Give THANKS to the LORD

“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” 1 Chronicles 16:34 NASB1995

https://bible.com/verse-of-the-day/1ch.16.34/652

He is good! Give thanks for your life! Give thanks to the LORD.

For what, you ask?

Most of all, more than anything else, thank the LORD for His Son, Jesus Christ, and His life-saving Salvation!

Is your life good? Give thanks to the LORD!

Are you healthy? Give thanks to the LORD!

Are you alive? Give thanks to the LORD!

Is your life a mess? Give thanks to the LORD!

Is your body sick, ill, diseased? Give thanks to the LORD!

Are you alone, lonely, yearning? Give thanks to the LORD!

Easy to say; hard to do. Thank God today for what you have. Thank God for the hard life you have. Thank God that you can feel. Thank God for your doctors! Thank God for pharmacists and nurses and medicines; for hospitals and rehab! Thank God for the roof over your head, and for the clothing you wear. Thank Him for the good landlord and the bad one. Thank Him for the service members who protect us. Thank God for living in a free country, and thank Him for the good and the bad politicians…..

Thanksgiving, even when we don’t feel like it!

“Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.”
James 5:13 NASB1995

https://bible.com/bible/100/jas.5.13.NASB1995

As Americans, we are especially blessed. Even with all of the ridiculous shenanigans (I’ve always liked that word) in Washington and around the country, we really are blessed. That said, I know there are many who are struggling and suffering, and my heart and prayers go out to them. I’ve never been particularly good at being thankful in the midst of suffering, or being cheerful in times of stress. Pretty much the opposite… and definitely not like James tells us:

“This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;” James 1:19 NASB1995

https://bible.com/verse-of-the-day/jas.1.19/2932

Here’s another one, this time from John.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
1 John 4:7 NASB1995

https://bible.com/bible/100/1jn.4.7.NASB1995

That’s a verse I really have to work on applying in my life! Coming up on Thanksgiving, with Christmas following close behind, I find that this might be the thing I struggle most with. I think most families have that person that we struggle with liking….. or even tolerating. God knows, and He is very clear on this. After all, being fully aware of the plans the Pharisees had for Him, and knowing that Judas would betray Him, Jesus showed love to them. He showed love to the thief on the cross next to Him. I am to reflect the love of God by showing love to everyone around you whether they deserve it or not.

If you don’t have that “special” person in your life, I almost envy you. However, if we are honest with ourselves, I expect that we have that someone whom we don’t like. Whether their actions or their personality. You, or I, might even be that person to someone!

LORD, Father God, I bring this to You today, and pray that You will take the resentment and anger and frustration from me, and help me to show Your love to that person. It’s only through YOU that I am able to do this. Let me be a blessing to that person, so that they might see Jesus. Amen.

Thank God!

A Psalm of David:

I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods. I will bow down toward Your holy temple. And give thanks to Your name for Your Lovingkindness and Your Truth; For You have magnified Your Word according to all Your Name. On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul.”

“All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O LORD. When they have heard the words of Your Mouth. And they will sing of the ways of the LORD, For great is the Glory of the LORD. For though the LORD is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly, But the haughty He knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your Hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your Right Hand will save me. The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your Lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your Hands.” Psalms 138:1‭-‬8 NASB1995

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. Everything is a gift. Be thankful for His Mercy, Pardon, Patience, Lovingkindness, Truth. “It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night,….” Psalms 92:1‭-‬2 NIV

Pray. God delivers His promises in fulfillment of His Word. Don’t forget to say Thank You, Jesus! “….. to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,….” Ephesians 3:19‭-‬20 NIV

Remember God’s Pre-eminence. Eventually, EVERYONE will give thanks and praise the LORD. ALL of Creation will praise Him. He is our protection. Be thankful for all the troubles that have MISSED us. God’s Grace and Mercy will sustain us. He gives us Purpose. He will complete and accomplish His plans for me. God made me and He has a purpose for me!

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.” Psalms 139:13‭-‬14 NASB1995

“….. being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 NIV

Thank God for His fulfillment!

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20‭-‬21 NIV

Happy Thanksgiving from my home to yours!

Thanksgiving 2019

“Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord , for he is coming to judge the earth. Give thanks to the Lord , for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.”

1 Chronicles 16:31‭-‬34 NLT

Are You Thankful?

“The old advice of always spending less than you earn is kind of worthless when you hardly have an income….”

I don’t know who said this, but they have a valid point. It’s a problem I have struggled with, and the interesting thing I have realized is that it has been true regardless of my income. Americans are spoiled. We live in a country where poverty level is higher than many countries highest earners. I don’t deny that there are thousands here who really are living in horrible conditions. It would be amazing to be able to change, but the reality is just as Jesus said.

“You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” Matthew 26:11 NLT

Search for the words “the poor” in scripture. They are referred to dozens of times. There are many people who believe that we should divide everything up among the entire population – I disagree, because it only encourages the lazy to become,more so, and it discourages those with ambition. Why should I work so that someone else can sit around?

My point is this: we should help those we can, especially family, the orphans and widows, and I have to add, our veterans. Give thanks for what you have, be it a little or a lot. Thank God for your blessings. A roof over your head, food to eat, transportation…. indoor toilets, heat when it’s cold. Family, friends, FAITH.

To me, this describes how Thanksgiving should be:

“This festival will be a happy time of celebrating with your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows from your towns.” Deuteronomy 16:14 NLT

Give Thanks to YOU Alone

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; Bless His Name!” – Psalms 100:4 ESV

Are you thinking about your blessings today? I am thankful that the Almighty Creator saw fit to cover my sins with the Blood of CHRIST, blessing me with eternal LIFE rather than the eternal death I deserve.

It is well with my soul.

Mercy Me sings it so well:
I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone….”

If you can’t find anything to be thankful for, pick something from this list:

  1. Toilet paper (Thanks for the reminder, Katy!)
  2. Food to eat
  3. Clean water to drink
  4. Feet
  5. Hands
  6. Sight
  7. Family, whether birth or adopted or chosen
  8. Pets, and their unconditional love …. Just like our LORD!
  9. Life
  10. I am Born Again, thanks to JESUS!

Not everything on the list will resonate with you, but I pray that you can be thankful for the last. He is the only way to true peace and thanksgiving in your life, and without Him, ….. well, without Him, we’re sunk. Period. Remember this?

No JESUS, No Peace;

Know JESUS, Know Peace!

Pure, complete Truth. I urge you to explore the Bible, and if you are new to this, I encourage you to start with the book of John.

“In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” ….. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of GOD, even to those who believe in His Name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of GOD.” – John 1:1-5;12‭-‬13 NASB

“For GOD so loved the world, that He gave His Only begotten SON, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have Eternal Life.” – John 3:16 NASB

It can all be yours. Just ask! AMEN

GOD Is – Thanksgiving

Chris Tomlin was singing this when I got up this morning. In the wake of more violence; more disasters, he sings about the one thing that brings peace into our hearts. Without GOD, is it even possible to have real thanksgiving and love?

You’re the God of this city
You’re the King of these people
You’re the Lord of this nation

You’re the Light in this darkness

You’re the Hope to the hopeless
You’re the Peace to the restless

The song was written by a band called Bluetree, who are from Belfast, Ireland, and it was first recorded in 2007. I encourage you to read the backstory on https://www.songfacts.com. Fascinating story; what a witness!

We are 2 days away from the National Day of Thanksgiving, a day set aside to remember where we have come from as a nation, as families, and as individuals. A day to give thanks for the freedoms we have as Americans. According to https://history.house.gov, “On Thursday, November 26, 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation for “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” Beginning in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln encouraged Americans to recognize the last Thursday of November as “a day of Thanksgiving.” A few years later in 1870, Congress followed suit by passing legislation making Thanksgiving (along with Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Independence Day) a national holiday.”

In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and VP Harry S. Truman wrote this in the official Thanksgiving Day Proclamation:

“In a year which has seen calamity and sorrow fall upon many peoples elsewhere in the world may we give thanks for our preservation. On the same day, in the same hour, let us pray:
Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will.”

They could write it for 2018, too, but I would revise the first sentence to read “…. many peoples here and elsewhere ….”

Thanksgiving has become a day for frenzied shopping and gross commercialism. People aren’t encouraged to spend time with family because they have to work. Even in corporate offices, people have to work. No respect for the traditions of our country, no respect for people’s personal lives or space. No respect for anyone except me and what I want. This day has become a travesty of the original intent. Shut the doors of your establishments, people! This goes for Sundays, and all National Holiday’s. Do you really need that thing on that date? It won’t kill anyone to have a day off! I know there are exceptions. Nurses and doctors, pharmacists, emergency personnel….. these need to be available, but Big Lots? Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, Tractor Supply? The malls and commercial establishments? I say a resounding No. Let us join our families, whether they are blood or adopted, and give thanks that we can.

“Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into His Presence with singing! Know that the LORD, He is GOD! It is He Who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His Name! For the LORD is Good; His Steadfast Love endures forever, and His Faithfulness to all generations.” – Psalms 100:2‭-‬5 ESV

Socialism – GOD’s Path or Man’s

“When JESUS heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” ” – Luke 18:22 ESV

By definition, “socialism (so·cial·ism) is a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole:

  1. A policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
  2. (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism.

People have taken this passage in Luke (and others) to advocate socialism as a way of life for all Christians. I don’t believe that that is what JESUS is saying. This verse, as well as all of Scripture, must be read in context, because any action – any action – can be justified by taking a verse or two out of context. We have to be on guard about this! Using this case, I don’t see JESUS espousing socialism for the whole. He is speaking to one individual about his life. We don’t know why JESUS told the young man to sell everything and give it to the poor, just that in this instance, it was what the LORD required. He might require it for you or me, and He might not. Much good can be done with wealth (money or time), but wealth can also be a hindrance to our lives with CHRIST. As Christians, our concern should be to search the scriptures for the message to each of us as individuals. We can’t expect non-Christians to understand, because as Paul says:

“For the Word of the Cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the Power of GOD.” – 1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV

But for us, those of us who are coming to Christ and those who are already in Christ, the Word is where He shows His Will for us to follow. For unbelievers who are without GOD’s Love, the Word, when we share it, is like “a clanging gong:”

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1‭-‬3 ESV

We can try to reach the lost by creating a socialist society with everyone on the same financial footing, or we can glorify our GOD for the diverse talents He has given us, and give thanks for the different paths He has set us on. Our blessings don’t come from following a way of life set out for us by the enemy – and if it doesn’t come from GOD, it comes from the enemy! Whether the path GOD puts us onto is a life of missions, or selling everything and giving it to the poor, or serving in some capacity in His church; using wealth to help those in need; or being the best wife and mother – or husband and father – that we can be, as long as we are on GOD’s path and in His Love we will be overflowing with blessings.

“But You, O LORD , are a Shield about me, my Glory, and the Lifter of my head.” – Psalms 3:3 ESV