Category: <span>thoughts by John Grant</span>

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!2 Corinthians. 5:17

The old year is gone and the new has come.

It is a blank slate. Last year is history and this year is a mystery. Who knows what the New Year will bring? God does! Perhaps your best act would be to place the right foundation on the face of the New Year in your life. That foundation is the Gospel message plain and simple.

God so loved the world He created that He gave sinful man a second chance by sending His only Son as our Savior, not only for us, but for the whole world.

  • God has a plan for our lives in this coming year and for all years to come. His plan is for us to believe in Him and have everlasting life.
  • Not only does He have plan, but, He has a provision. He sent His only son as a provision for us. We can take that to the redemption center at the foot of the cross and have everlasting life, gloriously in eternity.
  • Lastly, He has a promise. We all make and break promises, especially at this time of the year, but God’s promise of eternal life is written in blood and cannot and will not be broken. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. (John 3:17)

No other verse in the Bible so succinctly summarizes God’s relationship with humanity and the way of salvation than does John 3:16 revealing God’s plan, provision and promise. Some consider John 3:16 as the “theme verse” for the entire Bible. John 3:16 tells us of the love God has for us and the extent of that love—so great that He sacrificed His only Son on our behalf. John 3:16 teaches us that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, will be saved. John 3:16 gave us the glorious hope of eternal life in heaven through the love of God and death of Jesus Christ.

There is no more powerful way to deliver this message than to let John 3:16 speak for itself. God so loved the world (you and me) that He sent His only begotten Son so that all who believe shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

By John Grant
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John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

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Further Reading

•  The Names of Jesus – A study

•  How to Spend a Day With the Lord

•  Salvation Explained


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A black hole. That’s what it seems like at times in our personal lives.


I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. Psalm 40:1-3

A black hole. That’s what it seems like at times in our personal lives.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) defines a “Black Hole” as “A place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light cannot get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. And because no light can get out, people can’t see black holes. They are invisible.”

That’s it. That’s what life seems like at times—pulled and squeezed at every possible point, with not a bit of light anywhere, darkness all around and deep within. Even the “invisible” part of the definition fits—finding it hard many times to identify what it is causing the darkness in our lives and hearts.

David, even as King David, felt that darkness, those black holes at times enveloping his life and inner being. Running from his own mistakes, running from others and hiding in caves, wondering all too often where God was, crying out to Him and asking why God had forsaken him.

That’s it. We’ve all felt it and been there. All.

Then add the stuff going on in the nation and world around us this past year and more. And we have an even blacker hole, if such a thing is possible. No light. Squeezed tight. Pulled every which-way but what’s right. And not at all sure of the way out.

But that same David, in his better moments—where and when he sought out, leaned toward and waited patiently for God—found the light that was always there for him. Even through the black holes in his own life.

The light from the Lord who lifted him out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; and set his feet on a rock giving him a firm place to stand, putting a new song in His mouth. A hymn of praise to his God.

When David waited patiently for the Lord—when he sought the Lord first—the Lord turned to him and heard his pleas for help and guided him out of and through the black holes and darkness he faced in life.

That’s it. Facing whatever we face. Black holes and more. Squeezed tight and pulled in every direction.

‘Wait patiently for the Lord to hear our cry, and to lift us out of the slimy pit, and set our feet on a rock. And then put a new song in our mouth,’ a hymn of praise to God. Our Light. Sounds about right. Pastor Scott Whitaker

By John Grant
Used by Permission
John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

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Further Reading

•  Life Can Bring Joy out of Sorrow by Norma Becker
•  Fully Surrender to the Lord
•  Salvation Explained


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Stay spiritually fresh. Stay connected with God. Keep your spiritual batteries charged.


“…be prepared in season and out of season…” 2 Timothy 4:2

For some time, we have known they were coming, but when the first one in town opened this week across the street from my office, I just stood and stared. I am referring to an electric car recharging station. They take major credit cards and all you have to do is plug in until fully charged, however long that may take.

I have never driven an electric car, but I guess it has a charge gauge on the dash much like my car has a fuel gauge. When it gets below a quarter of a tank I know that I need to stop and fill up. The gauge is a constant reminder that if I let the tank (or now batteries) run down, I had better have some good walking shoes.

Our spiritual lives are much the same!  If we’d take time each day to re-charge our spiritual batteries by spending a few minutes with God…in His Word, in prayer…we’d worry less because we would know God is in control; our minds would be renewed with the promises of God which offers us much reassurance…especially in crisis; and when we let God order our day, our focus is on His will rather than our to-do list!

Like most, I travel with an extension cord because many hotel rooms don’t have enough outlets for all the devices I have to recharge on a daily basis and for some I even carry a spare battery to get through a sometimes heavy use day.

Should I do anything less to keep my spiritual batteries charged? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. He doesn’t need to get re-charged, but we do!

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles. They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. God’s Word tells us to “be ready in season and out of season.” (2 Timothy 4:2) If our spiritual batteries are not kept charged, we won’t be ready when an opportunity or need comes our way.

Stay spiritually fresh. Stay connected with God. Keep your spiritual batteries charged. If only I had a spiritual charge meter to tell me when I have only one bar left like on my phone. But if I charge my phone daily, I never have to count the bars. Charge your spiritual batteries daily and you won’t have to keep track of the power bars on your spiritual screen either.
( a thought on life from John Grant )

By John Grant
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John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

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Further Reading

•  Why I need to Press the ‘Reset Button’ – confessing sin is like a reset button in our relationship with God
•  Overflowing with Life!
•  Salvation Explained


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Some are called to serve and some to support. What is your mission?


When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up–one on one side, one on the other–so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” Exodus 17:12

Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. Moses told Joshua to choose the men to fight the battle and go out and fight. He said that on the following day, he would go up on a hill with the staff of God in his hand.

So then the next day, when Moses held his hand up, Israel prevailed. When his hand went down Amalek prevailed. But after a while, Moses hands became physically exhausted, as did his whole body. Just then his attendants placed a stone under him for his to sit on and Aaron and Hur each held up a hand until the sun went down. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed Amalek.

Some are called to serve and some to support. What is your mission? Some are chosen to fight on the battlefield and some are called to stay behind and support. Leaders get tired and need support and with none at their side, the bigger mission will fail.

Like a well-staffed orchestra, no part is too significant. Everyone wants to play first part, but with no second part, there is no harmony.

When Paul was in Damascus, the Jews were out to capture and kill him. Several faithful supporting me came to his aide and placed him in a roped basket and lowered him to safety over the city walls in the darkness of night. Because of those rope holders, Paul went on to be the greatest missionary of all time.

Are you called to be a battle soldier or a rope holder? Both are essential ingredients of victory. At the end of the battle, the private in the foxhole is as important as the general in command as to who wins. Each has a part and none is more important than the other.

The important thing is not how important we are in the eyes of the world, but whether we do what we are called to do in the role in which we are called to do it.

By John Grant
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John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

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Further Reading

•  Why I need to Press the ‘Reset Button’ 
•  Fully Surrender to the Lord
•  Salvation Explained


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“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. “  Romans 12:2


There is a mighty battle going on for control of your mind. Heaven and earth intersect there and the tugs of both spheres influence your thinking. God created us with the capacity to experience foretastes of heaven, but we have to shut out the world and focus on His presence in order to experience it.

The world exerts a downward pull on our thoughts. Media bombards us with greed, lust and cynicism. We must pray for protection and discernment. We must stay in continual communication with Jesus as we walk through the wastelands of the world.

Refuse to worry, because this form of worldliness will weigh you down and block awareness of His presence. We must remain on guard, stay alert and recognize the battle being waged against our mind as we look forward to an eternity free of strife-free living reserved for us in heaven.

Paul tells us in Romans 8:6 that the mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. 1 John 2:15,17 tells us to not love the world or anything in the world because the world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

How are you doing in your battle? Who is winning …. the way of the world (Satan) or the way of heaven (Jesus)? Electronic communications, the media and the grip of Satan on the world around us makes this a fierce battle and all the more difficult for those not grounded in the Word of God. It is daily. It is constant, but for those of us who have professed Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we know who will win in the end.

By John Grant
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John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

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Further Reading

Practicing the Presence of God

Prayer – Asking Specifically

•  Salvation Explained


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Have you experienced the futility of trying to produce spiritual fruit by your own efforts?


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

The state where I live is known for producing citrus fruit. There are thousands upon thousands of acres of all kinds and varieties. While there’s incredible crop diversity, most have one thing in common: they grow on sour lemon stock.

The best way to produce good quality fruit is to grow seedlings from sour lemon stock and then attach, by budding or grafting, material from trees that are known to be good producers.

While sour lemon stock may produce hearty trees, the fruit it produces is not edible. But when a graft or bud from sweet fruit is grafted just above the surface, sweet fruit begins to blossom. The old is gone and the new has come.,

In the same way, Jesus does this when we accept Him. We become a new creation. Life takes on new meaning and we begin to blossom into the people God created us to be. The more we engraft God’s Word into our hearts, the more we grow in Christ.

Have you experienced the futility of trying to produce spiritual fruit by your own efforts? If you redirect your energies to “engraft” Scripture into your life and meditate on it day and night, God’s Word will successfully bear good fruit in your life.

Lord, I am not what I used to be, but I’m still not what You created me to be. Help me to be engrafted to You through Your Holy Spirit so I may be more like You. Amen.

By John Grant
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John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

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Further Reading

Understanding more about the Holy Spirit
•  Spiritual Oxygen: Are You Getting Enough?
•  Salvation Explained


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Someone once described suffering as God’s fertilizer for spiritual growth.


If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength.” – Proverbs 24:10

Either we are in adversity, just getting over it or about to go into it, or perhaps, all three at once. Living in this world is not easy and trouble comes with it. The issue is not whether we will experience it, but how we will respond to it.

There are a number of reasons why you or I will experience adversity during our lifetimes. Some segments of the church today have been wrongly taught that adversity is a sign that God has removed His blessing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Scriptures clearly teach us that trials are a part of a walk with God. No man or woman who has achieved much in the kingdom has been spared some form of trial or adversity. God gives specific reasons for some of our trials. Other times the purpose is to identify with the cross of Christ. We must view adversity as God does–as a means to conform us to the image of His Son. Making us more Christ like is the ultimate goal of all of our experiences with God.

Adversity is God’s workbench where He conforms us to His image. Someone once described suffering as God’s fertilizer for spiritual growth. No matter what God does in our lives, we know that nothing happens without His foreknowledge and His planning. Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that God is not aware of our circumstances.

Certain calamities simply cannot be explained adequately to allow rational defense of the events. These are better left unresolved until we come before God and He can quiet our hearts.

Suffering and adversity are parts of our heritage as sons and daughters of God. They come with the territory as parts of God’s refining process for every believer. Consider every major character in the Bible, and you will see that their lives had adversity. God never said we would not suffer as Christians.

Throughout Scripture God encourages us not to put too much emphasis on the here-and-now life, but to emphasize our future life in heaven. Whatever trials we will encounter here will not compare to the glory He will reveal when we get to heaven. Earth is a mere watering hole on the way to eternity. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him (James 1:12).

So keep looking up, no matter how bumpy your road of life gets. Things could get worse and probably will, but for those saved by Christ, eternal glory is just around the bend.

By John Grant
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Further Reading

•  Life Can Bring Joy out of Sorrow by Norma Becker
•  Fully Surrender to the Lord
•  Salvation Explained

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The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. John 2:20-22

Over twenty years ago, I watched it being built over a number of months and I remember attending the grand opening. It was a building not far from where I live. It has been occupied by more than one business and most recently been vacant.

On my way to the office one morning, I noticed some equipment around the building and several trucks. When I returned, later in the day, more than half the building was gone and by the next day the site where the building once stood was void of any trace of building and was a vacant parcel of property, scraped clean to the bare earth.

I pondered about how long it takes to build a building and how quickly it can be torn down. I thought of the passage of Scripture where the Jews challenged Jesus on his statement that he would tear down the Temple and rebuild it in three days – a structure that took forty-six years to build. He, of course was talking about a different kind of Temple.

I thought about how this applies to my life and recalled 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

As I contemplated that Scripture, it occurred to me about how long it takes to build up my body to be worthy and reflective of being a vessel of the Holy Spirit. It includes building character, integrity, trustworthiness and respect. It takes years to firmly ingrain those traits in a body created in sin.

But then consider how quickly our bodies can be torn down. We are tested by Satan and tempted by sin. Sometimes just one stumble can in a moment wipe out years of character building and Satan baits us when we are least expecting it and when we are most vulnerable.

We must all be careful to not stumble on sin and in an instant erase what God took years to build.

by John Grant
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John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

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Further Reading

•  Random Acts of Kindness it is amazing how random acts of kindness affect those around you.
•  Encouraging Word
•  Salvation Explained

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“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

When he felt the pop in his leg, he knew it wasn’t good. He said it felt like somebody had literally snapped his leg in half. The American Olympic sprinter had half a lap to go in the first leg of the 4X400 meter relay.

He also had a choice to make, keep running or stop and lose the race. To him it was not much of a choice. Manteo Mitchell finished the lap and limped to the sideline to watch his team finish the race and qualify for the finals.

A few hours later, doctors confirmed that he had run the late 200 meters with a broken left fibula. It was a complete break.

He said that he had to finish because he was running for his country and in a relay three other runners were depending on him. But he credited something more than simple adrenaline for pushing him the rest of the way around the track.

Faith, focus, finish. Faith focus finish. That’s the only thing I could say to myself,” he said after the race. He said he was in the race and just finish and do what he was called to do.

Sometimes it looks so easy to give up in the face of adversity. The Bible is replete with advice on keeping going when we are tempted to give up.

What should we do when we feel like giving up? Be honest with God about our feelings. God has promised strength when we need it. Giving up often causes us to miss the best God has to offer.

When our hearts condemn us, we should not give up. God’s presence is not always a glorious, fantastic, awesome display – He might be in a still small voice. You are not alone. Though we make mistakes, we are still in God’s hands.  Mistakes happen and sometimes we fall – don’t give up, get back up. Nothing can separate us from God’s love.

Trust God and wait on Him. God will not fail you in your day of adversity. Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness and relies wholly on God.

Never give up in pursuing God’s calling on your life. It’s in the Bible.

By John Grant
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John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

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Further Reading

•  Life Can Bring Joy out of Sorrow by Norma Becker
•  Fully Surrender to the Lord
•  Salvation Explained

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For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”  1 John 5:4 (KJV)

Someone recently sent me an amusing story about a farmer and his donkey. It seems that one day a farmer’s donkey fell down into an old dry well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off.

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up, one step at a time. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up. Shake it off and take a step up.

Sometimes God has to knock us down to make us look up. The Christian walk is comparable to a long distance race. Those who compete in a natural race have to be able to endure until the end. The same is true for the Christian in their journey with Christ. Every Christian has to learn how to endure as they grow in God’s grace and knowledge. Without endurance, the Christian can possess spiritual insight and knowledge, but cannot last long enough to see the fruits of it flourish in life.

The Holy Spirit gives us the tools to work out of any situation, for whosoever is born of God has the Spirit of God and will overcome the world.

Sometimes life’s situations can seem overwhelming, but we can count on God to give us what we need when we need it to work through life and overcome the world one step at a time.

By John Grant
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John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

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Further Reading

•   Pressing Your Reset Button
•  When Life isn’t Fair
•  Salvation Explained

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“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

Are you weighed down by the clutter in your life? I mean lots of little chores to do sometime in no particular order. If you focus too much on these petty tasks, trying to get them out of the way, you will discover that they are endless, eating up as much time as we devote to them.

Let me suggest that instead of trying to do all of your “chores” at once, choose the ones that need to be done today and let the rest slip into the background of your mind.

Then turn your attention to Jesus and make Him the forefront of your awareness. Our ultimate goal should be living close to Him, being responsive to his initiatives. He can communicate with us best, when our mind is uncluttered and turned toward Him. We should seek His face continually throughout each day.

His presence will bring order to our thoughts and He will infuse peace into our entire being. We should first seek His kingdom, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33) A mind fixed on Him will return perfect peace, because He trusts in us. (Isaiah 26:3)

All those things in our lives that seem to say how important they are really aren’t that important after all. What are your priorities? Are they on that never ending list of things to get done or are they on the face of the Master, who gives peace and order to life?

It is best summed up in one of my favorite hymns which says: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

By John Grant
John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney
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Further Reading

•  When Confusion Prevails
•  Dealing with Inner Turmoil
•  Salvation Explained

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“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”  John 10:27

President George W. Bush commented that if you ever felt really special or powerful, try bossing someone else’s dog around. Unless you are his master, that dog could care less how powerful you are.

Sheep are the same way. They know the shepherd’s voice. Even today in the Middle East, a shepherd will go into a crowded sheepfold, and his own sheep recognize his voice and follow him. They know the shepherd will literally lay down his life for his sheep. They will follow him wherever he leads.

In this verse, (John 10:27) Jesus is comparing those who follow Him as the Son of God with the sheep who follows the shepherd. The shepherd knows his sheep. Jesus says, “I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”

Both the Shepherd and the sheep are aware of this, and it enables the Shepherd to lead His sheep in the best possible way, helping them to learn what He teaches and to do what He commands.

Being known by and knowing the Shepherd implies that, not only do they know His voice, but they have an intimate understanding of the way He thinks and are inclined to reflect His way of doing things. Their imitation of the Shepherd becomes automatic because the sheep anticipate his will. They become one with the Shepherd.

Sheep need to be led. Unlike other animals, sheep rarely find their own way safely. Since sheep go astray, their guidance and safety lies in the Shepherd’s leadership A thief, a robber, or a stranger may call the sheep by name and try to imitate their Shepherd’s voice, but through long usage and intimacy, they can discern a strange voice and become alarmed.

With a large number of sheep, the true Shepherd may shelter them in many pens, but they are still all His sheep and all one flock. The flock does not create this unity, but because the nature of the sheep is in harmony with their Shepherd, and because their relationship to Him is intimate, they recognize and obey His voice.

As Christians, Jesus is our shepherd and we are his sheep. In a world competing with many voices, we should listen for His voice alone and follow Him wherever He leads, guides, protects us and where He gave His life for our eternal salvation.

By John Grant
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John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

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FURTHER READING

•  He Guides Us
•  The Lord is My Shepherd

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


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I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.” Psalm 7:17

Recently, I was praising and thanking God for something he had done for me that very day, but He said what about last week, last month, last year? How soon do we forget?

I must plead guilty to a prayer life that is too tilted in the direction of my current prayer needs and not enough in thanks for all he has done. Just think about what God has done for us as Christians…. His righteousness and holiness, all his marvelous works, our physical bodies, His guidance and instruction for us, our salvation, the hope He has given us, the joy of being in his presence, His answer to our prayers for help and the list goes on.

These are general things applicable to all of us. But what about the things he has done specifically for us? I have been making a mental list of things God has done for me, some decades ago. He has always been there for me. While I am thankful for the things he has done for me, I am especially thankful for the things He has kept from happening, even things I very much wanted at the time, which looking back would have been an ultimate disaster.

When I was growing up, one of my favorite television shows was Father Knows Best. While it was about a family, the title has spiritual connotations. Our Heavenly Father knows best as well.

Over these past days, I have tried to examine every year of my life and think of what God did for me, even before I was saved. It has brought to mind things I had long ago forgotten and regrettable probably never thanks God for, at least not recently.

When was the last time you made a ‘thank-you’ list?

Try it today. Recall the prayers God has answered recently, the needs He has provided for, spiritual victories you have enjoyed and last but not least, the faithful character of our Lord. Then begin thanking God for each item on your list, and your faith will grow stronger.

By John Grant
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John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

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FURTHER READING

•  The Supernatural Power of Praise
•  Lord, because of you….

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“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:3

God calls us to be faithful. His timing is perfect.

When He speaks it is time to respond in obedience and without delay. There is no such thing as postponing a decision to follow God. Either we obey or we disobey. His timing is always perfect.

Our first problem is that we want to put off responding to God in order to meet out time schedule. But our second problem is that when we do respond, we want to see the ultimate outcome of our actions.

In Psalm 1:3 the psalmist speaks of planting a tree. Our problem is that trees don’t grow overnight. Many years ago, I planted a magnolia tree in our front yard. It is still growing and I may never see it reach its full growth.

It is like that with God. He calls us to be faithful and sometimes we don’t even understand his ultimate plan and what’s more may never see it either. We are called on to be faithful and let God judge the fruitfulness of our work, which we may never see.

Too many of us are fixated on immediate gratification. All too frequently, a company’s worth is now measured almost entirely by the paybacks it achieves in the near term, rather than by its ability to plan effectively and execute a sustainable long-term growth strategy.

Bill Moyers said “Old people still plant trees they will never sit under.” He underlined the optimism and selflessness of senior citizens who plant trees for those who come after them, knowing they themselves will never enjoy the shade the trees will one day offer. In Christian ministry we often plant today so that those who come after us tomorrow might harvest.

Could Noah have envisioned the vastness of the human race that he was instrumental in preserving? Jeremiah, who in his lifetime saw little results of his preaching, would be amazed at the number of souls that have since been inspired and encouraged by his message. Jesus, after three years of diligent ministry, saw only the first fruits of the harvest that would eventually result. Paul, missionary to the Gentiles, lived to see the church begin to flower outside Judaism. Could he have visualized a church that today is almost exclusively composed of Gentile believers?

How about you? Are you willing to be a seed planted for God so that generations to follow may benefit from the fruits of your labor? Just be faithful and leave it to God to count the fruit.

By John Grant
Used by Permission
John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney


FURTHER READING

•  Fear, Faith and Migraines by Dr. Muriel Larson
•  Life’s Lessons can Come from Unexpected Places

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


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“And forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Matthew 6:12

Throughout the Bible, debt forgiveness is not to be taken lightly. In Deuteronomy it calls for debt forgiveness every seven years. In Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus goes deeper and tells us to forgive those who have come against us. Forgiving a monetary debt is difficult, but forgiving others for their transgressions against us is even more difficult.

Someone steals from us, beats us, cheats on us, harms those we love and profits at our loss are hard to forgive. The list goes on.

Can you forgive that which you cannot forget? Can you move on after someone sins or has an ought against you? Can you make peace with painful memories and create a life that is beautiful again? Can you forgive what you cannot forgive?

We deserve to stop suffering because of what other people have done to you.

Have you ever felt stuck in a cycle of unresolved pain, playing offenses over and over in your mind? You know you can’t go on like this, but you don’t know what to do next. Forgiveness deals with the past while it heals the presence and puts joy in the future. We have to let go of bound-up resentment and overcome the resistance to forgiving people who aren’t willing to make things right or ask you for your forgiveness.

The Bible records many stories about “forgiving“. The Lord Jesus also taught us like this: when we forgive men when they sin against us, our heavenly father will also forgive us.

Jesus taught Peter to forgive seventy-seven times. Joseph forgave his brothers who sold him. Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery. Jesus prayed for the people who hurt him. Stephen cried out to the Lord for those who stoned him before death. King David forgave Saul who wanted to kill him. Paul asked Philemon to forgive Onesimus.

A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: “Today my best friend slapped me in the face.” They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: Today my best friend saved my life.

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him,

After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?” The other friend replied “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.

Who can you forgive today?

By John Grant
Used by Permission
John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

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FURTHER READING

•  The Power of Forgiveness
•  Dealing with Inner Turmoil

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


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