“Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
Let the whole world know what he has done.” 1 Chronicles 16:8
This is a great way to view the opportunities we have a Thanksgiving time to share with our family and friends the many things God has done for us during the year. Going around the table and naming our thanks, putting words to what our hearts know gives glory to God as we praise Him.
Here is another verse to stimulate your thankfulness- Hebrews 12:28 “Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.” Spend time thinking about the unshakable kingdom we have access to through Jesus. His kingdom is without end, holy and pure, a place of hope and security, a place of worship and love, unchanging and permanently held in place by God, ordered and governed by righteousness and presided over by Jesus. Having head and heart knowledge of God’s glorious kingdom leads us to praise and worship that is filled with reverence and amazement. I am always brought to my knees when I consider the power and greatness of my Savior. His sacrifice was great so that I may know and experience His kingdom during my life now and into the future.
As we approach this wonderful holiday time, take time to put words and thoughts to your thanks both to your family and to God. Thank Him for all He has done, is doing and will do for you. He is an awesome God worthy of all our praises!
I am currently reading All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque with a student. It graphically describes the horrors of WWI as seen through the eyes of a young German soldier. Most of us read this in High School and could not relate to what the author was saying. We were too young and inexperienced to realize the truth of the characters experiences. Nothing adequately describes the horrors of war and its aftermath in the mind and soul of the individual. November 11th is set aside for the specific remembrance -the 11th month, 11th day at the 11th hour the armistice was signed ending WWI, named the war to end all wars, and yet it did not. Scripture tells us there will we wars and rumors of wars until the end of time. Today we remember those who served and those who died in any war or conflict with grateful hearts.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are some pictures of the beaches and cemetery at Normandy. This was place of great sacrifice during World War II. Thank you to each Veteran on this Veteran’s Day for your service and the sacrifice of all those who have died to preserve our freedoms. I am most grateful.
In John 15:13 Jesus says, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”. (NIV) These brave men and women paid the ultimate price and they did not even know me. I am humbled by their patriotism and sacrifice on my behalf.
I want to wish each of you a Happy 4th. The 4th of July is a favorite holiday filled with family BBQ’s, games, swimming, picnicking, corn on the cob, apple pie and fireworks. But as you know, the 4th is more than that to each of us. America and the freedom it represents and holds for each of us was bought with a price- sacrifice, hope and struggle by those that went before us and those that labored to secure our freedom. Our struggle over the centuries has been to secure,defend and maintain freedom of religion, peace, prosperity and hope for us and our children. We desire to live in an unbiased, loving and accepting society. Is this possible? Actually I believe it is not possible without Christ. He is the one who can make all things right and gives us the power to love and live in harmony with others.
Today’s thoughts of freedom bring me to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and Galatians 5:1. Paul was teaching the Corinthians how to live together in harmony and purity. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own: you have been bought at price. Therefore honor God with your body.” Paul was reminding the Galatians what they had in Christ. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves by burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Christ died for us so that we might be free from sin and its bondage and have the ability to live lives that honor Him. The cross was the ultimate sacrifice for us. Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” He bought us with a price, his life. He redeemed us from sin’s ultimate consequence-death. My freedom in Christ was bought with the price of His life on the cross.
I have FREEDOM in Christ- freedom from my sins, freedom to live for Him, freedom from eternal death and freedom to live with Him for eternity. Just as we are thankful for those who died to secure the freedom we have in America, we need to be thankful for the freedom we have in Christ alone. He is the one who secures it all and brings us to the place where we can enjoy freedom.
Today as you are thankful for America, think also of the greater freedom you have though Christ and say a prayer of Thanks to Jesus.
Today is the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor – December 7, 1941. It began 76 years ago at 7:55 am. If you have visited the Memorial over the sunken Arizona where the sailors are still entombed, you are sobered by their sacrifice. War is a terrible thing yet through it men rise to honor and sacrifice for their fellow men. Over 2,400 were killed and 1,000 wounded that day. The most causalities occurred on the USS Arizona as it was hit 4 times by Japanese bombers. A piece of trivia- 37 confirmed pairs or trios of brothers were assigned to the Arizona and this battle cost 62 of these 77 men their lives and 23 sets of brothers died. I can’t imagine the grief those families suffered all in one day. President Franklin D. Roosevelt described it as “a date that will live in infamy.” Just like September 11, 2001 will live on in our minds so should December 7th.
Say a prayer of gratitude today for the sacrifices these men and other brave men who continue to sacrifice their lives, time, talents and family time for our freedom.
Seeking to honor their sacrifice and service.
As we ponder the significance of 9/11 today, what comes to your mind? This is the 16th year anniversary of that tragic attack on the twin towers in NY and the Pentagon. Many of those alive today have no memory of that horrific day and those terrifying events. The same could be said for December 7th and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Both bring extreme sadness at the unnecessary loss of innocent lives, the aftermath of the events and their impact on families, the nation and our way of life. A great sense of invasion and insecurity looms in my mind.
As I looked back, two years ago on 9/11 my new book, Promises for Dynamic Living arrived. The arrival of a new book you’ve written is a momentous time for an author. At the heart of this book is hope and security. God’s Word provides us with an anchor for our souls in Christ and redemption though His work on the cross. Knowing promises our Heavenly Father has made to us, gives me hope as I know He is eternal and always faithful to keep His promises. He promised to send a savior and He did in the person of His own Son- Jesus. What hope we have in Christ! He fulfilled all the promises in the Bible about himself and all questions about redemption are Yes in Him. We do not need to fear for our future as it is guaranteed by Christ himself.
So what of 9/11 and those fears and insecurities? Turn them over to Jesus and depend upon Him in all things. We can cling to Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Nahum 1:7 “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.” Isaiah 26:3-4 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.” John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” I pray one of these verses gives you added hope in Jesus today.
Living in a troubled world with HOPE,
A study in God’s Word that will bring you hope and assurance for living in a troubled world. Available on Amazon or at Certa Publishing.