Happy Thanksgiving! 2019

On this night before the Thanksgiving Day celebrations, I pause to say a word regarding giving thanks. As Christians, we are to praise God at all times for a multitude of reasons, but so often we get distracted and lose sight of blessings that take place in our lives. Some times we are just too busy to take notice, but that means we need to look up and notice our surroundings; sometimes God puts someone in our path that maybe we don’t know or know well enough, and it becomes a blessing by allowing them come into our lives or to remove from our lives because of their unbelief; sometimes even our relatives cause us grief, yet because of how we deal with the issues, can be a strong witness of our faith to them; finally we may gain strength of faith because of challenges in our lives and we pause to say, “Thank You, Father.” Hopefully, the following will give you insight into why we ought to always take notice of the things that take place in our lives, and how we handled them. Blessings!

1st Thessalonians 1:1-3

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you. We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

People are saved by obeying the Spirit-empowered gospel and are debtors to share it with all people everywhere. We should not be deterred by opposition, but should see it as evidence of the great need for the gospel. Christians should be concerned about the problems faced by others in the fellowship of believers. Our lives bear testimony to the power of God to meet human need; failure to live for Him becomes a stumbling block to those who would seek Him. The fact of the Lord’s return is certain, though the time for it is indefinite but it will be sudden. Christians should live every moment with a thankful heart so we may be pleasing to Him when He comes.

Galatians Chapter 5

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called yo by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—-which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.”

The church of today faces struggles similar to those of the Galatian churches. People still find if difficult to accept salvation as a free gift. The want to “earn it,” so they develop a code or ritual to justify themselves. Even more sadly, they fall prey to cults and sects which have an “aura of holiness” about them because they emphasize some kind of legal regimen which requires discipline. We must reaffirm soundly that we are justified simply by faith in Christ Jesus. It is His crucifixion that sets us free to serve Him in love—-not anything we have done, are doing, or will do. Immediately with justification we receive those same privileges that Paul declared to the Galatians: freedom, liberty. Sonship, the spirit of promise and a new creation. If this isn’t cause for a thankful heart and spirit, then you need to read this over again. We can never, ever, earn any of this, but we can received it as a free gift from God our Father.

2nd Timothy Chapter 1

I thank God whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois, and in our mother Eunice, and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”

For over a decade, I was a police chaplain, as well as minister. I had the opportunity many times, to see people at the worst moments of their lives, and yet it was also some of the best of times, to witness the strength of faith that they had in handling whatever hard issues faced them. Many times, I was there to tell them that a loved one was never coming home again, due to violence (wreck, shooting, etc.), or that someone in the family had died due to sickness. We had a policy of always delivering the news face to face. We never would call someone to deliver that kind of news. Those with strong faith, had a look of perseverance and strength, that no matter what, they would deal with it in faith. Likewise, I also saw those with little or no faith at all and the look of fear in their eyes spoke volumes of the tough times ahead for them, for they had no support or strength, as to where to turn next. Those with faith were thankful for whatever help I could provide, while those without faith, were just lost. For them, I offered to provide resources for them, sometimes they took them, but often they did not.

Revelation 1

Revelation is described by some as ‘scary,’ and by others as what is to come. The language is both figurative and symbolic. There are many differing interpretations; some lie in the past, while others lie in the future; do the seals, trumpet and bowls reflect a chronological sequence of successive events? The answer to all is yes or maybe or they are symbolic. A good study of the Book of Revelations is always good, because you must be well versed in the Bible to understand any or all of the pages within. I am thankful to many studies I have taken, and also for theological resources that help me with many questions in the Bible. “

So beloved, what is it that you are thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day???

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