I am thankful for…… What is your reply?

Yesterday in Sunday School I was asked to have each child write a letter expressing what they are thankful for.  I am thankful for……    Sometimes on Thanksgiving we will go around the table and say what we are most thankful for that year.  Here are a few of mine for this year:  I have loved this year’s blogs as I have been able to express my love and devotion to God leading up to Lent, my growth in understanding of what He has given me through my identity in Christ and my inheritance and now expressions of thanksgiving all month long.  I will end the year with Advent blogs focusing on His Grace and Mercy in sending Jesus to save us from our sins.  I am blessed with family, friends, ministry, purpose and Hope in Jesus.

give thanksWhat about you?  How would you fill in the blank- I am thankful for_______.   David was described as a man after God’s own heart.  He had a great sense of love and appreciation for all that God had done for him.  He was a simple shepherd boy, Mighty in faith, that God used to lead the nation of Israel.  Here is his proclamation:   1 Chronicles 16:8-9

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
    Let the whole world know what he has done.
Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.wonderous works
    Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.

David knew what God had done for him and praised Him for His gracious provision.

Will you follow his lead and proclaim the wonders that God has done for you this year all this week?

Praising Him who blesses me beyond measure,

Linda

Thankful Trust, David’s response

psalm 57David was the anointed king of Israel and God’s choice but not the crowned king.  Saul was still on the throne and pursuing David desiring to kill him.  David fled into the desert area of En Gedi and hid in a cave.  He penned this Psalm in remembrance of this time and the strength he received from the Lord.  Let David’s prayer and praise bring you strength and create in you a spirit of adoration and trust in God.

Psalm 57

For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time he fled from Saul and went into the cave. 

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!                Do you need mercy today?
    I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
    until the danger passes by.
I cry out to God Most High,
    to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
    disgracing those who hound me. Interlude
My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.

I am surrounded by fierce lions                                    What fierce ‘lions’ seek to
    who greedily devour human prey—                            destroy you?
whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows,
    and whose tongues cut like swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens!
    May your glory shine over all the earth.

My enemies have set a trap for me.                     Is someone trying to defeat you?
    I am weary from distress.
They have dug a deep pit in my path,
    but they themselves have fallen into it. Interlude

My heart is confident in you, O God;
    my heart is confident.
    No wonder I can sing your praises!
Wake up, my heart!
    Wake up, O lyre and harp!
    I will wake the dawn with my song.
9 I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.                David’s answer- praise God
    I will sing your praises among the nations.                   in thankful song.  
10 For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
    Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
    May your glory shine over all the earth.love-psalm-57-10

Have a blessed Lord’s day- giving thanks for God’s mercy, love, care, protection and provision.  Just as He rescued David, God is able to meet your needs. Trust in Him.

Linda

Overflowing Thankfulness

peace thankfulWhat comes from thankfulness?  Colossians 3:15  “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” (NLT)  We know from this verse and many others that Christ is our source of peace and He desires to rule in our hearts.   John 14:27 really touches the heart of the matter and describes the peace Jesus gives. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”   Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (ESV)   Having Christ’s peace in our hearts- guarding our hearts and minds- leads us to unity in Christ and thankfulness.  Having Christ in our lives leads to peaceful relationships with others, unity with other believers and thankfulness.

Why does having Christ in our hearts and minds lead us to thankfulness?  Being of like minds with Christ, sharing His spirit within us bring us such peace and contentment within our souls there is nothing we can do or say other than Praise Him with all our hearts.  We overflow with love and gratitude for all He has done for us through His magnificent grace and mercy.  Thankfulness is our pure and authentic response.   May you feel this gratitude as you commune with Christ in prayer and worship this weekend.  May it overflow to your family gatherings for the next several days.

A-thankfulheartThankful,

Linda

Outward looking Thanks

2 corinthinan 9 11Have you ever wondered why God has given you what He has given you?  The Apostle Paul spoke to the Corinthians about this very thing.  He was collecting an offering for the believers in Jerusalem that were under extreme persecution.  The Corinthians were giving generously to this help fund.  2 Corinthians 9:11  “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.”  Their obedience in giving would produce thanks to God, be a witness to others of their generosity and faith in the gospel of Christ.  In return, the believers in Jerusalem would thank God and pray for them in love.  They would also praise God for His grace (unmerited favor) that God had showed them through the believers in Corinth.   9:14 “And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.”   So, that which God gave you – you gave away and the giving gave glory to God and returned to you in grace and thanksgiving.  Wow! What a wonderful circle!  Paul exclaims in 9:15 “Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!”  Thanks-be-to-God-for-his-inexpressible-giftThe gift Paul is speaking of is Christ.  Because in Him and through Him all things can and do work for God’s glory.  Serving the gospel of Christ to others by giving monetarily or working in ministry gives glory to God and uplifts the name of Jesus.  He is worthy of our praise and thanks.  His gift of love and grace to us is indeed too wonderful for words!!

Where is your circle of generosity going?  God desires that we give generously just as He has given generously to us.  Create thanks today by giving something God has given you to someone else- it need not be money- a kind word, a smile, a helping hand are all things we can give to others that bring honor and thanks to God.

day with graceLooking outward today with thanks,

Linda

Yeah! It’s Thankful Thursday!

thankful-thursdayI

I found this poster the other day and thought I’d make this “Thankful Thursday” as a prelude to next Thursday- Thanksgiving Day.  Here are some verses to ponder today to evaluate your thankfulness.

Breath- There is a story in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel 37 that describes God giving breath to dry bones!  5 “Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”   Do you feel like those dry bones today?  Let God breathe his breath of life into you anew as you praise Him for giving you life and the ability to live for Him.

Life-  I love this next passage from Matthew 6.  We are alive and valued by God. What worries us?  Live life being joyous and thankful for all things, God cares for us.  2“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Blessing-  2 Samuel 7:18  “Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?”  David was amazed at what God had done for him and what his promises revealed.   What about you?  Are you amazed at what God has done in your life? 

God is good.  Learning that God is good and intends good for me all the time is a huge self-esteem builder and gives a believer confidence and assurance.  Nahum 1:7 gives me great comfort and peace. The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.  He cares for those who trust in him,”

Have a wonderfully Thankful Thursday as you consider how good it is to be alive and blessed by our Good God.

Linda

Who did you say you represent?

“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 (NLT)

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 on this fact are that we should thank God for all these opportunities.

Why does God say we should be thankful for these opportunities? The answer is found in Christ alone, what He has done for us-creates thankful hearts within us.  But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”  Romans 5:8   “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 6:23  As believers our hearts are filled with thankfulness as we look to Jesus- for what He did taking the penalty for our sin and giving us eternal life.

So 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 it’s best!

col 1 17
Could you wear this sweatshirt with confidence?  Only in the power and name of Jesus are we able.

Have a blessed day filled with encounters for Jesus,

Linda

Thanks in adversity

grateful-quotes-gratitude-quotesCan you honestly say you give thanks during adversity or when you know trouble is coming?  Pleas for help, comfort or rescue are surely on our lips- but thanks?   James tells us in 1:2  “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.”  He has a reason for telling us to be thankful or joyful because it produces godly character in us. 1:3-4 Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace].  And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.” AMP  This is pretty clear that the results of trials and suffering will produce and show our character for God.

Here’s an example from Daniel.  Daniel was a high official in the  Persian court, a Jew of good standing and character.  His enemies wanted to find fault with him so they could get rid of him.  They got the king to sign a law that for 30 days no one could worship anyone but the king.  Persian law once signed could not be changed even by the king.  Daniel 6:10 “When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.”   Daniel knew they were ‘out to get him’ but continued on with his regular worship, trusting God to deal with his enemies!  His enemies came, turned him into the king and the law had to be followed.  Daniel 6:12 Then the devious enemies of Daniel went to the king.  ““O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?”   Now the king was stuck and had to follow his own law. Daniel in the Lion's Den Daniel 6:19-20 “Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!”  Daniel 6 16   The king had a restless and worried night as he liked Daniel.  In the morning the king went to find out what had happened to Daniel.   Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever!  My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” Daniel 6:21-22

Daniel was faithful in praying in all circumstances and let God deal with the problems.  His character was shown to be steadfast and honoring to God.  May we continue to praise God, give thanks and pray under all circumstances- rejoicing in the character God is building in us.  May we be like Daniel honoring God in our faith and actions.

Linda

Thanks for Friends!

friend pushPaul often opened his letters with thanks towards the people he was addressing.  I particularly love this passage in Philippians 1:3-6.  Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (NLT)

Paul was thankful for his Christian friends who worked alongside him in preaching, teaching, praying and witnessing.  They had been together in spreading the Good News about Christ for a long time.  They had a bond of friendship that was sealed by their love for their Savior, Christ Jesus.   Look at verse 6, Paul is saying that he knows Jesus will continue to work in their lives, no matter what.  He knows the faith they have will grow in Jesus until their death or Christ returns.

The friends I have that are believers are bonded to me in a very special way.  No matter how long we are apart, when we get together again it is like we never left.  We share the spirit that lives within us with Christ.  I am so thankful for the  brothers and sisters I have in Christ that work alongside me in ministry.  I know that the good work that Christ is doing in their lives and mine- molding and shaping us to be more and more like Jesus will continue into eternity.

Phil 1 3Do you have special friends that come along side you and support you day in and day out?  If so, let them know how you appreciate them this week.  Send an email, call, send a card or go for a visit and tell them how much they mean to you.  Give thanks this week for friends and pray for them.

Eternally thankful for friends,

Linda

Let Psalm 95 be your guide today

Psalm 95

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

Come, let us worship and bow down.                                   Worship with humility.
    Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
    for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,                                    Revel in His love and care.
    the flock under his care.

psalm 95 2As you worship today, may your hearts  overflow with love and thanksgiving for Almighty God.

Have a blessed Sunday.

Linda

Veteran’s Day- remember and give thanks

A Day to Remember their Sacrifice

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.

Gratefully,

Linda

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