Thursday, November 15, 2012

Over The River and Through the Woods…

"In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you"  I Thess. 5:18

This is one of my favorite holiday songs.  It brings back fond memories of days gone by and it is full of memories I always wanted but never really had, like traveling in a sleigh through the snowy woods to Grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving.  Oh, I always went to Grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving, just not in a horse-drawn sleigh!   It is hard to believe that it is already time for the holidays again.  Just a couple of weeks and Thanksgiving will be here and then in a flash Christmas will come and go. Don’t let Thanksgiving pass without really giving some thought to what you can be thankful for.

Keep the Praise/Thanks Flowing
The highest form of praise is continual thanksgiving that discerns the hand of God. Thanksgiving is the greatest form of submission to the will of God. Thanksgiving is the highest expression of faith and trust in God. Thanksgiving releases the power of God to perform His work, filled with power. The opposite of thanksgiving is complaint against the circumstances of life.  Thanksgiving is meant to be a manner as well as an attitude of life.  It cannot be enforced or demanded.  It must be spontaneous to be real.

When A Man Truly Recognizes...
When a man truly recognizes who God is, spontaneous thanksgiving will come naturally.  Our God is the one and only God, not just the best.  He is creator, sustainer and the sovereign Lord. Your faith in God is directly related to your concept of Him.   Small God = small faith = small power.  He is Lord of ALL or none.  You bring your concept of God to church and to the trials you face.  Either you believe He is capable of handling your problems, or you don’t.  If you don’t believe He can, you won’t give them over to Him and therefore, you won’t receive the blessing!

All We Like Sheep
Psalm 23 talks about how God is our Shepherd.  We are like sheep in that we need that guidance or we will go astray.  Sheep are needy creatures. The sheep cannot defend or provide for itself. God will be the shepherd of the sheep in His pasture. Many claim provision of this shepherd but live in another pasture.  When you learn to depend on the True Shepherd you will be Thankful and respond with Joyful Praise. This is a spontaneous recognition.  It is heart motivated and mouth confessed.  It is more than internal thanks. Our whole life is meant to show thanks.  The application of Thanksgiving is "Thanksliving”.  The result is Proper, Powerful, Purposeful Living - Absent of Worry. "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God".  Philipians1.4:6. The man who has ceased to worry and learned to give thanks is the man who has gained the secret to the abundant life. 

The greatest thanks a child can give is unquestioned obedience. So it is with the child of God. We have to get to the point we can realize that by the grace of God I have what I have and I am what I am.  Therefore, I will live according to His desires and remain in a position to receive and share His goodness.  This is what God wants from us.

God is "good” or benevolent. He is “loving” or "merciful” - loving and kind in His justice and He is “faithful” because he is "truth” never changing.  His acts through His Son display His character.  And He loves us.  That is something to be thankful for!

Scripture to Claim
"And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him." Co1.3:17

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