Abounding in Thanksgiving….is that you?

What causes you to be thankful?  There are lots of sights, things and people that bring a smile to our faces,  but what gives you the most gratitude in your heart?   God’s Word gives us the ultimate reason to give thanks in Colossians 2:6-7  “Therefore, as you Abounding-in-Thanksgivingreceived Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,  rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”   Paul was teaching the Colossians that the freedom they have in Christ will cause them to be grounded and not easily swayed by the world.  They will be able to live full lives because God lives within them and empowers them to live for Him.  By faith in Jesus they can walk with Him daily.   Paul explained to them, and us, that the result of an empowered and indwelt life would be thankfulness.  Having Christ with you 24/7, guiding, protecting, building you up, and loving you would result in great thanksgiving.

Is that true of you?  Do you live with thankfulness in your heart because of what Jesus did and continues to do in and through your life?  Ask yourself-am I  abounding in thankfulness?  Abounding means having thanks in great quantity, being rich in thankfulness,  being filled, teeming with thanks.  If you are struggling to abound in thanks, think on a few of the things Christ did and is doing for you:  He provided the way for my salvation from God’s wrath through His death on the cross, calls me a member of His family, gave me eternal life, is accessible to me 24/7, will never leave me nor forsake me, gave me citizenship in heaven, intercedes for me before the Father,  gave me His Holy Spirit to indwell me, and He promises a life that is full, abundant and rich in love.  AUTUMNTake a minute today to thank Him for being the reason for your abundant and abounding thankfulness.  He is worthy.

Linda

Is Jesus is Personal to You?

Psalm 118 28Who is God to you?  To King David He was a personal God, one who saved, loved, protected, helped, restored,cared for and directed him throughout his life.  In Psalm 118:28-29 David desires to give thanks to his God.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;  you are my God; I will extol you.     Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;  for his steadfast love endures forever!

David had a personal relationship with God and knew who He was and how he could depend upon Him.  I too have a relationship with God that was made available to me through Jesus.  Knowing Jesus as my savior opened the door to having God’s indwelling Spirit within me.  Jesus put it this way in John 14:23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”  Jesus told Martha in John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,”  I don’t have ‘religion’;  I have a relationship with God.  I am His daughter.   Paul described our new relationship with God in Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”    Is God your Father?  Do you claim your status as an adopted son or daughter of God through Jesus?

personal godMake God personal today and move into a relationship with Him.   1 John 1:9 tells us how to know Jesus-  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   Make this your first Thanksgiving with Him- ask for His forgiveness for the sins you’ve committed.  You know the words you’ve used to hurt others, your selfishness, your unkind actions… the list for all of us goes on and on as this is the sin nature we were born with.  Put a stop to this circle of sinning and invite Jesus into your life.  Like David, you will have a personal relationship with God.  That relationship is worthy of all our thanks and praise to Jesus who made it possible.  Knowing Jesus will change your life!  Praise and thank Him this Thanksgiving for this new life.  If you know Jesus, thank Him today for His marvelous grace and forgiveness.

1peter3 15Share your thanks with someone else this year.  1 Peter 3:15 tells us to be ready to share our hope in Jesus with gentleness and kindness, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”  Jesus is the good news of life to a dying world.  Be bold and share Him with others.  You will be blessed.

Linda

Worthy of our Praises? You bet!

Let Psalm 95 speak to your heart today as you worship the Lord this Sunday before Thanksgiving.  Think about God, who He is and why He alone is worthy of praise.

Come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.        He provides salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
    Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,                            He is completely Sovereign.
    a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth          He is creator God.
    and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
    His hands formed the dry land, too.

Come, let us worship and bow down.                             
    Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
    for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,             He watches over and cares for us.
    the flock under his care.                           We belong to Him.

psalm 95 2Praise God for His love, sovereignty, omnipotent power, creating all things, protecting, watching and caring for us.   We are so blessed that we belong to Him.

Have a great day rejoicing and being thankful in His presence.

Linda

Enduring praise, is that what is on your lips today?

Being a primary teacher for years, I love choral response readings.  All the kids are chiming in together, listening to one another and speaking as one voice.  Psalm 136 was used as a liturgy of praise.  Let’s look at the first 3 verses.

psalm 136 1Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;

I love this repetition of reason for our complete trust in God, His steadfast love endures forever.  What else in all creation endures forever?  God alone is eternal.  Therefore, we need to thank Him for His goodness and love, and that He is the Almighty God, above all other gods.  He alone is to be our LORD.

I would encourage you today to repeat these lines with a sincere, prayer-filled heart and mind and see if it doesn’t bring His love right into your life.  You can depend upon His steadfast love, no matter what.  His enduring steadfast love is worthy of our thanks and praise.

Have a blessed day,

Linda

Worry won’t change anything-Seek Peace!

philippians 4 6Philippians 4:6-7 is a familiar portion of scripture that brings great comfort to believers.  Here are Paul’s words in the New Living Translation. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Paul exhorted the Philippian believers, as well as us, to leave all our worries and concerns with Jesus in prayer.  We are to tell God what we need and then thank  Him for things we know God has done and provided for us in the past.  How will that help with our worrying?  Reviewing in our mind all the blessings God has given makes us realize that what we have is His and He has caused all things in our lives to work together for 8-28good.  Perhaps we cannot see it right now,  but we have to trust His promise in Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”   Reviewing the circumstances of our lives, the ups and downs, the narrow escapes, the blessings of each day, the miracles done on our behalf causes us to thank God.  Knowing He has provided in the past and will in the future gives us hope and creates thanksgiving in our hearts.  The end result is what Paul proclaimed- PEACE!  The peace Jesus brings in such situations is all from Him, it is encompassing and beyond description.

Are you worried, frustrated, consumed with grief or depression?  Turn to God in prayer with thanks in your heart, think about God and all He has done for you,  and you will find peace.  If your circumstances are difficult and you struggle to find earthly thanks then turn your thanks to God for your spiritual blessings.  You are loved by God, saved, have a home in heaven, are a saint and loved child of God, you are redeemed and freed from the penalty of sin…..  Your spiritual blessings are eternal and no one or nothing here can change or corrupt them.  Give thanks and His peace will come upon you.

thank you godHave a blessed day filled with Thanks to Him.

Linda

Paul’s ‘How To’ starts with Thanks

ephesians 1 15How do you pray for others believers when you hear they are struggling, being persecuted, or have the desire to live and walk with Jesus each day?  Paul gives us some guidelines for these prayers in Ephesians 1:15-19.

 #1 He gives thanks for them  Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you.” 

#2 He prays all the time for them to have wisdom, insight and growth in their faith.  “I pray for you constantly,17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom  and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.” 

#3 He prays they be overcome, filled with God’s marvelous light, truth and Hope” I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.”     

#4 He prays they will know their great God-His power and character. ” I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him.”  

james 1 16Today as you pray for others, let Paul’s guidelines of prayer for his fellow believers in Ephesus be on your mind.  Give thanks for them, then ask God to give them wisdom, discernment, growth in truth and and understanding of who God is.   Remember the words from James 5:16b ” The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”  Pray earnestly for your fellow believers and watch God work in their lives and in yours.

Linda

Opportunities?? Thank you Jesus.

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”  Colossians 3:16-17 

colossians-3-17Having an attitude of gratitude is what Paul is talking about in Colossians.  He commends us to be filled with Christ and be used to bless each others lives with thankful hearts.  The ministry we have with each other is to be done with thankfulness because we are being representatives of Jesus to each other.  That is a staggering thought that God considers me to be Jesus’ representative when I talk with my neighbors, greet strangers, do my job at work and talk with my family day to day.  Our Jesus ‘face’ is not just for Sunday or when we desire to be like Him but all day every day.  Paul is teaching us that everything we say and do reflects on Jesus.  His final words in this passage are that we should thank God for all these opportunities.

Todayface the world with the Love of Jesus in your heart knowing that you represent Him before all that you meet.  Thank God for every person and opportunity that comes your way with an attitude of gratitude.  Now that is kingdom living at its best!

Have a blessed day filled with encounters for Jesus,

Linda

The Circle of Generosity

Have you ever thought that your gifts of love, food, blankets, or money bring back thanks  to God?  The New Testament believers in Corinth were asked to give donations to their suffering fellow believers in Jerusalem.  Paul was headed to Jerusalem and would carry the offerings to them.  Paul explains the benefits of giving to them in 2 Corinthians 9:11-15.   

“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.”    Paul first tells them 2 good things will come from their generosity.  Their needs will be met and then they will thank God for providing for them. 

Paul then continues, As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. 15 Thank God for this gift  too wonderful for words!”   Your giving and their thanks will bring glory to God and show your obedience to Christ.  Then they will pray for you and give thanks for you and your giving.

Paul is showing us that giving generously to provide for others brings glory to God, and thank-filled prayers for ourselves.  Giving comes back to you in thanks.  Thanks is something that cannot be measured or quantified but received with grace and turned back to God brings Him glory and you good.

ciclre of praiseYour giving causes needs to be met and the receiver to be thankful = glorifies God.

Their thankfulness caused by your giving shows how much you love Jesus =glorifies God.

Their thankfulness spurs them to pray for you = glorifies God.

Consider your own generosity at this time of Thanksgiving.  Do you know someone who is in need that you can help?  Remember your generosity brings glory to God and will result in good for you too.  At the very least, it makes you feel good to help others and pleases God by your actions, but knowing our Good God, it will achieve so much more!

Linda 

All-Knowing God provides Victory!

daniel 2 20Daniel 2:20-23 gives Daniel’s praise to God after having received the interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.   Daniel and all the wise men of the kingdom were going to be killed if the meaning of the King’s dream was not revealed.   Upon receiving the King’s death threat, Daniel went to his believing friends in the palace and asked them to pray concerning this mystery asking God to reveal the meaning of the King’s dream so they might be saved.  Here is Daniel’s response after God revealed the dream’s meaning to him in a vision.      Daniel answered and said:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
    to whom belong wisdom and might.
21 He changes times and seasons;
    he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to those who have understanding;
22 he reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what is in the darkness,
    and the light dwells with him.
23 To you, O God of my fathers,
    I give thanks and praise,
for you have given me wisdom and might,
    and have now made known to me what we asked of you,
    for you have made known to us the king’s matter.”

Daniel begins by praising God for who He is- the Sovereign Eternal God of the universe with all things, people and circumstances within His control.  He praised God’s knowledge and wisdom and His ability to reveal things to those who love Him.   He praised God’s purity, and that in Him there is no darkness.  Daniel thanks God for revealing His wisdom to Him and for letting him know what the King’s dream was about, thereby saving him.

who-is-godDo you know who God is?  Do you praise Him for His glorious character  and for how He has kept all His promises?   Try incorporating  praise for who God is into your prayers today.  List His attributes so you can think about Him as you pray.   The more we love and know God the greater our trust in Him will be.

Linda

A Timeless Praise is on my lips today!

Today I needed to focus on God and remember to be thankful.  I love Psalm 100.  Its simple message is timeless and always uplifting.

A Psalm for giving thanks.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!                                    Being in the Lord’s presence
Come into his presence with singing!                      always brings joy to the believer.

Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;                              He is creator God and He
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.                        cares for me.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!                                           His name is above all names 
Give thanks to him; bless his name!                              and worthy of our praises.

For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,                              God is good and He will love 
and his faithfulness to all generations.                          us faithfully forever.

Verse38-Psalm100.4I pray the joy of the Lord will be yours as you worship our creator, caretaker, good, loving, faithful, eternal and Almighty God.

Linda