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About-Him.Com Devotional 11-21-2015
BE Ye Thankful
Next Thursday is our official holiday of Thanksgiving. On the first Thanksgiving, our pilgrim fathers thanked God for His provision and then proceeded to feast and play games. And so the tradition continues, at least the feasting and game playing. Many of us will eat too much and it wouldn't hurt for most of us to get some exercise; but we will be mostly content to watch somebody else do the exercising, such as the NFL football games on TV. So where do we fit in the thanksgiving part?
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Thankfulness is an essential part of our daily Christian walk. When we recognize that only in Jesus do we live, move and have our being, how can we be forgetful and mindless of His blessings? When our feet hit the floor in the morning, we thank Him that a new day of life has been granted in which we have the privilege of being His ambassador (2 Cor. 5:20), holding forth His word of life (Php. 2:16) to any who will hear.
We thank Him for life, for He is Life itself. In Him, we live, we move, and we have our being (Acts 17:28). By Him all things consists and He upholds all things by the Word of His power (Jn, 1:4; Acts 17:28; Heb.1;3; Col. 1:17).
We thank Him that we stll have a sound mind. We thank Him for the health that we presently have and that He purchased our healing on the cross of Calvary (Isa. 53:5). We thank Him for the food on our table, realizing that millions in this world are perpetually hungry and die from malnutrition, disease and starvation. We thank Him for food, clothing and shelter, and are content with the things He has provided for us (1 Tim. 6:8).
We are content and thankful because we have a God who has promised to never leave or forsake us (Heb.13:5; Mt. 28:20). We recognize that contrary to the ways of the world, godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Ti. 6:6). We are thankful for a God who knows the things of which we have need. We don't have to fret and worry, He has promised to take care of us, just like He cares for the lilies of the field and the birds of the air (Mt. 6:25-34). As the song says, "His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me."
I am thankful to the Lord for His deliverance from prostate cancer. The evening prior to the surgery, the family gathered and we took communion while claiming the promise of Isa. 53:5, that by His stripes we are healed. The next day the doctor stated that when they opened me up, the cancer was dead. That was 21 years ago and the cancer has not returned. More recently I had surgery to remove an infected shunt drain from my brain. Later the physician's assistant told us that due to the infection, they didn't really expect me to get off of the operating table. If the infection had gone to the brain, I would have died. He then stated that something or more likely somebody kept the infection from moving. I might add that these were Christian doctors who had prayed before the surgery.
I am thankful for the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary that paid the price for the sins of the whole world (1 Jn. 2:2). I am ever thankful for His abiding Spirit and Presence. I am thankful for the hope of seeing Jesus and spending eternity with Him.
Unthankfulness is included in the evil works of the flesh that the apostle Paul listed in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Our present society certainly seems to fit his description. Things haven't changed much since Jesus healed ten lepers and only one returned to thank Him (Lu. 17:11-19). We, like these lepers, were afar off. We were separated from God by the leprosy of sin. We know how that they had to constantly cry, "Unclean, unclean." Before Jesus came our way we were constantly being reminded of our uncleanness. He came our way, we cried out, and He healed us. Have we returned to praise Him? Is our gratitude so overwhelming that we can be like the one leper who praised Him with a loud voice? It is very easy to forget and be like to other nine lepers. Our society is all about image, success, personal rights, financial success and survival. I find it helpful to reflect on the Sermon on the Mountthat reminds us that we have an heavenly Father who clothes the lily and feeds the raven. He has promised to do the same and more for us.
Scripture instructs us to be thankful. Our thankfulness is to be a lifestyle, 24\7\365. We praise and thank God continually. He is our Creator, our Savior, and and our Sustainer. Therefore, we celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter every waking moment.
Psalms 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, We are told to bring the sacrifice of thanksgiving. This is not saying that our praise and thanks is a laborious thing. God desires praise and thanks from willing grateful hearts.
We thank Him for our inheritance. We are heirs of God and joints heirs with Christ Jesus (Ro. 8:17).
Colossians 1:12. Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Colossians 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things [are] for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. (redound in the KJV English means to give credit to. You didn't know that? Neither did I. I had to look it up).
Lastly, whatever we do "in word or deed," we do in the name of Jesus in thankfulness (Col. 3:15,17). This is our lifestyle. We are different than the world. We see things differently. We live in continual praise and thanksgiving. We can only so live, because we have the peace of God abiding in our hearts.
Song: The Love of God
We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. - A. W. Tozer
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