Hello, Friend!

I absolutely love sitting down to write my monthly teaching letters! It brings me so much joy to share the precious Word of God with you. My heart’s desire is for each of these letters to encourage your faith and uplift your spirit with the infallible truths of His Word. What an amazing gift the Bible is!

Before I get into my letter to you this month, I want to wish all mothers a very happy and wonderful Mother’s Day! Motherhood isn’t always easy, but it’s such an incredible blessing and a huge part of so many women’s lives. Being a mother is one of the most joyous, amazing roles you can have in life, and it should never go unnoticed or unappreciated! So don’t forget to hug your mother — and grandmothers if you still have them with you — this Mother’s Day and celebrate her with gratitude and love! And if you’re a mother yourself, if no one else says it to you — I love and appreciate you, and I celebrate what you are doing to take care of your children every day and to influence those young lives for Christ!

This month I am continuing my teaching on walking in God’s will and redeeming the time. In my last letter, you learned how important it is that as Christians, we endeavor in everything we do to adhere to the will of God and redeem the time. In these end times, you need to redeem the time just as it says in Ephesians 5. You also learned what it means to redeem lost time, and we saw that you can lose time in several ways, such as by living in unforgiveness or by living with offense in your heart.  

We also covered ways the Bible tells us we can ensure we are walking in the will of God. You learned about the power of knowing who you really are in Christ and of living with a forgiving attitude in your heart. 

This month I will discuss three more ways you can know you’re walking in the will of God. The Bible says in Ephesians 5:15-17, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” 

By taking steps to know and align yourself with the perfect will of God — and by opening yourself to His power to help you do it — He can start helping you redeem any time you might have lost throughout your spiritual walk!

Taking Hold of Your Opportunities

The Lord gives each one of us so many incredible opportunities throughout our lifetime! What we often don’t realize is that every opportunity is a powerful blessing from God, and it’s so important that we not let them pass us by — but that we see the value in them and take hold of them!

The Bible reveals a great example of missing opportunities in the story of the prodigal son. In Luke 15:11-31, Jesus tells the well-known story of the younger, prodigal son who foolishly asked for his inheritance from his father instead of honoring him by waiting until he passed to collect it. By doing this, the younger son was being incredibly disrespectful toward his father. It was just something you didn’t do.  

Luke 15:13 says, “And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.” Can you picture this young man? He was traveling with pockets full of money, and he probably thought he ruled the world! But then he spent all his inheritance on prodigal, or wasteful living. 

A famine soon plagued the country the young son had traveled to, and he went from thinking he had everything to starving — his life leaving his body like the final flickers of a burning candle. So the younger son came up with a plan. He decided he had no choice but to return home to his father and beg for forgiveness. Luke 5:18 and 19 says, “I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me one of your hired servants.’”

So the younger son headed back home to see his father and apologize for his prideful sin. Here we see the tremendous heart of this young son’s father. While the younger son was still a great distance from his father’s home, his father was out looking for him, saw him approaching, and ran to him — hugging his neck and kissing him. The son began to apologize, but his father excitedly instructed his servants to clothe his son and bring the fatted calf and kill it so they could eat, drink, and celebrate the safe return of his youngest son. 

Even though the youngest son committed a great sin toward his father and missed an opportunity to honor his father by waiting to receive his inheritance, the father never changed his attitude toward his son. He didn’t even pay a great deal of attention to his son’s apology — his father simply took action and told his servants to provide his son with clothing and food and welcomed him with open arms. 

Notice how the father never condemned his son for his wrongdoing and disrespect – he didn’t make him suffer or pay for what he’d done. He simply reinstated his position like he’d never left!

Jesus Christ is the very same way! The Bible tells us that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Friend, I am telling you right now that you may have missed some of your God-given opportunities, but your Father is standing right there, just waiting for you! He won’t condemn you for straying! No! He’s going to receive you with compassion, just like the father received his son in the story of the prodigal son. The Lord loves you, — He adores you, — and He is waiting for you with an open heart!

Friend, let’s not miss our opportunities! God has blessed you and me with so much. And being thankful for your opportunities is an opportunity in itself! Complaining will only keep you stuck in a mental prison, but being thankful will open your heart to be just like your Father.

It’s vitally important to be grateful for every single opportunity you are given — to take hold of those opportunities instead of letting them pass you by. Live in the knowledge that taking hold of your opportunities is powerful, and open your heart to the myriad of possibilities that exist when you’re walking in God’s will. When you’re thankful for and are taking advantage of your opportunities, you’re walking in His will and, therefore, He can start helping you redeem the time!

You Never Know What Can Happen in Just One Day!

Have you ever heard someone use the saying “killing time”? As believers, we really can’t afford to “kill time”! Each second, minute, hour, and day of our lives is filled with an abundance of God-given opportunities, and it’s God’s will that we take advantage of every opportunity given to us without any hindrances or obstacles in our path. 

Matthew 6:34 says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Jesus is talking to you and me right now — He is saying not to worry about tomorrow but to take advantage of today. He is telling us, “Don’t miss out by being distracted by worry! The possibilities of today are endless!

I think it’s amazing that Jesus told us not to worry about tomorrow in Matthew 6:34 — because if anyone had a reason to worry about tomorrow, or the next day, or the next week, or the next year, it was Jesus! He could have spent all His time worrying about when and how the Romans would crucify Him. Or He could have worried about His descent into hell and separation from His Father — Jesus knew everything that would happen to Him. But if He had worried, He would have wasted precious minutes and hours of His present day!

I want to draw your attention to John 10:10, which says, “The thief does not come except to steal, to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Let’s break this down. Life consists of days, and the Lord wants your days to be filled with His abundance, His joy, and His peace — it’s all available to you! All you have to do is reach out and take it by faith. But the fact is, we only have one day at a time, and when you start worrying about tomorrow, it steals your precious today!

Who are we to put a limit on what can happen today? Who are we to put a limit on what God can make happen today? God could make anything happen! So don’t put parameters on your expectations for today. Today is so precious, and Jesus is telling you not to worry your days away, but to live in the abundance of what He has for you in this one day!

Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he….” What we think is what we are! If you’re negative and unexpectant, you can probably assume that nothing spectacular will happen in your day. But if you’re looking up and you’re joyful and have expectant hope in the abundant salvation given to you by God, all kinds of wonderful things can happen! Friend, I’m telling you that absolutely anything can happen today. It all depends on your attitude — and by attitude, I’m talking about your faith. Ask yourself, What do I believe God can do in MY day?

Our God is a daily God. He gives us exactly what we need each and every day. The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:11 tells us, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Jesus is talking about one day — this very day! It’s so important that we develop this kind of attitude toward God. We need to put faith in His Word and believe that He will make every provision available to us every single day without fail.

Let’s see what else the Word of God says about the Lord’s provision for your present day. Exodus 16:4 and 5 reads, “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.’” When Moses and the Israelites were wandering through the desert, the Lord provided them with manna to eat. But He didn’t provide it for a week at a time — He provided for the children of Israel one day at a time.

The Lord tested the Israelites by declaring that they should only collect as much manna as they needed to sustain them for one single day. Yet there were people who tried to save manna from one day to the next! What were they trying to do? They were trying to comfort their worry. Even after God proved Himself faithful by supernaturally providing them with manna from Heaven every single day, they were still afraid He wouldn’t provide them with what they needed for the Sabbath when God instructed them to rest. 

Through this example, God is telling us, “I’m not giving you what you need for tomorrow. I’m giving you what you need for today, and I want you to trust in Me — that I will take care of you and your needs every single day.”

Friend, isn’t that amazing?!! God can and will provide you with everything you need to successfully and victoriously navigate each day of your life. It’s so powerful when you develop this kind of trust in the Lord and the mindset that you don’t have to worry about a single thing. Just approach each day with an expectant heart and see what amazing things the Lord can do for you today!

Put On an Attitude of Thanksgiving

Philippians 2:14 and 15 says, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” This is so amazing because the Bible is telling you in this verse that by being thankful — which is the opposite of complaining — you can shine as lights among the “crooked and perverse generation” of this world! You shine just by being thankful!

When you’re surrounded by people who oppose you or don’t appreciate you, don’t turn your light off! Be thankful for the opportunity to just shine. Be thankful in whatever situation you’re in. Be thankful to God when people are mistreating you. You’re not thanking God for the trouble, but you’re maintaining a grateful heart in the trouble. Just start being thankful and you will shine isn’t that amazing?

Now I want you to look at Romans 1:20 and 21, which reads, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” If you read the rest of this passage, you will see all the bad things that begin happening because of a root of unthankfulness.

In other words, Romans 1:20 and 21 says that as soon as you start complaining, arguing, and being unthankful, it causes your thoughts to become futile — causing you emptiness inside and wide open to how the world thinks. Maintaining an attitude of thanks, however, is so powerful because it can keep your thoughts from becoming empty and meaningless — it can keep them on the right track!

Isn’t it so refreshing when someone says, “Thank you”? Well, what about God? How do you think it makes God feel when you are thankful? What about when you’re unthankful?

If you’re refreshed when someone shows you gratitude, how much more refreshing is it to God when you show Him your thanks? So give Him your gratitude, remain thankful, and let your thanks pour from your heart and mouth — there is power and stability in doing that!

The Bible offers a perfect example of someone who showed gratitude and someone who did not in the story about the ten cleansed lepers in Luke 17. Verse 12 reads, “Then as He [Jesus] entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.” These lepers called out to Jesus, crying out for mercy. In response to their cries, Jesus said, “‘…Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed” (Luke 17:14).

Verses 15 and 16 continue, “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.”

Just look at this leper’s demonstration of thankfulness before Jesus! In response to seeing just one of the lepers returning to give Him thanks, Jesus said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And He said to him, ‘Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” (See Luke 17:17-19.)

Something happened to the leper who returned to give thanks to Jesus after receiving his healing. He made quite a display of his gratitude and worshipped Jesus wholeheartedly. Jesus noticed this act of thankfulness and told the man, “‘…Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well’” (see Luke 17:19). Not only was this leper healed, but he was made whole — with nothing missing and nothing broken! This leper walked away totally restored while the other did not — all because of his thankful attitude!

So does Jesus notice when we’re thankful? Yes, He does. Does He notice when we’re not thankful? Yes, He sees that too. Sometimes I think we’re too tempted to keep asking Him for material things and Earthly blessings, and we don’t always take the time to say, “God, thank You! You are great, mighty, and wonderful, and I love You. Thank You for everything You’re doing in my life!” And as we thank Him, He pours into us. I have a saying that goes, “You’ll never outgive the Lord.” You can give Him your thanks all day long, but you will never outgive Him. He always pours back into us.

I want to share one last verse with you. This verse was written by the apostle Paul when he was trapped in a horrible prison, surrounded by death, disease, and decay. The place he was being held in was absolutely terrible. But look at this incredible attitude of thanks in Philippians 4:18-20, which reads, “Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches and glory by Christ Jesus.”

How on Earth could Paul say, “…I have all and abound…” while he’s being held in such a horrible prison? But look at what that thankful heart did for Paul — in chapter 4 alone, Paul wrote the word “joy” or “joyful” 19 times! Wow!

Paul was in a terrible place with death and suffering surrounding him on every side, but because of his thankful attitude, he was able to produce joy in the midst of his very troubling circumstances. Friend, that’s why we need to know the power of being thankful! Putting on an attitude of thanks, even in your worst moments, can produce joy, wholeness, soundness, and stability in this mixed-up world.

Our key scripture in Ephesians 5:15-17 says, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Friend, there is so much wisdom in understanding the will of God for your life. Not just wisdom, but power!

You have learned that there is power in taking advantage of your opportunities, power in knowing the possibilities of today, and power in deciding to put on an attitude of thanksgiving. And by implementing these powerful tools in your life, you can be confident that you are walking in God’s will. And when you’re confidently walking out God’s will in this way, you are positioning yourself to “redeem the time” and bring glory to His name in spite of any of the “lost days” of your past.

Before I close my letter, I want to inform you about our upcoming Mother’s Day sale! Save the date for May 11 and 12 and enjoy a 25% discount on all Denise Renner products — including books, teaching series, study guides, and more! This online-only Mother’s Day sale will begin on Saturday, May 11, and end on Sunday, May 12, so mark your calendars! Simply add your desired products to your cart on RENNER.org during the sale weekend and checkout to receive your 25% discount. You won’t want to miss this incredible sale!

If you’d like to watch my weekly program TIME With Denise Renner, you can do so on my Facebook page or YouTube channel every Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. CT!

Please let us know how we can pray for you. If you have a special prayer request, one of our prayer partners is just a phone call or email away. Call 1.844.473.6637 or send us an email at prayer@deniserenner.org. We look forward to joining our faith with yours for the answer you need!

We are moving forward together,

Denise Renner