It’s about stepping out and being who God created you to be and doing what He’s created you to do – without fear. Drawing on stories from her personal past, and using Biblical analogies and quoting many Scriptures, this book feels personal - like the author is talking right to you.
I was personally very encouraged and inspired by this book and think you will be too! I recommend it for ages fourteen plus due to certain topics regarding her ministry A21 that fights human trafficking.
Happy reading and never forget to shine Christ's Light bright wherever you are!
I wish I was coming to you all about something happier, but alas, I have bad news. Christ’s Light Magazine is taking a break from publication.
Why? The program I have used since our inception in 2017 has recently updated to a completely new designing platform that is incredibly hard to work with. It has also become too expensive, sadly. So, I am very disheartened to announce that as of this time, there will be no Winter 2021 Issue.
I am incredibly sorry to disappoint you all who were looking forward to that issue releasing today. I too, am very disappointed and do apologize.
I am currently in search of a good, affordable and user-friendly program and am about to try out one that will hopefully be a good fit, Lord willing.
A huge thank you to all of you beautiful people who contributed to the Winter 2021 Issue! All of your contributions are safely stored and will all be used once we find a program and return to our normal publication schedule in Spring 2021, Lord willing.
Until then, I am planning on being much more active on this blog, bringing you all encouragement weekly – Lord willing! If you would like to have an article featured on our blog, I would be so thrilled! Just contact me and I’ll get right back to you.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your love and support of CLM for it’s first 3 years of publication, and as we have started our 4th year. I promise CLM will return as soon as possible and will be just as good as before.
God has a plan for CLM. Prayers for the ministry would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!
God is good all the time and all the time God is good.
May God bless you all abundantly,
Editor, Creator, Founder and Designer of Christ’s Light Magazine
Hey friends! I'm Livy, founder and designer of CLM. First and foremost I am a follower of Jesus, and besides that I am a ministry leader, small business operator and writer. I love putting words to paper, going to Starbucks, photography, connecting with friends and much more. This is a place for me to share encouragement with you all. I hope you will enjoy your stay. :)