Month: November 2013

14.14

The final day of the “14 Days of Thanksgiving”

thanksgiving leaves

Today read this passage a loud, before you eat your meal with your family.

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever!

Let Israel say,

“His steadfast love endures forever.”

Let the house of Aaron say,

“His steadfast love endures forever.”

Let those who fear the Lord say,

“His steadfast love endures forever.”

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;

the Lord answered me and set me free.

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.

What can man do to me?

The Lord is on my side as my helper;

I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord

than to trust in man.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord

than to trust in princes.

All nations surrounded me;

in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;

in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

They surrounded me like bees;

they went out like a fire among thorns;

in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

I was pushed hard, so that I was falling,

but the Lord helped me.

The Lord is my strength and my song;

he has become my salvation.

Glad songs of salvation

are in the tents of the righteous:

“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,

the right hand of the Lord exalts,

the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”

I shall not die, but I shall live,

and recount the deeds of the Lord.

The Lord has disciplined me severely,

but he has not given me over to death.

Open to me the gates of righteousness,

that I may enter through them

and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord;

the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me

and have become my salvation.

The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone.

This is the Lord’s doing;

it is marvelous in our eyes.

This is the day that the Lord has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Save us, we pray, O Lord!

O Lord, we pray, give us success!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

We bless you from the house of the Lord.

The Lord is God,

and he has made his light to shine upon us.

Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,

up to the horns of the altar!

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;

you are my God; I will extol you.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever!”

(Psalm 118)

14.13

Day 13 of the “14 Days of Thanks” – a countdown to Thanksgiving

thanksgiving leaves

Tomorrow we will see family, friends of the family and people that married into the family.

For you it maybe a struggle to be around some of them…

for others it maybe a joy.

Some of you often feel left out during family gatherings because you are not the favorite one, or the one people like to talk to. You never seem to fit in with everyone else. For others you are the center of attention, you cook the meal, you have the best desert, and the life everyone wants.

Regardless of where you fit, even if it is somewhere in-between the description above, the question is…

Do you thank God for the people you will see tomorrow?  Is lifting them up to God in a prayer of thanks part of your prayer life?

“we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you” (Colossians 1:3)

Do you thank God for the people that He has placed in your life, that you have come to know, even in your family?  Do you give thanks for those people regardless if you have a strong desire to be around them or not.

Today, take a moment to pray about tomorrow. Mention the people you will see by name and find something to be thankful for as a result of knowing them.  Not – “Lord I’m thankful I only have to see them on holiday’s and funerals” but something about them that is good that you are thankful for.

It will make tomorrow much easier to endure…

and you might find yourself not even feeling like you are enduring them at all. (Ok I know that’s a long shot)

So…

“give thanks to God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ”  when you lift them up in prayer today.

It will change things.

14.12

Day 12 of the “14 Days of Thanksgiving” – a countdown to Thanksgiving

thanksgiving leaves

Prayer is often thought of as a time that we bring our request to God to make them known to Him…

and that is true.  It is the method by which we bring our concerns to our God and Savior.

However in scripture, time and time again, it instructs us that prayer is more than that.  In fact prayer is a more active sort of thing…

in “other words” its not just “words”…

action is involved.

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” Colossians 4:2

Prayer is a watchful time of thanksgiving.  We watch and we give thanks, we give thanks and we watch.

Maybe we are watching for Jesus, and giving thanks for the promise He is coming. Maybe we are watching concerning signs of His will and thanking Him for His guidance. Maybe we are watching for ways to act and react with life, thanking Him for that instruction…

but regardless we actively watch “things and events” and give thanks…

at the same time

Steadfastly

Continually

14.11

Day 11 of the “14 Days of Thanks” – a countdown to Thanksgiving

thanksgiving leaves

Today, I wish I had something fresh to say concerning thanks, something new, something no one had ever thought of before.  I don’t know why I feel this way.  It could be because it is Monday, it could be because I want something else to be thankful for…

but I don’t and the main reason is the verses that I’m using today do not lend themselves to that.

So to start this post I just want to first say…

I’m thankful there is nothing new to thank God for

I’m thankful that He never hears anything new, so thanking Him for the same things, time and time again is not bothersome to Him at all.

He’s just good that way and never changes.

“Praise the Lord!

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,

for his steadfast love endures forever!

Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord,

or declare all his praise? (Psalm 106:1-2)

I am thankful that I am not good.  If I was the definition of goodness, goodness would be a very sad thing.

I am thankful that God is the definition of goodness. For his goodness is shown in the world through everything He touches and redeems.

I am thankful that the definition of true love is not based on our human, feeble, changing concept.   Where we love someone one day and decide we no longer love them the next. I am thankful that the salvation of the world is not dependent upon our human love’s unreliability.

I am thankful for God’s unchangeable, steadfast love.  Our redemption is built on that love. God is never going to have a bad day and fall out of love with us.  He will always love us, no matter what.   This is not a license to sin but a fact of comfort.  For when we are not good, He still loves us anyway.

I’m thankful for that.

14.10

Day 10 of the “14 Days of Thanks” – a countdown to Thanksgiving

thanksgiving leaves

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up

and have not let my foes rejoice over me.

O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,

and you have healed me.

O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;

you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,

and give thanks to his holy name.

For his anger is but for a moment,

and his favor is for a lifetime.

Weeping may tarry for the night,

but joy comes with the morning.

As for me, I said in my prosperity,

“I shall never be moved.”

By your favor, O Lord,

you made my mountain stand strong;

you hid your face;

I was dismayed.

To you, O Lord, I cry,

and to the Lord I plead for mercy:

“What profit is there in my death,

if I go down to the pit?

Will the dust praise you?

Will it tell of your faithfulness?

Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!

O Lord, be my helper!”

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;

you have loosed my sackcloth

and clothed me with gladness,

that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.

O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

(Psalm 130:1-12)

14.9

Day 9 of the “14 Days of Thanks” – a countdown to Thanksgiving

thanksgiving leaves

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”                (I Thessalonians 5:18, ESV)

Give thanks in “all” circumstances…

In sickness in heath

When rich, when poor

When emotionally drained or charged

When upset, when angry, when you feel like crying, when tears come that you cannot stop, when smiling, when the sun is shining, when breathing, when winning, when your child achieves, when they do something you would rather not remember…

In the good, bad and mundane…

Give Thanks.

“Give thanks …, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Do you want to be in Jesus’ will?  Then give thanks when you feel like it and when you no longer feel thankful.  In all circumstances it is God’s will for us to give thanks…

all of them.

So when that loved one dies, and you see them in the coffin. Take a moment alone, to sit and contemplate things you are thankful for.

When a loved one is in the hospital and is about to pass.  Take a moment alone, to sit and tell God why you are thankful.

When the call comes that there is no bonus check for you, a bonus check you counted on.  Take a moment alone to sit and talk to God about what you are thankful for.

When the doctor tells you, you are sick and it does’t look good.  Take a moment, get alone with God, dig deep and find somethings in your current circumstance to be thankful for.

In all circumstances, take a moment to sit and vocalize things you are thankful for and if you can’t find any, just sit there and pray until they come to you.

For thanksgiving changes things. It changes your outlook concerning your hard time. It changes your position in the struggle.  Giving thanks reminds you there is someone else in control and He is not going to let your struggle define you any more than He allows your victories to make you who you are.

Giving thanks in all circumstances is one of the ways God strengthens you, your faith and your walk with Him.

After all, only good can come from a heart that is thankful…

only good

and sometimes that’s exactly what you need in your time of need.

Maybe that’s why it’s His will for us to always do.