1

Give Thanks

“16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

In everything give thanks. God has given us a tall order in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Give thanks in everything? What about hard things, hurtful things, impossible things? How do we give thanks for losing a job, losing friends, losing a home, or a dream? 

I have learned to give thanks by faith, not because what has happened is good, but because God is good. He has promised to use all things for our good. Regardless of how bad, hard, painful or scary, He is the great I AM.

I AM able to use that pain.

I AM able to heal that hurt.

I AM able to bring you through this season of loss with gain.

With God, there is always more, always another, always healing. There is life after death, joy after sorrow, and light after dark. One day all things will be made right and we shall see Him as He is. So we give thanks in the now, in the pain and hurt, in the joy and in the peace.

Give thanks in everything.

By Mary Kane

All rights reserved. Copyright 2019

 

 




12 Days of ThanksLiving, Day 11: Boldness

Day 11: Boldness

“But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict.” 1 Thessalonians 2:2
.

Boldness  [bohld] adjective

.1. not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring: a bold hero.

2. not hesitating to break the rules of propriety; forward; impudent:
3. necessitating courage and daring; challenging: a bold adventure.
I am often confused as to why people associate Christianity with weakness and timidity. The International Society for Human Rights estimates 7,000 to 8,000 Christians are martyred each year.  It takes great boldness to swim against the tide of culture and be what God has created us to be — born-again believers. This ThanksLiving let us remember that God did not save us then leave us to fend for ourselves in a world that is not our home. He did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, sound mind, and love. Because of the gift of His  power, we may live with great boldness, despising persecution and oppression. Read our focus verse for today again. What is the result of suffering? Boldness.
.

This ThanksLiving, let’s give thanks  to God for His gift of boldness.

Boldness with Our Gifts: Dearest Father, we thank You for the blessing of boldness. Gifts are meant to be used; not relegated to a shelf  to collect dust. Help us to claim Your gift  as our own, and boldly use it to make disciples, edify other believers, and bring You great glory. Give us  discernment to know when You’re calling us to boldly leap by faith and witness for the Gospel.

Boldness with our Words: Dear Lord, thank You for entrusting us with the Gospel. Help us to faithfully fulfill this amazing privilege. We do not have to worry about what to say because You have given us the words in Your Word. We may boldly proclaim the truth, sowing seeds of salvation in every relationship, situation, and experience we encounter. Help us to boldly speak and trust You for the outcome. Thank You we don’t have to feel bold to be bold.In Jesus’ name. Amen.

More Boldness

Worship with Abandon a blog post by Jane VanOsdol

Comment

Please leave a comment below in the Comment section on what God teaches you today about boldness as we journey through ThanksLiving.

Bold. Dictionary.com. Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sacrifice (accessed: November 15, 2014).

“1 Thessalonians 2 (New King James Version).” Blue Letter Bible. Sowing Circle. Web. 22 Nov, 2014. <http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Psa&c=111&p=0&rl=0&t=NKJV>.




12 Days of ThanksLiving, Day 10: The Gospel

ThanksLiving: The GospelDay 10: The Gospel

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Meto preach the gospel to the poor: He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year  of the LORD.”

Gospel [gos-puh l] noun

Definitions:

  1. the teachings of Jesus and the apostles; the Christian revelation,
  2. the story of Christ’s life and teachings, especially as contained in the first four books of the New Testament, namely Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
  3. something regarded as true and implicitly believed,
  4. glad tidings, especially concerning salvation and the kingdom of God as announced to the world by Christ.

Many people believe the truth of the Gospel pertains to a moment of decision; when  Jesus is accepted as Savior.  While the life- giving words of the Gospel are the key to salvation, they also unlock the plan for daily life. As Christians we have the privilege of speaking the Gospel into our everyday trials and tribulations and our greatest challenges and hardships. Let the truth of the Gospel transform your life from day one until Jesus calls you home.

ThanksLiving for the Gospel

 I am so thankful that the Gospel is our hope for eternity and for the everyday. What are some ways you can let the Gospel transform your daily life? Perhaps we can try one of the following suggestions this week.

  1. Offer tangible help to the brokenhearted. Be the hands and feet of Jesus by taking a meal to a grief-stricken person, offering time to listen, sending a card, or calling.
  2. Pray for those caught in sin or addictions. While we cannot force people to give up drugs or alcohol, we can fervently pray that they will be convicted of their sin and see their need to be set free.
  3. Volunteer your time. Many churches and ministries need help with their programs. Consider serving in a food pantry, volunteering at a pro-life clinic, teaching a Sunday school class, or working at a homeless shelter.

More Gospel ThanksLiving

 1 Thessalonians A Life of Faith, Part 3: The Gospel a Bible study by Mary Kane

Comment

Please leave a comment below in the Comment Section about how the Gospel has impacted you to live a life of ThanksLiving.

gospel. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gospel (accessed: November 24, 2014).

By Mary Kay Kane

copyright 2017. all rights reserved




12 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 9, Discipleship

Day 9: Discipleship

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

Disciple [dih-sahy-puhnoun

  1. Religion
    1. One of the 12 personal followers of Christ.
    2. One of the 70 followers sent forth by Christ. Luke 10:1.
    3. Any other professed follower of Christ in His lifetime.
  2. Any follower of Christ
  3. A person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower: “a disciple of Freud.”

Disciple: Your Identity

We spend much of our lives trying to get approved. Jobs have rigorous interviews. Colleges – and even some preschools — have intense application processes. Even getting a credit card requires a certain level of financial stability.

It’s in the midst of our performance-based culture that God offers us a free gift: becoming his disciple.

Surprisingly, Jesus doesn’t have a list of prerequisites we have to fulfill before becoming his disciple. He walked up to Matthew’s tax collector booth – maybe even while Matthew was in the middle of overcharging the poor and pocketing the surplus – and called him to be a disciple.

Action Step: As we near Thanks Giving, thank God for the gift of becoming his disciple. Express to God how much learning at his feet means to you.

Discipleship: Your Calling

As disciples, our mission is to follow God. We’re also called to disciple others. Take a look at Matthew 28:19-20 again. These were the last words Jesus spoke before leaving the earth. We should treat them like we would the dying wish of a loved one – with great weight and importance.

Jesus’ last words call us to not only be disciples, but also to make disciples. The Greek word for this is matheteuo. According to Bible Hub, it means, “helping someone to progressively learn the Word of God to become a matured, growing disciple.”

Action Step: Ask God who in your life he is calling you to disciple. Then, reach out to them and help them learn what it means to live as an authentic Christ follower.

Discipleship Resources

The idea of discipling someone is intimidating for many people. If the prospect feels a little overwhelming, start with these fantastic resources:

———————————————–

Bio:

Our guest poster, Amber Miller, is a board game fanatic, coffee enthusiast, and proponent of loud laughing. She lives in St. Louis with her husband and son, trying to further God’s kingdom one small step at a time.

[http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/discipleship?s=t]

all rights reserved. copyright 2017




12 Days of ThanksLiving, Day 6: Service

ThanksLiving: ServiceDay 6: Service

“There was an abundance of burnt offerings, along with the usual liquid offerings, and a great deal of fat from the main peace offerings. So the Temple of the LORD was restored to service.” 2 Chronicles 29:35

Service [sur-vis] noun

  1. an act of helpful activity; help; aid: to do someone a service.
  2. the supplying or supplier of utilities or commodities, as water, electricity, or gas, required or demanded by the public.

verb

  1. to make fit for use; repair; restore to condition for service: to service an automobile.
  2. to supply with aid, information, or other incidental services.

Have you ever endured the breakdown of an appliance or other convenience at your home?

About one year ago, we purchased a new washing machine. Shortly after we bought it, it malfunctioned so I called the service department number. Unfortunately, the service department was going through a computer upgrade and as a new customer my information had not yet been entered into the old or the new system. I was assured it would happen the next day, and they instructed me to call back then. This same scene played out every day for 5 days. My impatience and anger grew as large as my mountain of unwashed laundry on the basement floor. My out-of-service washing machine was doing me no good. I wasn’t feeling very thankful.

Out of Service

Well, during the reign of King Ahaz, the people of Judah had an out-of-service problem too, but it wasn’t an appliance; it was much more serious than my inconvenience. They posted an out-of-service sign  on the door of the Temple. It closed due to the people’s freefall into idolatry and sin.

Open for ThanksLiving Service

When Hezekiah became king, he reversed this slide into sin and, as we saw on Day 2, began cleansing the temple. The temple was cleansed, the people were cleansed, and sacrifices and burnt offerings were made. Today’s verse may seem a bit odd, talking about burnt offerings, liquid offerings, and fat ( well, then again, maybe not with Thanksgiving next week!), but then the writer of this books slips in this sentence, “so the Temple of the Lord was restored to service.” Now we see that this verse is actually cause for great celebration and thanksgiving. For years the Temple had been closed. No worship, no cleansing of sins, no restoration. But now the out-of-service sign is ripped off the door and once again mercy and forgiveness are flowing.

Pray for Service

As New Testament Christians, we are temples for the Holy Spirit. What kind of signs are we hanging on the doors of our temples? Do they say “Out of Service” or “Open for Service”? I have to ask myself, do my attitude and actions draw people to the Lord or am I driving them away? Am I only concerned with my needs, or am I setting aside time to do acts of service for others? Today I am thankful for all those who have served me in so many different ways. Let’s pray that we can offer this selfless gift to others too.

  1. Pray to see the needs around us. It’s all too easy to put on blinders to people’s pain, especially when we’re in a rush. Lord, give us eyes to see and ears to hear the needs around us today.
  2. Pray to do something. All around us are acts of service just waiting to happen. Can we each bring one to life this week? Lord, let us do good when it is within our power to do so.

More Thanks Living Service

If you’d like to explore this theme further, please see The Ministry of the Word and Table.

Comment

Please leave a comment below in the Comment section on what God teaches you today about Service.

Previous Links

service. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/service (accessed: November 20, 2014).

All rights reserved. copyright 2017




12 Days of ThanksLiving, Day 3: Sacrifice

ThansksLiving SacrificeDay 3: Sacrifice

ThanksLiving: living a thankful life

 “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.” Hebrews 10:12

sacrifice: [sak-ruh-fahys]noun; verb

  1. the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.
  2. a surrender of something of value as a means of gaining something more desirable or of preventing some evil
  3. (verb) to surrender or give up, or permit injury or disadvantage to, for the sake of something else.
  4. (verb) to make a sacrifice or offering of.

Please carefully read the definitions above and highlight the sections that mean the most to you.

Sacrifice in the Year of 2020

In this year of 2020, we have seen a demonstration of sacrifice lived out right before us on the part of our health care workers as they have tenderly cared for our Covid patients. Many doctors and nurses have contracted the disease themselves, and sadly, some have given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives.

Sacrifice for Sin

The first sacrifice for sin was accomplished by God in the Garden of Eden. The last sacrifice for sin was confirmed by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The road to the cross was paved with sacrifice. Most of the definitions above speak of the giving of One for the sake of another. God gave Jesus, His Son in sacrifice for us (for you , for me) not only because of our great need, but because of His great love.

In this season of ThanksLiving, let’s give thanks to God for those who sacrificed to give us life.

For Jesus: Thank you, God, for giving Jesus as sacrifice for our sin. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we now live an abundant life.

For Caregivers: Thank  you, Father, for the sacrifice of our caregivers; for their struggle to feed, clothe, love and care for us, often at the expense of their own needs and comfort.

For First Responders: Thank You for those You’ve set in place who sacrifice their comfort and safety to cover us with their protection and service. Give them your strength and courage to go forth in the work You have given them; the defense and care of those in need.

For Health Care Workers: Thank you, Father, for the tireless service and ministry of health care workers,  who often risk their own health for the healing of others.

For Teachers: Father in heaven, thank you for teachers who are often underpaid and overworked. Many teachers give from their own resources to supply their classrooms, and provide food and clothing for their  students. Give teachers rest and peace this ThanksLiving season.

More Sacrifice

Please click on a link for more information on sacrifice.

Serving Others an article by Joyce Meyer Ministries

A Servant’s Heart a short Bible study by Mary Kane

Sacrifice  a blog post by Jane VanOsdol

 

Comment

Please leave a comment below on what God teaches you today about sacrifice in the Comment section.

sacrifice. Dictionary.com. Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sacrifice (accessed: November 15, 2014).

all rights reserved. copyright 2017