8 Scriptural Reasons to be Thankful

Image result for thanksgiving 2019

 

Today begins Thanksgiving week for most of us in this country. A time when family gathers around a Thanksgiving Feast. The national holiday will be, for some, the only time in the year thanksgiving will be offered to God in prayer.

Ungrateful = Unhappy

I can say this with confidence because our culture is a complaining culture. One cannot be grateful while complaining. There are 2 main things we can’t have when we’re complaining:

Can’t be HAPPY.

Philippians 2:14

Can’t PLEASE God.

Numbers 11:1

Gratitude = Happiness

I can also say with confidence that HAPPY people are also GRATEFUL people regardless of circumstances. This doesn’t mean they’re without problems. NO. They’re happy despite the difficulties of life. Job is given as the classical example of HAPPINESS despite deep trouble. He both PLEASED God, and was called HAPPY.

“Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” [James 5:11; cr. Job 1:21-22]

Despite the deep pain and loss, Job teaches us about HOPE, which comes from maintaining gratitude toward God.

Here are 8 REASONS to be thankful.

First, we ought to be thankful for our EXISTENCE. “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:” [Ps 100:3; 139:13-14]

Second, we give thanks for the GIFT of CHRIST. “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” [John 3:16; 2Cor 9:15]

Third, we should give thanks for GOD’S REVEALED WORD. “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.” [2Cor 2:14]

Fourth, those of us who have obeyed the gospel can give thanks for CONVERSION & SALVATION in Christ. “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” [Rom 6:16-18]

Fifth, we should certainly be aware of the blessings given from above for our DAILY NEEDS. “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:” [1Tim 4:3-4; James 1:17]

Sixth, we give thanks for PEOPLE, whether we like them or not. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” [1Tim 2:1-2]

Seventh, we give thanks for the VICTORY in Christ over death. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” [1Cor 15:54-57; Rom 6:23]

The Eighth reason completes this gratitude list by covering the rest. “Be careful for nothing; but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” [Phil 4:6]

You may have also noted above that THANKSGIVING ought to be OFFERED to GOD through and in the NAME of CHRIST.

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” [Colossians 3:17]

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” [Eph 5:20]

May not only this week be full of blessings and Thanksgiving, but also every day of every year.

—Spencer

Do you remember when you were without hope?

You may be thinking that this title refers to that time in your life when you had great financial distress, but it doesn’t. Or you may suppose that it refers to that time when you may have been in fear for your life at the threat of a thief or a maniac, but it doesn’t. Or you may be thinking it’s referring to the loss of a parent or a spouse, but it doesn’t.

It’s referring to Ephesians chapter 2: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh,… That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.”

Too many people are hopeless, and far too many Christians are displaying hopelessness as well. It’s very easy to get caught up in the concerns for this life and to forget that there’s an eternity awaiting us. Paul is saying that without Christ this life is hopeless. Without Christ this life holds no promises.

The writer of Ecclesiastes makes the same point in a very powerful way. He writes about seeking success, wealth, joy and meaningful work, but at the end of the day it’s vanity, “grasping after the wind.” He’s not suggesting that these pursuits are worthless. His conclusion is the same as Paul’s, without God in your life all these things are hopeless. His conclusion of the whole matter is, “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” [Ecc 12:13]

Have you ever met someone that appeared to have nothing, no money, had physical disabilities or otherwise devoid of many of this world’s goods but was happy? I have, many times. I met a man, whom I’ve told you about, who had a disease called Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP). It is a disorder in which muscle tissue and connective tissue are gradually replaced by bone (ossified), forming bone outside the skeleton. He was one of the happiest guys I knew. I loved being around him because he brightened every room he entered.

How can anyone in a condition like that be happy? It was by no cause of his own, it happened to him beginning from his youth up. He experienced daily pain because of his disease but brought joy to those around him. How did he do it, what’s the key? I’ll tell you, he looked forward to being with God. In other words, he had purpose. This is true of nearly everyone who, despite the difficulties of life, are happy. They have found purpose, meaning and a direction.

THE KEY TO TRUE JOY…PURPOSE

People with purpose are some of the happiest people on the planet. They will endure great pain & struggle because of purpose.

I read about a study where scientists tossed lab rats into a jar of water that had been placed in total darkness to see how long they would swim to survive. In total darkness it took 3 minutes before they gave up. Then they took the rats and placed them in the same conditions, but this time with a small ray of light at the top. How long did the rats struggle this time? 36 hours! When they had a light, a possibility of escape, they were able to endure.

Think about how strong we can be when we have hope, true hope that is in Christ. We can face tomorrow when we know that we’ve been reconciled to God in Christ. Paul finishes his command to remember by saying, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

So, let us be reminded that without Christ we are without hope, without the promise of heaven, but IN CHRIST we have both the promise of heaven and hope that He will return to take us there. [Gal 3:27 put on Christ in baptism]

The next time life gets you down, and it will, look up and be reminded that God loves you, and that He sent His Son to provide you a way of escape.

Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful (compassionate), and of tender mercy.” [James 5:11]

10 keys to a balanced life

To a workaholic, Balance is equivalent to failure. A sluggard will bemoan the fact that balance includes work. The truth is, if we fail to take time for important things, we get off kilter and fail to enjoy life to it’s fullest.

Regardless of how busy we are, here are 10 keys for a balanced life…

  1. Think: is the beginning of anything. God gave us the ability to reason, to think, and we fail to do it enough.  Php 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true,Ps 119:148 My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word. The trouble with people is that they just don’t think.
    • Adding this to your day;  take 15 minutes everyday to come up with 10 ideas on how to improve your life and those around you.
  2. Work: it’s the price of success. From the very beginning, man has been given work. Ge 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Retirement is not in the Bible.
    • Adding this to your day;  get a job, and treat it as if you were the owner, or better still, as if you work for God. Eph 6:5
  3. Play: – this can only fully be enjoyed after we’ve worked hard. In order for YOU to play, some work had to be done (usually by MOM).  Ecc 8:15 Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. Ec 2:24; 3:12,22; 5:18; 9:7; Jesus went to a wedding,  Joh 2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.  A Friend of mine uses the opportunity of play to meet people, to get to know them and share the Gospel with them.
    • Adding this to your day; All work and no play makes jack a dull boy. Use it for exercise, use it to meet people, but never let it separate you from enjoying the rest of life. All play and no work makes jack a POOR boy!
  4. Read; I remember commercials back in the 70’s saying, “RIF Reading Is Fundamental.” How many books do you read? Kings – De 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them. 2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God. Jesus asked in Mt 19:4 “Have you not read…”
    A man that refuses to read is no better than the Illiterate man.

    • Adding this to your day; Read a little bit every day. The average person reads less than 1 book a year. Read 1 book a month! (I’m not talking about only reading trashy novels or sci-fi, but include biographies, or I don’t know……..the BIBLE!
  5. Worship; It is for our benefit. It helps to add focus to our lives. 1Co 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
    • Adding this to your day; Pray without ceasing, 1Thess 5:17, Assemble with the saints every Sunday, Acts 20:7.
  6. Help & enjoy friends: our friends ultimately are going to be a major source of comfort and happiness. The cure for most psychological ills come through the company we keep. Consider the friendship of Jonathan for David in 1Sa 18:1-4; 19:1-7; 20:1-42; 23:16-18. Everything we will ever have or enjoy will come through other people. Do you want a friend, be one. Do you want good service, be a good customer.
    • Adding this to your day; Make friends of God’s people. God calls Christians His CHILDREN, If that is so, how should we treat them?
  7.  Love –Though we achieve all success and substance, Without love, we are nothing.  Yet this is the most missed–element in our lives. In 1Cor 13, Love is described perfectly, never failing, never boasts, is kind and patient. Take time to Love.
    • Adding this to your day; Read 1Cor 13 and compare that to your behavior. Are you patient,  kind, do you envy others, are you rude, do you think evil?
  8. Dream: it is the foundation upon which hope is built. Another way of saying this is to set Goals. Little goals, big goals. The average person only plans til the next paycheck.  Before a ship sets sail, it lays in a coarse, it knows where it’s going. Where are you going? How will you know when you get there?
    • Adding this to your day; Do you feel you’re without hope? In Christ we have a hope of heaven. Rev 22
  9. Laugh; did you know it’s in the Bible? Have you ever seen a laughing baby, so cute. Laughter is healthy and all of us love to laugh. In Ec 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh.  Ro 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 1Th 5:16 Rejoice evermore. Php 4:4; Luke 6:21 you shall laugh.
    • Adding this to your day; hang out with your friends, listen to good clean comedians, or look up videos of laughing babies.
  10. Plan: It’s the secret of being able to have time for the first nine things. This is different from dreaming, this is about taking control of your day.  God is a planner – 1Pe 1:20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
    • Adding this to your day; In the morning, get up just a bit earlier, and after you’ve prayed, map out your day. Include time to work on your dreams. If you take control of your days, your life will take care of itself. Today is the only day you can manage.

Before BALANCE can happen, one must be in Christ. Are you in Christ? If no, then your life will always be out of balance.

spencer
Borger, Tx
806/274-5021

Ask me how to make your calling and election sure. 2Pet 1:10