Posts Tagged With: thankful

Truly Thankful

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With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, it is hard to not think of all the things we are thankful for today. However, I think true thankfulness only comes when we really understand who we owe our thankfulness to. Everything we have and everything we are is because God has gifted it to us. Take a moment and really let that sink in. Everything you have, look around at all of the possessions, provisions and people God has provided in your life. Then think about yourself and your health, skills, talents, intelligence, freedom, etc. God has gifted you with.

We would have nothing and wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for the Lord. He created us and He loves us. That alone is deserving of our thanks, not to mention everything else He has blessed us with. 

Psalm 69:30

I will praise the name of God with a song;
    I will magnify him with thanksgiving.

The word ‘thanksgiving’ is the Hebrew word ‘towdah’. “It means praise, thanskgiving. The word depicts worship by the presentation of songs of thanksgiving and praise that extolled the mighty wonders of the Lord.”1 This verse describes true thankfulness that cannot be contained. Being so thankful that you can’t help but sing songs of praise to the Lord. 

When we think of being thankful, we often think of simply saying thanks for all God has done for us. However, when we truly understand all He has done for us, it is more than simply a few words. The Hebrew word ‘todah’ is a “word that describes an offering of thanks or a sacrifice of thanksgiving”. It is an attitude of the heart that truly wants to make an offering of thanks to the Lord. 

Are you truly thankful for all the Lord has done for you? How can you show Him your thankfulness today? Let’s keep that in mind as we celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow!

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Faith and Love

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready to dig back into our study on Ephesians.

Ephesians 1:15-16

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.

Verses 15-23 are considered Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving and we will be looking at it this week. In the Greek, it is a single sentence which gives the idea of consistency of thought throughout the prayer. In these two verses Paul is giving thanks for the people’s faith in Christ and the way they love each other. He also says he remembers them in his prayers.

When you think of people you know who have that kind of faith, who comes to mind? I have been amazingly blessed by wonderful sisters in Christ who have shown me how to really walk out my faith every day. They have poured wisdom, love, encouragement and support into my life. In fact, two of them, Lynn and Betsy came up with the idea for this blog and I am so grateful they did!

My dear friends are such wonderful examples of women of faith and they truly inspire me. They not encourage and uplift me, they challenge me. They are the friends who tell me what I need to hear, not just what I want to hear. I thank God for these women and keep them in my prayers.

Paul not only thanked God for the faith of the people but also for their love for God’s people. Who do you know that loves God’s people with His amazing love? There are so many wonderful people who serve the Lord by loving others. An example from my life is my friend, Susan, who is currently in Uganda on a mission trip where she is serving at a medical clinic and ministering to orphans. This is not her first trip and she is being reunited with a couple of twins, Opio and Grace that she has spent time with on previous visits. Susan is truly a woman of incredible faith and is loving God’s people.

Who has poured into your life? Whose faith is inspiring to you? Who has loved you with a love that is gracious, compassionate, forgiving and patient? Take some time to thank God for them. Who does God want you to love with HIs love? Who in your life needs forgiveness, compassion and acceptance today. May we be the kind of people Paul was writing to; people who walk out their faith by loving others!

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Decisions, Decisions

Psalm 100:4-5

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

It used to be that the day after Thanksgiving here in the U.S. was called Black Friday and was the biggest shopping day of the year with lots of bargains for those who wanted to get a jumpstart on their Christmas shopping.  However, Black Friday no longer starts early on Friday morning but actually starts on Thursday – on Thanksgiving.   For the last several years, stores have been opening a little earlier and a little earlier for “Black Friday” until now it should be called Black Thursday.  It is encroaching on family time and what traditionally is a holiday focused on family, food and being thankful.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all about a bargain and have been Black Friday shopping many years – in the early hours starting at about 5 am while the rest of my family slept. However, as the advertisements bombarded me on t.v., email and in the mail, it made me think of all the ways our world encroaches upon our boundaries.  It isn’t something that happens overnight, but slowly begins to creep over the line.

The same thing happens to us when we allow the things of this world to encroach on our time with our families and with our God. Slowly, little by little, we say “yes” to the things of the world and become so busy that we have very little time for God.  How many of us want to forego church on a Sunday morning to sleep in because we are exhausted from our week?  It is a pretty sad testament of our faith when we aren’t willing to give up an hour or so to honor and glorify the One who created us.

There are lots of good things for us to be involved in and to do, but our priorities need to be steadfast – God first and family second, everything else should be lower on the priority list. Somewhere along the way we have lost sight of the fact that everything we have and everything we are is because of the grace of God;  if we truly understood this, we would be anxiously awaiting any opportunity to praise Him and give Him thanks.

What things in your life do you need to say “no” to in order to say “yes” to spending time with the Lord?

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