30 Days of Gratitude pt3

During this national holiday of Thanksgiving, let us list the reasons to have THANKFULNESS.

day 19:

I’m Thankful for TEACHERS of the Gospel.

Eph 4:11-12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

day 20.

I’m grateful for HOPE in Christ.

1 Timothy 4:10 KJV

For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

day 21.

I’m grateful for Adoption.

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (cf., Gal 4:5)

day 22.

I’m grateful for the New Testament that brings belief, faith, and understanding.

John 20:30-31 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (Eph 3:3-4; Ron 10:17)

Day 23.

Kingdom of His dear Son. Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Day 24.

Family & Friends. Prov 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Day 25.

UNSPEAKABLE gift. 2Co 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Day 26.

The Love of God. John 3:16; Rom 5:8-10 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Day 27.

My Neighbors. Jas 2:8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well;

Day 28.

Eternal Life in Christ. Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Day 29.

Our Savior, Christ Jesus. Acts 13:23 Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:

Day 30.

Sacrifice of Christ. John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Spencer is an evangelist for the church of Christ on Franklin & Juniper in Borger Texas.

10 Times we’re UNGRATEFUL

And Jesus answering said, were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? (Luke 17:17)

Jesus gave cleansing to 10 lepers who begged Him for mercy. He commands them to “Go shew yourselves unto the priests.” And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

One of them noticed that he was cleansed and turned back to glorify God. He fell on his face and gave thanks. The necessary inference from Jesus’ response is that all 10 were cleansed, but only one returned to give thanks. This also means that Jesus is saying that the other 9 were UNGRATEFUL.

While we can’t know what they were thinking, we can know from scriptures about other people who were UNGRATEFUL to God for the good things He has done. Let’s learn from these negative examples about how to be GRATEFUL to God.

10 Reasons why we’re sometimes UNGRATEFUL.

The blessings are Unconnected in our mind to Jesus. Sometimes we just don’t realize that everything good is from God. Consider Ephraim, “I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.” (Hos 11:3; CF. 2:8; Is 1:3; Dan 5:18)

Perhaps some thought it was Not Enough or it was expected. It reminds me of what God said to David, “And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things” (2Sam 12:8).

Sometimes we give Glory to another. “And the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians,” “Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation” (Judges 10:11,14).

Sometimes there’s Resentment on the part of the recipient of God’s blessings. The elder brother had resentment toward his prodigal brother’s return and restoration. “And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf” (Luke 15:29-30).

Some disregard any blessings from God because they believe they were Already improving anyway. It reminds me of Pharoah when a plague was lifted. “But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said” (Exo 8:15).

There are some that would show gratitude, but are too busy, perhaps Tomorrow. “According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me” (Hos 13:6; cf Deu 6:11).

Some people are just too proud or Egotistical to recognize God’s blessings. Consider the wealthy man in Luke twelve, 13-21; or the Pharisee & the tax collector, “I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess,” (Luke 18:9-14); or Israel toward God’s care for them (Jer 2:31).

Sometimes we Fail to know God’s word about the good things He’s done. “They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt” (Psalm 106:21). If we fail to know about Christ, we’ll fail to give thanks to Him for His indescribable gift.

Some of us are just Uncaring about God’s blessings. We take for granted things that come for free. “And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10).

Perhaps there are some that just don’t Love God like this sole Samaritan did. “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan” (Luke 17:15-16). It reminds me of the question Jesus posed to Simon about two debtors, “And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most” (Luke 7:36-50)?

We’re commanded to give thanks, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1Thess 5:18), but it begins with recognition of the Source from whom all blessings flow (James 1:17).

Spencer is an evangelist for the church of Christ in Borger Texas.

30 Days of Thanksgiving pt 2; CONTENTED

30 days of THANKFULNESS

day 10.

I’m grateful for CHILDREN.

Psalm 127:3-5 KJV

Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord : and the fruit of the womb is his reward. [4] As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. [5] Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

HERE IS OUR LIST OF GRATITUDE SO FAR.

Grace

Rain

Advocate

Transportation

Invocation

The Temple, the church.

Understandable word of God

Debt paid by Christ

Election

HERE IS OUR LIST FOR BEING CONTENTED.

Children

OPEN doors of Opportunity to preach the Gospel

Col 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

NUPTIALS.

Prov 5:18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

TIME.

Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

EATING & Enjoying company with Family & friends.

Ecc 2:24; 3:13; 1Tim 6:8

1Tim 4:3-4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.

NEEDS being MET.

Phil 4:11-13; Ps 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

TALENTs (ability).

Matt 25:15. Each according to his ability.

EFFORTS (wages according to my effort.) Luke 3:14. 1Cor 7:17; Matt 25:15

DOCTRINE of Christ.

2John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

Why are you GRATEFUL?

9 Reasons for GRATITUDE

Are you grateful? As THANKSGIVING approaches, we’re reminded to be thankful. Have you tried to make a list of reasons to be grateful? May I suggest a 30 day challenge of being thankful. Here is my list for the first 9 days of November.

30 days of Thanksgiving.

What are you thankful for?

I’ll start…

Day 1

God’s Grace.

Titus 2:11-12 KJV

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, [12] Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Day 2.

I’m grateful for Rain.

Matthew 5:45 KJV

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

day 3.

I’m grateful for the ADVOCATE, Christ Jesus, who makes ATONEMENT.

1 John 2:1-5 KJV

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: [2] And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. [3] And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. [4] He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. [5] But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

day 4.

I’m grateful for TRANSPORTATION so we’re able to GO and peach the gospel.

Mark 16:15-16 KJV

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. [16] He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

day 5.

I’m grateful for INVOCATION (prayer).

1 John 5:14-15 KJV

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: [15] And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (cf John 9:31)

day 6.

I’m grateful for THE TEMPLE of God, His body, the church.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 KJ21

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? [17] If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy. For the temple of God is holy, and ye are that temple. (1Peter 2:5)

day 7.

I’m grateful for the UNDERSTANDABLE Word of God.

Ephesians 3:3-4 KJ21

how by revelation He made known unto me the mystery (as I wrote before in a few words, [4] whereby when ye read this, ye may understand my knowledge of the mystery of Christ),

(cf. John 20:30-31; Rom 10:17)

day 8.

I’m grateful for my DEBT to God being paid by Christ, the Propitiation for my sins.

1 John 2:2-4 KJV

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. [3] And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. [4] He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Propitiation= 2434 hilasmós – properly, propitiation; an offering to appease (satisfy) an angry, offended party. 2434 (hilasmós) is only used twice (1Jn 2:2, 4:10) – both times of Christ’s atoning blood that appeases God’s wrath.

day 9.

I’m grateful for the ELECTION of the saints.

2 Peter 1:10 KJV

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and ELECTION sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Biblical ELECTION is God choosing those who seek Him and obey the Gospel. (Heb 5:8-9; 2Thess 1:7-8). Biblical Election is NOT God randomly choosing individuals to be lost or saved.

He gave His Son to bring the means of salvation to any who will obey Him.

Why are you GRATEFUL?

8 Reasons to be GRATEFUL

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

(1Thess 5:18)

People talk a lot about what God wants for them, usually inaccurately. Paul wrote the above passage clearly stating at least one thing God wants for us to do, be GRATEFUL.

In these tumultuous times it’s sometimes difficult to find some reasons to be GRATEFUL. However, when we have a specific command, we need to figure out how to complete it.

If GRATEFUL we should, then GRATEFUL we could.

What follows in this article are just a few things from scripture for which we can give thanks. It need not be very hard, for God says, “Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” (Psalm 40:3)

Since every good gift comes from above, these are just a sampling of the perfect gifts from God. We could expand upon this list every day for the rest of our lives. (cf. James 1:17)

8 things for which I am GRATEFUL.

I’m grateful for God’s Grace. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” (Titus 2:11). “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:4-5).

I’m grateful for God’s Revealed word. “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:30-31). “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” 2Peter 1:3-4).

I’m grateful for Adoption. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons and because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Gal 4:4-6).

I’m grateful for Trying times. “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4).

I’m grateful for Everything that Everyone gets. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). “Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt 5:45).

I’m grateful for Faithful Brethren. “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Phil 1:3-6)

I’m grateful for the ability to Understand God’s word, and to know wisdom. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8).

I’m grateful for the Love of God for me, you, and all. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Rom 5:8-10). “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1John 4:9-11).

Spencer

Spencer is an evangelist for the church of Christ at Franklin & Juniper in Borger Texas.

In everything give thanks

It’s quite easy to give thanks for those good things we enjoy. When we like the giver, like the gift and when we feel like we deserve it.

It’s not so easy to give thanks for those good things disguised as work. It’s often years later before we can find the reasons to be thankful.

The Hebrew writer alludes to this truth; “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” [Heb 12:11]

Is it possible to follow the command of God to give thanks for everything, even the not so fun stuff?

To illustrate this point, indulge me in a little walk down my own memory pain, ur I mean lane.

Growing up the son of a 3rd generation sign maker and sole proprietor, my bother and I found ourselves many SATURDAYS and most of the SUMMERS at our father’s SHOP. From very early days, “tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother,” I can remember spending hours holding a paint can, paint thinner, and paint pallet as my father hand painted all types & sizes of advertisements. Over time and learning to read, I became spell check before such a thing ever existed. I could tell which letter dad was about to form just from the position of the brush. I would audibly grunt as the squirrel haired stick approached the surface; it was my respectful warning for him to check his spelling.

He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.” [Prov 10:5]

I HATED IT… sometimes. No kid wants to work it seems, and I was no different. But it wasn’t a choice. It was a matter of fact. It was as certain as a meal, or going to school. It was going to happen. Very early on I accepted my fate. I could go to the SHOP bitter or I could go to the SHOP & get better. Either way, I WAS GOING TO THE SHOP.

Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” [Prov 19:18]

I don’t know if it was the 3rd year or the 13th year, somewhere along the way it became an OPPORTUNITY to learn. The typical sign SHOP requires woodworking, painting, electrical and welding skills. It requires drawing, planning, organizing and socializing (sales). Over the years my older brother learned many of the fabrication skills while I, the younger, navigated toward the office, sales, and organizational skills. One day as dad left for a sales meeting, he shouted to a SHOP full of grown men, “Nobody answers the phone except Spencer!” I may have been 13 or 14 by then.  

The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.”

[Prov 23:24]

As I reflect back on those dreaded days in the SHOP, I now have a better understanding and appreciation for them. Today I realize some of the lessons I’ve learned and the PERSON I’ve become because of those years. While at the moment there seemed to be no joy, but rather grief, many years later I am truly thankful for the time well spent.

While we can’t say what would have happened had my summers been spent under my own direction, we can make a fairly good guess they wouldn’t have been nearly as useful.

The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.”

[Prov 23:24]

Today, I am thankful to my dad as well as to my heavenly FATHER for those dreadful years well spent at the SHOP. Many of you have had similar experiences, or maybe even more painful ones. May we reflect on the good and be thankful.

It may be difficult to find the good in every memory, but we can at least be grateful for our survival, growth, and the lessons learned. May we find the ability to fulfil the command of God and “In every thing give thanks.”

— spencer

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

Give THANKS for He is GOOD

This week our nation pauses to give thanks. I’m unsure as to who the Atheist, Agnostic, Arrogant or the Absent minded shall thank, but the Christian has an ALMIGHTY GOD to whom we can give thanks. Rather than more words from me, let’s go to the Psalms of Thanksgiving. [Note: The Hebrew word for ‘THANKS’ <yadah> is also translated as ‘praise’ This bulletin only contains the verses translated as ‘THANKS’]

Psa 6:5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee THANKS?

Psa 18:49 Therefore will I give THANKS unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

 

That I may publish with the voice of THANKSgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. Psa 26:7

 

Psa 30:4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give THANKS at the remembrance of his holiness.

Psa 30:12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give THANKS unto thee for ever.

 

I will give thee THANKS in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people. Psa 35:18

 

Psa 50:14 Offer unto God THANKSgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:

Psa 69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with THANKSgiving.

Psa 75:1 <<To the chief Musician, Altaschith, A Psalm or Song of Asaph.>> Unto thee, O God, do we give THANKS, unto thee do we give THANKS: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.

Psa 79:13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee THANKS for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.

Psa 92:1 <<A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day.>> It is a good thing to give THANKS unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:

Psa 95:2 Let us come before his presence with THANKSgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with Psalms.

 

Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give THANKS at the remembrance of his holiness. Psa 97:12

 

Psa 100:4 Enter into his gates with THANKSgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Psa 105:1 O give THANKS unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.

Psa 106:1 Praise ye the LORD. O give THANKS unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psa 106:47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give THANKS unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.

 

O give THANKS unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Psa 107:1

 

Psa 107:8 Oh, that men would give THANKS to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

Psa 107:15 Oh, that men would give THANKS to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

 

Oh, that men would give THANKS to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! Psa 107:21

 

Psa 107:22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of THANKSgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

Psa 116:17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of THANKSgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

Psa 118:1 O give THANKS unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.

Psa 118:29 O give THANKS unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psa 119:62 At midnight I will rise to give THANKS unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.

Psa 122:4 Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give THANKS unto the name of the LORD.

Psa 136:1 O give THANKS unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psa 136:2 O give THANKS unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psa 136:3 O give THANKS to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psa 136:26 O give THANKS unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psa 140:13 Surely the righteous shall give THANKS unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

Psa 147:7 Sing unto the LORD with THANKSgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17

GIVING THANKS

One winter, while a junior in high school in Fairbanks, a friend of mine invited me to have dinner with his family (we called the evening meal ‘dinner’ in Alaska). As his dad was plating the food and delivering it to the table one at a time, his mom began eating having been served first. As my plate was set before me, I refrained from eating as a courtesy toward the host. Mr. LaPerierre noticed me waiting and asked, “Spencer, are you waiting because you’re wanting to say grace?” At that moment, his wife, fork in mouth, looked at me with wide mortified eyes, filled with the realization that she may have committed a grievous faux pas.

Has something like that ever happened to you, folks begin shoveling food in their mouths before everyone even has a chance to sit down, much worse, discovering mid bite that a prayer of thanksgiving was going to be offered? Perhaps you’ve been the one with the fork in your mouth.

It’s called different things in different places. Some call it, ‘giving thanks’, ‘saying grace’ ‘asking a blessing’ or simply, ‘the blessing.’ As families come together this week to celebrate the national holiday of Thanksgiving, the above scenario will likely repeat as folks stumble through an awkward and unprepared prayer, while the rest choke down a premature mouthful or pause mid chew.

Is it your habit to ‘say grace’ for your food?

It may not, and not just for Thanksgiving. According to a recent poll, only about 43% of Americans pray before a meal. Of those that pray, the researchers discovered they only pray 2-3 times per week. When they examined denominational backgrounds, 52% of Catholics, 60% of Protestants and 74% of Evangelicals prayed before taking a meal. Interestingly, 80% of African American families prayed, regardless of religious affiliation.

It was surprising to learn so many folks were actually praying in America. However, surprise gave way to disgust as the pollsters found that it wasn’t necessarily God being thanked. Eleven percent who claimed to be atheist, agnostic or irreligious said a prayer. An atheist man, cited in a news article about the poll, said that he and his wife give thanks to the spirits of his food. When they eat beef, they thank the four-legged spirits, and the winged ones whenever they eat chicken. When eating veggies, he thanks the veggie spirits. Sounds like a veggie tale to me.

What does the Bible say?

Many who are reading this article already have a good handle on this subject, and I hope that had we been asked, we would have skewed the polling higher. Prayer is as much a subject of scripture as God Himself. We all know that it says, “Pray without ceasing” in 1Thessalonians 5:17, but did you know that verse 18 says “in everything give thanks?”

Among the “everything”, food is a daily opportunity to “give thanks.” We ought to be thankful for our daily food, “which God created to be received with thanksgiving by them that believe and know the truth” [1Timothy 4:3b].

Our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, lived an example of praying before eating. In John 6:11 He, “took the loaves; and having given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down; likewise also of the fishes as much as they would.” Then, during His final meal with His disciples, “he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me” [Luke 22:19]. On the very night that he would be betrayed, Jesus knowing all things, was thankful. How simple a thing it is, and so worthwhile, to pause and to pray.

 

 

Our most Holy and Righteous Father,

Thank you for this beautiful day

For we know Father, only you can make our day.

Thank You for this food,

Which You created

And for the nourishment within it.

May it provide us the strength

For continued service in Thy Kingdom.

Please forgive us our trespasses,

For they have been many,

And we have been weak.

Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever.

Amen.

Following the Recipe

Follow the recipe

I WENT TO BAKE A particular cheesecake for Thanksgiving. It’s a very special cheesecake that my mother used to make. You see, my mother’s cheesecake won rave reviews among all the family, and we looked forward to it each time she made it.

So I reached for the recipe, the one my wife had made a verbatim transcript from my mom. You could say that this recipe is the gospel for mom’s cheesecake.

The main ingredient is cream cheese, a must for any cheesecake, but I’m not making just ANY cheesecake, I’m making mom’s.

She also called for melted butter, but I’m trying to lose a few pounds, so I decide to substitute margarine. She also wrote that graham cracker crumbs are a must, but I didn’t have any so I used saltine crackers instead. It’s similar, and she isn’t here to say I can’t.

The recipe calls for 3 eggs, but I only have 2. That shouldn’t make much of a difference, especially if I add just a bit more sour cream. As long as we keep the liquid about the same.

I mix it all together, following the instructions precisely, and put it into the 10” skillet (I can’t find our spring-form pan). Continuing to dutifully follow the instructions, I baked the cheesecake as directed.

Taking it out of the oven, it didn’t smell quite like I remembered, but it looked very similar to the way mom made it. I let it cool and placed it in the fridge for my wife to find. I couldn’t wait for her to taste it, she’ll be so thrilled to see the cheesecake that mom used to make.

Her excitement was just as I expected upon seeing that cake. She carefully removed the first piece, and I anxiously awaited her first bite. The look on her face was priceless and she said, “That’s NOT how your mom used to make it.” And that’s when the fight started. Of course this story is a bit of fiction, or is it?

“…and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18

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

“Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God.”  (KJV) [Jeremiah 42:6]