A Daily Act
Around this time of year, it is always good to stop and reflect on all the blessings of the Lord, and to thank Him for His gracious provisions in the past year. But what about the rest of the year?
The truth is that every day should be a day of thankfulness and it should not only be a verbal “thank you” whispered to the Lord in prayer, not just an attitude, but should inspire our actions as well.
Let’s make a commitment to not only verbally express thanks to the Lord, but by practicing giving thanks.
“Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.”
Serve the Lord. You will be amazed at the great needs of others and the way you can meet those needs.
Remember in Matthew 25:40: “and the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
When you serve the less fortunate you are serving Jesus Christ.
Giving Jesus your time will open your eyes to the needs of others, it will take your mind off of yourself and allow you to be an instrument of healing for those in need.
Research reports that only 17% of the millions of American church members say they practice tithing—of that number, research says that only 3% actually tithe their income in a Biblical manner.
So what does the Bible say? Proverbs 3:9: “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine substance.”
God’s word is our instruction manual, for Christian living.
If you truly love the Lord and desire to follow Him, make tithing a part of your Christian walk.
Say thank you—card, phone call
Let’s not forget to say “thank you” to someone who has added joy or some pleasure to our lives. Many people go out of their way, just to help us in some way. And don’t forget to thank God for all His benefits and blessings. When was the last time you thanked God for all His blessings, and you don’t need a phone or a card to do that. His line is never busy. You don’t have to go through an operator to thank Him. A lifestyle of gratefulness pleases the heart of God if you see it as a service to perform for the Lord. What a wonderful way to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We must use the gifts and abilities God has given us to further the work of His Kingdom.
I love beautiful singing, but when they sing to perform, for attention, God doesn’t get the glory.
Colossians 3:23, 24 says, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men, knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance, for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
Whatever job you have each and every day, work at it, as if you were working for the Lord and not for men. Don’t do your job to receive the acclaim of men, but work diligently for the Lord. Put your all into everything you do, then your job will take on new meaning and purpose.
Treasure. Do we take the time daily for thanksgiving for His daily provision?
Many Christians fail to see and understand their responsibility when it comes to tithes and offerings.
Every Christian should use his Bible as a full-length mirror, with this motto before him: “Before you go out and tell everyone that you represent Christ and His Church, look yourself over and see whether or not you do.”
Despite all the bad news that we hear each day on television: continue terrorists threats, a war in Afghanistan, and imminent war with Iraq, a failing economy, and so much more, we still have much more to be thankful for.
Thanksgiving will soon be here and let’s make Thanksgiving a daily holiday in our lives.
1 Chronicles 16:8-9 says,
“Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His Name; make known His deeds among the people. Sing unto Him; sing psalms unto Him, talk ye of all His wondrous works”
and in Philippians 4:4 we read,
“rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say rejoice.”
Your attitude of thanksgiving should be a daily activity, not a yearly one.
Let’s think about a few characteristics of truly happy people. (1) Thankful people are happy people.
Psalm 100:2, says
“Serve the Lord with gladness.”
This may seem hard especially when things seem hard, when you are sick or facing a hardship or struggling to make it through the day because of some circumstance which seems to be out of your control.
But no matter, what you are going through, you have received the gift of salvation; it is yours forever and one day you will spend eternity in Heaven. What a wonderful thought!
God takes care of you. He has promised to never leave or forsake you. God’s “guardian angels” surround you, saving you from trouble you never even knew existed.
God meets your daily needs. Thank Him for the roof over your heads, the clothes on your back, the water you have to drink. Maybe you don’t have everything you want, but God supplies what you need.
God answers your prayers. Sometimes it is “yes” and sometimes it is “no” and sometimes it is “wait”, but because God loves us God answers our prayers the best way possible.
Thankful people are practical. That means three things:
(1) Thankful people realize that life is short.
(2) Then we realize “Too soon old…and too late smart.”
(3) Thankful people realize this and set out early in life to accomplish the purpose that God has given them.
And remember, that if we want to be a thankful person we don’t have time to waste. Don’t spend time worrying over the past and fretting over the future. Let’s put our life in God’s hands and get going.
Because God’s will for our lives will always include others, a life lived only for yourself is not only boring, but mainly wasted. A person wrapped up in themselves, makes a poor package.
Reach out to those in need. Make friends. Share your time and include fellowship in your daily routine. So many people give up cause of their physical limitation or their age.
But think about Sarah and Abraham. She was in her 90’s and Abraham was nearly 100 years old. Nothing is impossible with God. God can use anyone to accomplish His purpose.
And think about Joni Ereckson Tada. She sings, draws, speaks and writes with a ministry that has reached thousands with the Gospel and she is a quadriplegic, confined to a wheelchair.
Physical limitations and age are not a good excuse to give up. Psalm 103:1-2 says,
“Bless the Lord O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name. Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits.”
Thankful people remember the blessings of the Lord. They remember the countless benefits of becoming a child of the King. As a result, a song of praise is never far from their lips.
You might say, “Oh, I can’t carry a tune.” Don’t worry about that. It will be a perfect tune when it reaches Heaven. Maybe God didn’t give you that talent, but He gave you something else. All have a talent or talents. Are we using them to glorify God?
Thankful people receive much benefit from daily praise and worship. Their mind frame is much better and it will drive Satan far away and God will pour out His blessings on thankful hearts.
So let’s become a year-round thankful person and work hard to develop the characteristics of a thankful person so that each day your life will reflect the joy, peace and happiness of Jesus Christ.
The Heavenly Grocery Store.
“I was walking down life’s highway a long time ago,
and one day I saw a sign that read “Heaven’s Grocery Store”.
As I got a little closer, the door came open wide,
and when I came to myself, I was standing inside.
I saw a host of angels who were standing everywhere.
One handed me basket and said, “Child, shop with care.” Everything a Christian needed was in that Grocery Store, and all you couldn’t carry you could come back for more.
First I got some patience.
Love was on the same row.
Further down was understanding.
You need that everywhere you go.
I got a box or two of wisdom, a peg or two of faith and I just couldn’t miss the Holy Ghost,
for it was all over the place.
I stopped to get some strength and courage to help me run this race.
By then, my basket was getting full,
but I remembered I needed some grace.
Then I started to the counter to pay my grocery bill,
for I thought I had everything to do my Master’s will.
As I went up the aisle, I saw prayer.
I just had to put that in,
for I knew when I stepped outside I would run right into Sin.
Peace and joy were plentiful. They were right there on the shelf.
Songs and praises were hanging near, so I just helped myself.
Then I said to the anger, “How much do I owe?”
He just smiled and said, “Take them everywhere you go.”
Again, I smiled at him and said, “Really how much do I owe?”
He smiled again and said, “My child, Jesus paid your bill a long time ago.”
A Basket of Thanksgiving
“Bless the Lord oh my soul, and forget not all His not His benefits.”
An old legend tells of two angels sent by the Heavenly Father to earth for the purpose of gathering requests and notes of praise from His children. The one messenger named Prayer carried a large basket, for it would be filled with petitions. The other whose name was Thanksgiving had only a small basket, since very few expressions of gratitude would be conveyed to Heaven from the millions who had been blessed by the Lord.
The Bible tells us in Psalm 100:4,
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and less His name.”
We live in a little corner of a big world, but it is never ours to hide away in. The little corner in which we live is the world, for which we are responsible.
God hasn’t called us to the mission field but where we cannot go, our missionaries can. We give and they go. And if we had to exchange places with them, our prayers probably would be a little different and maybe our burden, too.
So every day that we choose to “hide away” someone goes uninvited to church, unenlightened in the truth of God’s love and mercy. So let’s stretch the borders of our little corner of the world.
Little deeds of love and kindness, time taken with people who need you. Sometimes, their little hills and alleys seem like mountains to them and they may get discouraged, but we, as brothers and sisters, are to be an encouragement and help, pushing them along the way.
But if we aren’t living as close to the Lord, as we should, we need pushing. May God help us to be the salt of the earth, and the light to a lost world. That’s part of the responsibility of a Christian. We can be seasoned Christians and God’s light can shine through us if we are in His Divine will.
Thought for today:
“Today upon a bus I saw a lovely maid with golden hair. I envied her. She seemed so gay, and oh, I wished I were so fair when suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle. She had one foot and wore a crutch, but as she passed, she smiled. Oh God, forgive me when I whine. I have two feet and the world is mine.”
“And when I stopped to buy some sweets, the lad who served me had such charm. He seemed to radiate good cheer; his manner was so kind and warm. I said, “It’s nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find.” He turned and said, “O, thank you, Sir” and then I saw that he was blind. O God forgive me when I whine. I have two eyes; the world is mine.”
It’s a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God”
Be thankful for common blessings, commonly overlooked: a good place to begin is thanking God for whatever measure of health we enjoy.
When you visit the nursing homes, the hospital and individual homes, you come out of there thanking God that you can walk. Some are bedfast; some can’t feed themselves or go to the bathroom. Some are completely helpless and are at the mercy of others. Some are suffering. Some don’t even remember their names, or what has happened. Some are blind and some are deaf.
The first few minutes of each new morning should be spend thanking God that we can see and our minds work, my arms and legs move and I can stand up straight.
I have clothing to wear and food to eat and I have things to look forward to during the day. Because the lack of gratitude produces an emotional and spiritual famine, but the expression of praise always revitalized the human spirit and brings joy to living. Remember that gratitude is a seasoning for all of life’s seasons. Life is a curious mixture of highs and lows, pleasures and pains that include trials, heartaches and blessings.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Thank God for His guidance in times past, gratitude for the presence of God’s Spirit in times of trouble, gratitude for spiritual strength and courage.
Daniel knew that praise to God calms a troubled spirit and clears the mind to think more clearly and more hopefully.
Live like the Psalm writer who declared
“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Train your mind to count the blessings, then the process of counting up one’s blessings builds our faith, strengthens us emotionally and produces contentment even in the most adverse of circumstances.
You’ll be surprised what God has done for you. Thanksgiving should be a continuous attitude expressed by Christians.
God is sufficient for you.
“But my god shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
We have a great God. He has promised to meet every need.
For every enemy God has a planned deliverance. For every heartache and every burden, God has a day of strength, blessing and sunshine.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His promise.”
God has given us access through prayer.
“For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
God invites us to come boldly before the throne of grace. Prayer can free you from the pressures of life by reminding you of God’s constant presence and power in your life.
“When thou passest thru the waters, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”
Heartache and trouble are inevitable. Even the truest Christians suffer from time to time. However, through it all, God is there for you. It is during these times that God wants us to lean on Him in faith. He wants us to grow and mature.
The Bible tells us that strength is not born in prosperity; it is born in trouble. In fact, your reaction and response to trouble during the hours of suffering will determine the extent to which God can effectively use your life for His glory and when they look at you, people shouldn’t say, “What a wonderful person she is, but say, “What a great and mighty God she must serve.”
God has given us a blessed hope.
1 John 3:2-3,
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
There is coming a day when the trumpet is going to sound and we can go to be with our Lord, forever. We don’t know the day God will call us away, but what you can know, with confidence is that we will one day be with the Lord.
Knowing this should put enthusiasm and joy in our soul. This Thankgiving put the negative things behind you and fix your eyes above. Remember His awesome attributes and thank Him for not only saving your soul, but for promising to guide and take care of you until you go home to Heaven.