In this week’s blog, I want to share just a sampling of what I am thankful for this holiday season. During this time of year, everything is all about the hustle and bustle. However, I do hope that we all will take some time to stop, take a breath, and be thankful. Let’s be thankful for what we have but more importantly, be thankful for what we do not.
I am truly blessed to be surrounded by friends who love me for who I am. My circle of friends is tight and my support system is great.
Oil and incense bring joy to the heart, and the sweetness of a friend is better than self-counsel. Proverbs 27:9 (HCSB)
As discombobulated as they may be, my family is very near and dear to my heart. And when I refer to my family as discombobulated, I mean so with the utmost respect and love. Additionally, if you think your family is normal, then you are a liar to yourself. Everyone has that one crazy uncle (like me) so do not think for a minute that your family is perfect.
But one of the hardest things to deal with is the distance. We live in North Carolina while all of our family live in West Virginia. The drive time is only eight hours, however, it might as well be twenty hours given the busy lives that we all lead.
Even still, family is blood and blood gives life. And I would not trade my family for anything in this world.
I could write a book about my bride and what she means to me. We have been a couple for thirty-three years and we recently celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. She is literally my everything. My best friend and my lover. I am so very blessed to have her in my life. For without her, I know for 100% certainty that I would not be here today. And not just gone from here but also suffering in torment, having never known Jesus.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of His body. Ephesians 5:25-30
Place your hand on your chest. That small rhythmic beat you feel in your chest is the only thing standing between you and eternity. If you were to die tonight in your sleep, do you know without any shadow of a doubt where you would awake? Let’s dive in.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 (HCSB)
“WOW, Jackie! That is grim.” Yes, it can be however stick with me.
Is sin against God really that important? If so, how can we have any possibility of hope? Let’s break down one of the Bible’s most profound verses.
For the wages of sin is death... Romans 6:23a (HCSB)
In your job, you are paid a wage. Be it hourly or salary, you are paid for the work that you do. Here in Romans 6:23a, Paul writes that our wages or payment for our sin is death. Keep in mind that the word death mentioned here is not meant to be read as a physical one. No, this is a spiritual death; separation from good and evil — separation from God and hell. So are we doomed to spend eternity in hell? No, God provided the way, the only way, to restore ourselves back to Him.
...but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23b (HCSB)
gift: a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present: a Christmas gift
And just like with any gift, you must accept it in order to receive it. No one can earn their salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). You can only be saved by confessing your sins and placing your faith in God’s Son, who died on the cross and paid the wages for your sin.
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9-10 (HCSB)
So now you have a decision. Are you going to accept the free gift, the gift of salvation and eternal life? The gift is there for the taking, all you need to do is accept it.
If you have received the free gift today of salvation, I would love to hear from you.
If you made it this far, please consider commenting below, subscribing, and also sharing on your social media sites. Most importantly, I ask for your prayers. I write this weekly blog as an outlet in my fight against depression. However, my hope is that something I write here may help others who may be struggling. If you would like to help with my battle against depression, check out my online Etsy store. Most proceeds are donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or by dialing 988. You may also text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.
Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Used by Permission HCSB ©1999,2000,2002,2003,2009 Holman Bible Publishers. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.