Day Of Thanksgiving

Many of you have been up for a while and others may just be starting your day. No matter where you go or what you do, don’t forget to give thanks to God for his many blessings. The Bible tells us to give thanks in all things, and there is a reason for that. We may not have everything we want or be where we would like to be, but He has given us what we need and placed us where He wants us.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and thank you for visiting Ten-Thirty Ministries.

Command To Populate, Fill, And Subdue

Command To Populate, Fill, And Subdue

“Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every thing that moves on the earth’.”–Genesis 1:28

God’s first command to mankind is to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. As we begin to look at this verse, we see the establishment of the pattern God will use over and over. Before He commanded man to populate the earth, He blessed him. There is only one way this command would be possible, and that is with God’s help.
Throughout the Bible, God would command individuals to perform certain tasks in His name. He did this knowing there was no physical way it was possible without His help. Before calling them, He would always bless them. These blessings had two purposes. The first was to make sure the task was completed so mankind would see His glory. The second purpose was so the individual could grow closer to Him.
Often, in our lives, we find ourselves receiving God’s call to undertake a mission in His name. Some of these are tasks that will take a lifetime, such as preaching or teaching; at other times, the mission might be to simply witness. He has even called people to do things before He revealed the purpose. When such a calling occurs, it isn’t unusual to view these tasks as impossible…and they would be if not for God. All things, no matter how unlikely they seem, are possible with, and through, God. Before He sends us off to the mission fields, or calls us to fill the pulpit, or even tell that lonely neighbor how much He loves them, God blesses us.
If you are currently facing the prospect of stepping out because God has called you to do something, He has already blessed you. Remember, He could have chosen anyone, but He chose you. The fact He wanted you specifically to do something for Him is a blessing in itself. It shows you that God has confidence in you and your abilities, even when you are unsure…especially when you are unsure.
The next time God calls you to do something, be like Samuel. Let the Lord know you are ready to do what He wants. Say to Him—boldly, “Here I am, Lord; I am ready”, and you will discover His blessings have already been poured out upon you.

Fifth Day Of Earth’s Creation

Fifth Day Of Earth’s Creation

So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.”–Genesis 1:23

God spent four days preparing the planet for this glorious moment. The fifth day of Creation is complete and the planet now holds life. A blessing is upon the birds of the air and the creatures in the waters to be fruitful and multiply. Even though our look at Creation is not finished, we see the initial fulfillment of God’s intentions.

Our thoughts today go to the preparations and end results of God’s plans. Let us, for a moment, examine our lives up to this point. For most of us, the paths we have followed haven’t been completely smooth; we have all faced adversity of some sort. While we were never promised an easy path, God did promise never to leave us or forsake us. At times, however, doubt makes us forget this. While we are on our life’s path, it is hard to see past the obstacles we face. As a result, we find ourselves filled with a false sense of hopelessness. (I say “false sense” because—when facing these obstacles—we forget His promises).

Looking back at the first four days of Creation, a question comes to mind. Why didn’t Genesis begin with “God created the world and everything in it”? It was to show us the preparation is as important as the end result.

Everything we have gone through so far has been to prepare us for what is to come. More often than not, we cannot see past our troubles; they blind us to God’s end result for us. God has never put an obstacle in our path without making a way to overcome it. Overcoming our obstacles comes down to two simple words: trust God. Perhaps it is mankind’s conceit which prevents us from trusting Someone greater than ourselves. To do so requires us to admit our weaknesses, yet God promised in our weakness we would find strength. It might be because man sees trusting God as foolish: He uses the foolish to shame and confound the wise. He always makes a way.

Whatever we face, be it sickness, death, unemployment, or whatever else you can imagine, God is trying to make us stronger. When we go to our knees and ask for help, we aren’t showing weakness, we are showing wisdom. When we turn everything over to Him, we are admitting to ourselves and the world that He is greater than we are. This is all intended to get us to where we need to be, and that is closer to Him. The things we go through make us who we are. Are we going to trust in our own abilities and fail, or are we going to trust in God and be what we are supposed to be?

Multiply, Be Fruitful, And Be Blessed

Multiply, Be Fruitful, And Be Blessed

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.”–Genesis 1:22

The last line of verse 21 says, “And God saw that it was good.” This week, we see the result of God’s pleasure at creating something He deems good; He blesses his creation.

In this case, the blessing comes in the form of a command, “Be fruitful and multiply…”. God is telling the creatures of the water and the fowls of the air to be productive and increase their population. Time and again throughout the Bible, we read where God gives the command to “be fruitful”, that is, be productive.

We see in this verse an example of how God communicates with the things of nature and they obey Him. In Matthew 8:27, the men marvel at Jesus saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Of God’s many creations, man and the fallen angels are the only ones who don’t listen and obey. Are we so full of self we would rather do things our way than receive the blessings of our Creator? How can we be productive if we don’t listen to the things God tries to tell us?

While this verse speaks of the creatures physically populating the air and the seas, it has a deeper meaning. After God defines us His children, as Christians, He expects us to be fruitful and multiply. The Great Commission calls for us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. If we don’t spread the Gospel, how can we expect to be fruitful, to be productive. Our mission isn’t to fill the seas or air, it is to lead others to Christ and fill heaven.

It is when we are doing God’s work that He blesses us. When we witness to the lost, pray for the sick, minister to those in need, we are offering Christ to others. Some will take hold of Him and hold on; they will make Him their most precious possession. When this happens, we see how much we are blessed in our productivity. Other, however, will turn away. Even when they don’t accept Jesus, God’s blessing are still there because of our obedience.

Let this be our goal for the coming week; be fruitful and multiply so we might see others come to Christ.

Roadside Inns Of Refreshing Strength

Roadside Inns Of Refreshing Strength

“Life is a journey, not a home; a road, not a city of habitation; and the enjoyments and blessings we have are but little inns on the roadside of life, where we may be refreshed for a moment, that we may with new strength press on to the end – to the rest that remaineth for the people of God.”–Horatius Bonar

Set Blessings In The Heavens

Set Blessings In The Heavens

“God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth…”–Genesis 1:17

All of Gods gifts have a purpose. The firmament protects us from the cold, airlessness of space. Our sun provides the light and warmth we need to survive. The moon controls the ocean tides and aids in the earth’s rotation. The stars are part of God’s cosmic timepiece, allowing us to mark hours, days, weeks, months, seasons, and years. In addition, mankind has used the sun and the stars to determine direction when traveling. In His omniscience, God set His blessings in place before we were to need them.

Once we get beyond the functionality of the blessings God gave us on the fourth day, we discover another gift. It is the gift of beauty. Seeing the sun rise over the Atlantic on my final day of vacation is one of my favorite moments. There is something so hopeful about the start of a new day. Sunsets are also an amazing part of the day. The colors are breathtaking, painting the evening sky with red, orange, and violet. It is almost as if God is saying, “I know you’ve had a rough day, so, here, this is for you.”

Although it is considered the lesser of the two great lights, the moon holds a beauty all its own. Whether hovering over the ocean, creating a yellow-white path from the horizon to the shore, or looking down on the mountaintops, illuminating the fog, it stirs something inside. It is the inspiration for songs, poetry, and paintings. It has always had a mysterious allure that fires the imagination.

The nighttime view from Death Valley, California—away from the encroaching light generated by man—is spectacular. The vast expanse of stars fill the sky from horizon to horizon, no matter which direction you look. When the sun surrenders the sky to the night, and the valleys of West Virginia grow dark, the heavens come alive with the twinkling of stars. For centuries, man has looked up into the night sky, wondering, imagining, and wishing upon the first star he sees.

Yet, even this beauty has a purpose. As we have compared those in our lives to the stars, our God to the sun, and His Word to the moon, the natural world reminds us of their beauty. We remember the beauty of a loving God who gave His only Son to save us from our sins. The beauty of His Word guides us along the straight and narrow path. We see the beauty in the hearts of those who encourage us, of our brothers and sisters in Christ who lift us up in prayer.

To see the beauty of the blessings God set in the heavens, all we have to do is look up. Even when our lives are at their darkest, His light remains beautiful.

St. Patrick And Our Prayer Life

St. Patrick And Our Prayer Life

(Saturday Evening Prayer For March 17)

“God, my God, omnipotent King, I humbly adore thee. Thou art King of kings, Lord of lords. Thou art the Judge of every age. Thou art the Redeemer of souls. Thou art the Liberator of those who believe. Thou art the Hope of those who toil. Thou art the Comforter of those in sorrow. Thou art the Way to those who wander. Thou art Master to the nations. Thou art the Creator of all creatures. Thou art the Lover of all good. Thou art the Prince of all virtues. Thou art the joy of all Thy saints. Thou art life perpetual. Thou art joy in truth. Thou art the exultation in the eternal fatherland. Thou art the Light of light. Thou art the Fountain of holiness. Thou art the glory of God the Father in the height. Thou art Savior of the world. Thou art the plenitude of the Holy Spirit. Thou sittest at the right hand of God the Father on the throne, reigning for ever.” –St. Patrick

Heavenly Father. We come to You this evening rejoicing and thankful for all You have done and all You have given us. As we read the words of St, Patrick, we are humbled by the love and the devotion he shows in his prayer. We know it isn’t beauty of our words that make a prayer, Father, but the condition of our hearts. When spoken from the heart, however, the words of even the simplest prayer can reduce even the proudest of us to tears. It is pride that so often hinders our own prayers, robbing them of the power to reach You. Give us the heart of the Publican so we are less like the Pharisee.

Lord, we ask that You might remove the distractions that occupy our minds and our lives so we might better serve You. Too often we let responsibilities become burdens, then we let these burdens keep us from You. Give us the strength so we might relinquish our hold on the burdens we have created in our lives. We aren’t asking for You to remove the responsibilities because You entrusted them to us. You saw the strength within us to take care of them. We simply ask that You will help us to be more focused on You when we pray than on ourselves.

As we have been blessed, Master, we ask that You might also bless others. Be with those who are suffering loss; give them comfort. For those who are sick, grant them healing. To those who are facing decisions, grant clarity of Your will in their lives. We also ask Your blessings on those starting a new life together; be in the center of their marriage so they grow closer to You. Be with those who are new parents or becoming new parents so they might find  strength for the tasks that lay before them.

Finally, Lord, in all things, may we always thank You for Your mercy and Your love. We ask all these things in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Failures And Shortcomings

Failures And Shortcomings

(Saturday Evening Prayer For March 3)

Heavenly Father. We come to You this evening filled and offer You our most heart-felt gratitude. Despite our failures and our shortcomings over the past couple days, You have not withheld Your blessings. Your mercies truly are forever. We thank You for allowing us the opportunity to see our mother come home from the hospital. You gave her the strength to get up and walk a short distance, and for that we praise Your Name. Continue to touch her body, increase her appetite, and uplift her spirit as You have uplifted ours. Thank You for the caregivers she has had thus far, and bless my aunt as she helps care for her from this point on. All we have gone through has been worth it.

Our prayer, O Lord, at this time is for others to receive Your blessings as we have. We don’t know the pain, the hurt, the sickness, or the suffering others are experiencing at this time. What we do know is that You can intervene. Nothing is greater than You. There is no sickness nor pain that can exist when You send down Your healing. You are the mender of broken hearts and the restorer of broken minds.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made, created by Your own hand. Keep us mindful that we are reflections of your image, lovingly made in Your image. May others always see You in our actions and hear You in our words. Stay our hand and bridle our tongues when we no longer have control. Let the light You placed inside us shine forth so others might see. Help us to be a blessing to those we come in contact with. Watch over us, lead us, and guide us, and may all we do be according to Your will.

We thank You for all things, and we ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Storehouse Of Blessings Await

Storehouse Of Blessings Await

(Saturday Evening Prayer For February 10)

Heavenly Father. All we are, all we can ever hope to be, begins and ends with You. Before You laid the foundation of the world, we were already a part of Your plans. A storehouse of blessings had been prepared for us before we ever drew our first breath, and access to Your throne was made available. You created us, not to be abandoned, but to receive all You have to give. It was not because of pity You sent Your Son, but because of love. You grafted into the vine of the lineage of heaven; You chose to make us joint heirs in glory. All You ask in return is our love.

We come to You this evening with a heart filled with gratitude. The outpouring of prayer on behalf of our mother over the past few weeks has been amazing. We have seen both improvements and setbacks, but most of all, we have seen love. Too often, Lord, people doubt You because they say they haven’t seen You; how blind they are. Although your physical form has not been made manifest to us, we have seen You every day. You have been in every phone call, every text, and in every Facebook comment offering prayer and assistance. When You promised to never leave nor forsake us, You went farther than just hearing our prayers. You surround us in the hearts of our brothers and sisters.

Lord, we ask You this evening for continued strength. Be with those sitting at the bedside of sick and dying loved ones. We know our wants and our dreams, but we don’t know Your plans. If we are to know the joy of recovery, let us lift You up in praise for what You have done. If, however, that recovery is a call to come home to You, then help us to praise You for the time You allowed us. We ask that You help us set aside our selfishness so we might be accepting of Your will.

Above all, Master, please continue to allow us to point others to You. Give us the words that will help light the way to You and to the storehouse of blessings that await. In prayer, in praise, and in pain, let us not forsake the unity we have with fellow believers. It is in that unity that an unbelieving world can see an invisible God.

We thank You for all things, merciful Father, and ask them in the name of Your precious Son. Amen.