Wednesday, 10/13/21 – Pressing on… Random thankful thots…

Random thankful thots…

We thank God not only for His gifts but for His Character. God is good… all the time. God is Loving… all the time. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (1 Chron. 16:34). We give Him thanks also because of His workings on behalf of His called and faithful. As we read yesterday, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28). “Everything will work out in the end,” says Max Lucado, adding “If it’s not working out, it’s not the end.”

Are you new to thankfulness? God says, Let thankfulness happen … let it out… surprise yourself with the new thankful you! “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,” writes Paul, “…and be thankful.” (Col. 3:15). The “let“-ting and the “be“-ing in that verse indicate a Christian’s expression of peace and thankfulness are largely a matter of deciding to do it!

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Col. 4:2). Prayer can be a battleground and the Christian walks a tightrope. Peter urges, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8), and Paul’s says, of equal importance as prayer and watchfulness is thankfulness.

Don’t forget to be thankful for your brothers and sisters in Christ: those who have gone before you, and those who are all around you! “I always thank my God for you,” writes Paul (1 Cor. 1:4).

Do you know you also have power to cause thankfulness to spring from others? Here’s how it works: As God blesses You, He intends You to bless others… to be generous at every opportunity! Then, the thankful recipients of your goodness will express their multiplied thankfulness to God! “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (2 Cor. 9:11).

So much more can be said! Thankfulness consecrates: “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” (1 Tim. 4:4-5). Thankfulness is always appropriate, always God’s Will: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:16-18). Thankfulness should accompany our petitions and is sometimes hard worka sacrificea song

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Phil. 4:6)
But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you…’” (Jonah 2:9). “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High.” (Psalm 50:14)
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.” (Psalm 28:7).

Be Thankful, and…

Press on…

To hear this past Sunday’s message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

Monday, 10/11/21 – Pressing on… Good Medicine

Good Medicine

Today in Canada is “Thanksgiving Day!” Typically, it is a day for reflecting and feasting on the good things of the earth, of others, and of God. “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord” begins Psalm 92, and science has further demonstrated it.

Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. It helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships.

Psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough asked a group of study participants to write a few sentences each day about things for which they were grateful that day. They asked another group to record their daily irritations and negative experiences.  After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives, they had begin to exercise more and had fewer visits to a doctor than the group who tracked negative things.

Gratitude improves relationships with spouses, co-workers, shopkeepers, anyone with whom social interactions occur – including God!

A thankful heart “does good, like medicine,” wrote Solomon (Prov. 17:22); it is “good medicine,” “good for your health” as some translations put it. But a broken, saddened, thankless heart “dries the bones,” it “saps a person’s strength,” it will “leave you bone-tired.”

A thankful heart’s first “go to” response is gratitude. It’s default world view is that It is blessed! It is a contented heart, a happy heart. It teaches one to appreciate what one has instead of always reaching for the next new thing.

From a dank and dreary prison cell Paul writes the Philippians,

“…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:11b-13).

Paul says he had to “learn” contentment… thankfulness. He did! And so can you! Learning is worth the course. As Paul wrote to Timothy, “godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Tim. 6:6).

Thankfulness makes one rich! How? A thankful heart has learned that true wealth is not found in having many things, but in having few wants.

The Christian ought demonstrate thankfulness above all. A Christian has Christ and has found that Christ alone satisfies all wants. A Christian has found peace with God. He has surrendered self and is unafraid to die. A Christian knows he is eternal and that his eternity is very good indeed.

Today, be Thankful….”be content… because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” (Gen. 13:5).

More tomorrow…

To hear this past Sunday’s message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

THANKSGIVING BONUS: Click here to link to a special Thanksgiving Worship Special with Christian recording artist Becka deHaan!