It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2

Archive for November, 2015

Giving Thanks Always

Ephesians 5:20           Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ… KJV

We are told to give thanks always! That doesn’t mean when we feel like it or when things are going well with us or when we get what we want. We are to give thanks in every situation under every circumstance. This is crazy, irrational, stupid, ridiculous most would say. How can we give thanks when we are sick with a life threatening illness, a loved one has died, we lose our job, or are unable to provide for ourselves and our families? How can we give thanks in these hard situations? That really is the whole purpose or fact of the matter! We cannot in our own strength give thanks in these hard, hopeless situations of life unless we have hope for a better future.

 Jeremiah 29:11-12     For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

When our eyes are focused on the circumstances around us it is hard to see anything different or visualize anything beyond what we see. What God is telling us in this statement is that we give thanks in faith in knowing God’s plan for us and that we have hope for a future past this current situation. Satan would always have us focus on the horrible, dreadful things we are going through and then steal all the hope we may have for surviving these circumstances and problems.

 

When we understand the fight we are better able to win the battle. Satan wants us to stay hopeless and God tells us to have faith in Him. Once again, we have a choice to make as to what we will believe and what we will act on. As a natural response, we may choose to stay hurt and anger. Or by faith, we can choose to believe God. We can ask Him to give us the faith we need and that He will bring us through this situation. We can trust it will work out in the end for our good and His glory.

 2 Corinthians 4: 15-18         All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.  Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

God is forever showing us His Glory, Love and Mercy. It is in all that He has made. He has shown us such a great love that He sent His only Son to die that we might have life. Even at such a great cost, God will not force His will on us. He has set before us life and death, blessing and cursing. He asks us to choose life that we and our seed will be blessed. This is an awesome reason to give thanks to God. No matter what we have gone through, are going through or may go through in the future, nothing can compare to the gift of God’s everlasting life and to be with Our Father eternally.

Hebrews 12:28            Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,

 

“It is not because things are good that we are to thank the LORD, but because He is good.”

Hannah Whitall Smith

 

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Ungrateful

To be ungrateful, to grumble, to murmur or to complain is wicked in the eyes of God. So many people are spiral down a dark path all because they are not thankful for what they have or the life God has given them. If Eve had focused on all that she was, made in the image of God, she may not have been tempted to follow a lying, fallen angel. Ingratitude is one of the weapons the enemy uses against man; to get us dissatisfied and ungrateful for what we have. We then focus and ponder the things we lack.

Numbers 14:26-28, 31           And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:

 31 But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.

God will judge the wicked and ungrateful person just as He judged the children of Israel in the wilderness for grumbling against Him. God showed Himself as the Almighty God to Israel as He brought them out of Egypt and destroyed all of Pharaoh’s army. Yet, they murmured and complained saying they would die in the wilderness. They did not trust God to be faithful to His word and as a result they received what their mouths confessed. They died in the wilderness but their children went into the Promised Land.

God shows Himself faithful and true, even though Israel refused to believe and trust Him, their children possessed the land. God was faithful to His promise, that Abraham’s seed would inherit the land of Canaan. God is always faithful to His word and His word is true. He will punish the wicked, those who refuse His gift of Life through Jesus. Those that believe in His Son will not perish but have everlasting life.

Romans 1: 18-21        The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

God has revealed Himself to all mankind; we are without an excuse to deny Him. The heavens and the earth reveal His Glory to all men. We can see the glory of God in the heavens above and in nature all around us. However, some still refuse to glorify God or give Him thanks. This is a choice every person has, the ability to choose our destiny and to choose how we will live our lives.

In the Old Testament, God judged mankind according to law. Now that Jesus came and fulfilled the law, He paid every sin debt of man. Those who accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior will stand before a Holy God in the Righteousness of Christ. The wicked and sinful man will be judged. Those who refuse the payment Christ made for them will bear the wrath of God for themselves. Everyone has a choice and everyone will be judged according to their choice. We can choose to be proud, abusive and ungrateful toward God, or we can choose to accept by faith the forgiveness of God in Christ.

2 Timothy 3:2

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy…

 

Give Thanks

This is the month our country has dedicated a day to give thanks to God. Let us take time to prepare afresh our hearts for giving thanks to God for all He has done for us.

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty— and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works— and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. (Psalm 145:3-7 NIV)
The very first time the phrase “give thanks” is mentioned in the Old Testament it speaks of The God Who avenges and delivers from our enemies. He delivers us from violent men in the midst of unbelievers. Therefore we should give thanks to the Lord among the skeptics and doubters. We should sing praises to His Name because He has delivered us from our enemies.  In the Bible, names described a person’s character.  Their name spoke of who they were on the inside, their characteristics. That is why we give praise to God and we praise His Name. When we praise God’s name we are giving glory and honor to Him and thanking Him for Who He is, for His attributes and for His Character.

2 Samuel 22:48-10 NKJV                        It is God who avenges me, And subdues the peoples under me; He delivers me from my enemies. You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name.

2 Samuel 22:48-50 NIV          He is the God who avenges me, who puts the nations under me, who sets me free from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me. Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name.

 

The quote “Give Thanks” is found 35 times in the King James Version of the Bible, 28 times in the Old Testament and 7 times in the New Testament.  The one phrase that is said more than any other in these regarding giving thanks is “O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good for His mercy endures forever.” The number one thing we should give thanks to God for is His mercy that is everlasting and endures to all generations.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!   For His mercy endures forever.   Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever.  Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!  For His mercy endures forever:  To Him who alone does great wonders,  For His mercy endures forever; To Him who by wisdom made the heavens,  For His mercy endures forever; To Him who laid out the earth above the waters,  For His mercy endures forever; Psalm 136:1-6 NKJV

We are thankful for God’s love it was His love that gave to us His only Son Jesus to save us; yet it was His mercy that moved Him to show His love in such a marvelous way. It was mercy that we saw when man first sinned in the garden. God would have been justified to punish man on the spot for treason against the Lord. It was mercy that spoke in Genesis of a Savior that would come and crush the enemy’s head, even though the serpent would strike and bruise the heel of the Savior.  It was mercy that allowed love to send the Son of God Himself to die in our place.

So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:14-15 NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18 NIV)

 

We as believers in Christ regard every day as a day to give thanks to God.

In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12 NIV)

Do Not Be Anxious! Part 2

Philippians 4:5-7        Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

God tells us how to guard our minds from the attacks of the enemy and how to have peace. We are to think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. The Truth is the Word of God. God’s Word is the actual true state of the matter, not what the world says, the doctor says or the devil. They may give information but we know situations change when new information is given and more insight is known.

The truths of God’s word never change and are greater than anything we may be facing. Satan wants us to focus on our bank account, the doctor’s diagnoses or being out of work, but God said do not concentrate on these things. He tells us to think on and give attention to the things that are noble, pure and lovely, things that we can admire and give God praise concerning.

God created us with the ability to concentrate, meditate on only one thing at a time. People say they are multi-tasking but what they are doing is one thing at a time, they are just doing it at a fast pace. We cannot be fearful when we are full of faith praising God. We cannot be stressed and overwhelmed when we are thinking on the goodness of God and all He has done.

Philippians 4: 8-9       Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

There is an Old Cherokee Legend of life. There is a terrible fight going on inside of man between two wolves. One is evil- he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is good- he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. This fight is inside every person. The wolf one feeds, is the one that will win. We should feed our faith not our fears.

 

Philippians 1:28                     without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.

God says not to be frightened or intimidated in any way by anyone but to stand firm in our faith in Him. Our confidence is a sure sign to the enemy that they will be destroyed and that we will soon be saved and delivered from our situation by God.  We should just stand and keep our mind on Jesus and see the salvation of the Lord.

We are told to rejoice in the Lord always and let your calm, gentle spirit be a witness to everyone, and show that we are not intimidated by our enemy.  In every situation we are to pray to God, and lay our petitions before Him with thanksgiving. We are to thank Him for being our God, our King, and our Saviour.  When we are thankful to God, even in our hard times, God will give us peace in our minds and hearts. We can demonstrate peace in hard times and difficult circumstances. Our peace will be a witness to God’s power and glory.

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