Tag

thankfulness

Sometimes it seems as though we have more holidays and days to celebrate people and events than there are days on the calendar. But this month contains a national holiday that has special religious significance. This special day has been set aside for us to pause, ponder, praise, pray and give thanks to God for His blessings.

Many families will gather together and share stories of God’s love, mercy, grace, and salvation. They will talk of God’s peace and presence and tell of His goodness and guidance, hope and healing, power and protection. God’s generous blessings will be the most important topic of their discussions. He will be honored!
There will also be families where God will not be respected or mentioned. It is not that there will be an absence of thanks, but God will not be recognized or respected as the giver of all gifts. They will focus on what they have, have accomplished or achieved -believing that they have “done it on my own.” They will not recognize His gifts.

Some will resent the day because they feel short-changed or even forgotten by God. They have had trials too tragic to share and losses too great to describe. Their lives seem hopeless with nothing before them but darkness. The consequences of wrong choices have left them scarred for life. However, God still loves them!

But everyone can join the Psalmist and say, “Praise the Lord and give Him thanks!” - Even those who feel hopeless and ungrateful. Why? This verse talks of His mercy which is always available to everyone: the humble, the proud and the resentful.

Prayer: Lord, You have given us so very much. You often give us more than we recognize. Yet, we ask for and need one more thing: A thankful heart! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Psalm 105:1

Someone has rightly said that when our name is spoken, we are “called into existence.” So, here’s a question: If we go an entire day without someone mentioning our name, do we exist? Or, if no one has recognized us, does that mean we are not alive? Not at all! It means that we have not been recognized. We have been “overlooked.”

David began Psalm 18 by recognizing God and proclaiming his love for his Lord: “I love you, Lord, you are my strength!” This simple statement quickly describes David’s dependence on God, his intimate relationship with God, and his devotion to God. “God,” David said, “is the source of my strength.” Whatever he did was done through the strength that God gave him.

Often we think of “strength” as our ability to lift something or endure something as an athlete does in a contest. David was not thinking of that type of strength. But, he does go on to describe that strength: his Lord “is a rock, a fortress, a deliverer, a shield, his strength, and the horn of his salvation.” All of these words that describe God come from a military setting and help us to see that David, in this Psalm, saw God as the One who protected him and made him the victor of all of his battles no matter where he was.

When David called on God, something positive always happened:  in a war he was victorious; in life, he was rescued and renewed. That also happens when we call on the Lord. “Everyone,” the Bible says, “who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” from that which would bring about our death. Call on Him now and be saved!

Prayer:  Lord, we love You and thank You for being our Savior and shield, our protector and provider. Whatever we need, we have in Your Son! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today:  I love you, Lord, you are my strength. Psalm 18:1 

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After church one Sunday, the head usher decided to take his family to the local cafeteria to eat. After they went through the line and selected their food, they sat at a table near a window. Little Margie unfolded her napkin, folded her hands, bowed her head and waited for the prayer of thanksgiving. After a moment or two, she opened her eyes to see what the others were doing. To her surprise, her father had started to eat. 
Mom,” she whispered quietly, “Dad has started to eat and we haven’t thanked Jesus for the food. What’s going on?” 
Hush,” said her father. “People don’t give thanks in a place like this.” 
Why?” asked Margie. “Doesn’t God go to cafeterias?” 
Our thankfulness should not fluctuate with where we are or what is going on in our lives. Though our circumstances change and feelings fluctuate, we must never forget that God is in all things doing what is in our best interest. Remember: He is always at work in our lives shaping us into the person He wants us to be. 
When life’s trials turn to triumphs, we can rejoice with Paul and say, “Thanks be to God who gave us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” He always protects us and provides for us and is worthy of our thanks. And remember, what may be a tragedy today will be a triumph tomorrow. So, in everything, give thanks.  
Prayer:  We often forget, Father, that You love us with an everlasting love and that You are with us even though others forget us. May our gratitude equal Your blessings! In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
Scripture For Today: 1 Corinthians 15:57   But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Walter had recently been elected chairman of the deacons in his church. His pastor thought it would be beneficial to the church if the congregation knew him. 

After introducing him, Rev. Simpson asked him to make a few remarks. He thought for a moment and then began by saying, “I am so grateful for the way God has blessed me. My business has grown tremendously in the last few years. It has provided me with enough money to purchase a new home with a lovely swimming pool. And I am planning on taking my family to Europe this summer. I am so blessed I can’t handle much more. I don’t know what more God could give me!” 
 “I do,” replied an older and much wiser deacon sitting in the front row. “A good dose of humility.”  
 Often when sharing God’s blessings, people speak with arrogance rather than appreciation or sound greedy rather than grateful. We must always be mindful of God’s mercy and without His loving kindness realize that we would be no one or have no-things. What we have, we have because of His grace - beginning with our salvation.  
Every breath, every heartbeat, every thought, every step, every taste, every aroma we smell, every sound we hear, every arm we lift, every object we grasp, or sight we see is a gift from God. Whatever we have, we have because of His grace. Have you given Him enough thanks today? 
 Prayer:  Lord, we only fool ourselves when we think we have earned what we have. Help us to be mindful that without You, we are no one and would have no-things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
 Scripture For Today: Micah 6:8  No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. 
After church one Sunday, the head usher decided to take his family to the local cafeteria to eat. After they went through the line and selected their food, they sat at a table near a window. Little Margie unfolded her napkin, folded her hands, bowed her head and waited for the prayer of thanksgiving. After a moment or two, she opened her eyes to see what the others were doing. To her surprise, her father had started to eat. 
Mom,” she whispered quietly, “Dad has started to eat and we haven’t thanked Jesus for the food. What’s going on?” 
Hush,” said her father. “People don’t give thanks in a place like this.” 
Why?” asked Margie. “Doesn’t God go to cafeterias?” 
Our thankfulness should not fluctuate with where we are or what is going on in our lives. Though our circumstances change and feelings fluctuate, we must never forget that God is in all things doing what is in our best interest. Remember: He is always at work in our lives shaping us into the person He wants us to be. 
When life’s trials turn to triumphs, we can rejoice with Paul and say, “Thanks be to God who gave us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” He always protects us and provides for us and is worthy of our thanks. And remember, what may be a tragedy today will be a triumph tomorrow. So, in everything, give thanks.  
Prayer:  We often forget, Father, that You love us with an everlasting love and that You are with us even though others forget us. May our gratitude equal Your blessings! In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
Scripture For Today: 1 Corinthians 15:57   But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
When four-year-old Sammy awoke after surgery, the nurse explained that it would be necessary for him to be fed intravenously for the next few days.
After assuring him that everything would be fine, she began the process to administer the glucose. Always in the habit of giving thanks before each meal, Sammy asked in a brave and cheerful voice, “Aren’t you going to give thanks?”
It is not easy to give thanks in painful situations. Nor is it natural to see God’s goodness in all of life’s trials and troubles. But the Apostle Paul reminds us to “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
When we give thanks, we acknowledge our confidence in the Lord, knowing that He cares for us. When we give thanks, we express our closeness to God, realizing that He is with us in every situation. When we give thanks, we declare that we are willing to accept the wisdom of God knowing that His will is being done.
Prayer: Dear Lord, may I learn the grace of giving thanks to You in all of life’s situations. Help me to realize that You are always with me, watching, protecting, providing and guiding me in every area of life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Has anyone ever looked at you and said, “You’ll never change! You’re hopeless! I can tell you are going no place in life.” Painful words that many of us have heard at one time or another. And, no doubt, there were times when we might have thought the “charges” were accurate, based on the number of times we’ve started something in our lives that ended in disaster.
Imagine a king feeling like he was almost “unfit for duty.” First he wrote, “Part Your heavens, O Lord, and come down...reach down Your hand from on high...deliver me and rescue me...” Imagine a king feeling so alone and abandoned - even by a God he worshiped - that he could not feel His presence at all. Things must have been about as bad as they could get.
But they didn’t stay that way. God intervened - as He can and will - when our king or any one of us comes to the end of our strength and goes to Him for His!
God answered his cry and blessed him so mightily that he picked up a ten-stringed instrument and with it sang a “new song.”
God wants to give us the desires of our hearts. Our every need is important to Him: large or small, significant or insignificant. They all matter to Him! He is our Father and a father who loves his children, as God loves us, does not want His children to go without.
When God answered his prayer, the first thing he did was to praise God and give Him His due recognition. Might God not bless us because we are so ungrateful?

Prayer: Father, it’s so easy to live thankless and greedy lives. Make us aware of Your gifts. Give us grateful hearts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 144:9 I will sing a new song to you, my God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
James and his grandmother were having a wonderful day at the beach. The wind was gentle, the sun warm and the crowd friendly. It was a delight for her to watch James as he splashed in the waves not far from where she was relaxing.
Suddenly a large wave came crashing over James and pulled him into the water and out of her sight. In fear and anguish she shouted, “Oh, God, I’ll do anything You ever ask me if You will only save my grandson and return him safely to shore. Please God – help me.”
The very next wave brought James back to shore safely, but a bit frightened. Standing up and walking toward him, his grandmother gave a sigh of relief knowing he was safe. Then she put her hands on her hips and said, “O.K. God. What happened to his hat?”
Paul wrote, “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” It seems to be much easier to “devote ourselves to prayer” than to “devote ourselves to a thankful heart.” Giving thanks to someone means we are indebted to them for something.
Our God is a gracious and giving God and all that we have is the result of His goodness and grace. He stands before us with outstretched arms and open hands waiting to draw us close to Himself to protect us and provide for our every need, beginning with our salvation. Yet, too often we fail to be grateful!
Prayer: Forgive us, Heavenly Father, if we have been forgetful in expressing our gratitude to You for all You have done for us. May our thankfulness be equal to Your gifts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
When four-year-old Sammy awoke after surgery, the nurse explained that it would be necessary for him to be fed intravenously for the next few days.
After assuring him that everything would be fine, she began the process to administer the glucose. Always in the habit of giving thanks before each meal, Sammy asked in a brave and cheerful voice, “Aren’t you going to give thanks?”
It is not easy to give thanks in painful situations. Nor is it natural to see God’s goodness in all of life’s trials and troubles. But the Apostle Paul reminds us to “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
When we give thanks, we acknowledge our confidence in the Lord, knowing that He cares for us. When we give thanks, we express our closeness to God, realizing that He is with us in every situation. When we give thanks, we declare that we are willing to accept the counsel of God knowing that His will is being done.
Prayer: Dear Lord, may I learn the grace of giving thanks to You in all of life’s situations. Help me to realize that You are always with me, watching, protecting, providing and guiding me in every area of life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-23 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus…
After church one Sunday the head usher decided to take his family to the local cafeteria to eat. After they went through the line and selected their food, they sat at a table near a window. Little Margie unfolded her napkin, folded her hands, bowed her head and waited for the prayer of thanksgiving. After a moment or two she opened her eyes to see what the others were doing. To her surprise, her father had started to eat.
“Mom,” she whispered quietly, “Dad has started to eat and we haven’t thanked Jesus for the food. What’s going on?”
“Hush,” said her father. “People don’t give thanks in a place like this.”
“Why?” asked Margie. “Doesn’t God go to cafeterias?”
Our thankfulness should not fluctuate with where we are or what is going on in our lives. Though our circumstances change and our feelings fluctuate, we must never forget that God is in all things doing what is in our best interest. Remember: He is always at work in our lives shaping us into the person He wants us to be.
When life’s trials turn to triumphs we can rejoice with Paul and say, “Thanks be to God who gave us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” He always protects us and provides for us and is worthy of our thanks.
Prayer: We often forget, Father, that You love us with an everlasting love and that You are with us even though others forget about our pains and sorrows. Thank you! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
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