As we approach the Christmas season it is important that we don’t get swept up in the hustle and bustle of shopping, crowds, gift lists, and special events. Let’s pause to sanctify the holidays. Let’s set apart the days ahead as a special season for worshipping Jesus and loving others.
As believers in Christ, we are called to live every aspect of our lives as thankful representatives of Jesus. The Apostle Paul writes, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).
As we seek to cultivate a Thankful heart we need to remember that gratitude is strongly connected to our spiritual lives. Thankfulness is an expression of a virtue of Jesus. In the end times, as resistance to God and His kingdom increases, ungratefulness will be an increasing characteristic of those who oppose God.
Today as we gather to worship and fellowship, let’s pause to thank God for the dear men and women who serve in roles of pastoral leadership. They care for our souls, provide counsel, minister to our children and seek to embody christian maturity. They enrich our lives in many ways.
Happy Thanksgiving! Join with me as we thank God for our many blessings!
Have you stopped to realize that The United States of America exists because of cross-cultural missionaries? The pilgrims risked all to be used as “stepping stones” (from William Bradford’s journal) for bringing the gospel to the new world. Some reading these words may have come to faith because of the ministry of a missionary in your life. Let’s pause and thank God for the life giving service of missionaries.
God created beauty. The fine arts, at their best, are a reflection of the creativity of God. They capture stirring moments visually or musically and stir our hearts deeply. Let’s express our gratitude to God for the fine arts.
Simple pleasures cost us nothing but bring us great joy. Let’s pause and thank God today for the simple pleasures of life.
Bitterness is like a weed that creeps in and chokes out life. The writer of Hebrews warns, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” (Hebrews 12:15). The Apostle Paul exhorts, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:30-32). A heart of thankfulness repels bitterness. A Grateful heart forgives wrongs, trusts God in the moment, and fuels kindness. Put away bitterness and embrace Thankfulness to God.
Satan attacks us through shame and condemnation. The Apostle Paul attacks this issue head-on in his letter to the Romans.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:31-37).