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FROM ACBC  Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

Thanksgiving as a Way of Life

All across North America the days are getting shorter, chillier, and (to the chagrin of many) Christmas music is already playing on the radio stations. As Thanksgiving draws near, it often serves to bring about various memories and emotions for people. And for the Christian, gratitude and thankfulness are not just emotions or feelings that are felt or something only celebrated once a year – it is the very air we breathe. All who have repented of their sin and trust and follow Jesus as Savior understand that their regenerate heart, and indeed any good thing in life (James 1:17), is a gift; a gift to which the only correct response is worship, obedience, and thankfulness to a good and kind God.

Christian growth insures that these truths sink deeper and deeper into the heart of a believer as they live their lives in light of the Gospel. By God’s grace, another reality concerning thankfulness that believers will come to understand is that thankfulness is a very powerful weapon against sin and a tool to endure suffering.

The Power of Thankfulness

About 10 years ago, I found myself in a very dark season of depression. No appetite for food, no energy to get out of bed in the morning, and a tendency to isolate myself were a few of the visible manifestations of this chapter of my life. I was suffering, but my particular suffering was also intermingled with sin. Bitterness, selfishness, and anger were thoughts that I too often found myself embracing. These are formidable foes when mingled with depression because often we only see our sorrow, and not our sin, when we are in the throes of deep sadness. This season led to much fear. I became terrified to hop into my car and take a quick trip across town. Terrified of my family being killed in a house fire. Terrified of anything and everything scary I could think of. Sin is at its core irrational, and leads to further irrationality.¹

I distinctly remember one morning that became a sort of linchpin in turning the corner on fighting sin and fighting for joy. I was lying in bed trying to force myself to get started with the day, and the morning sunlight was streaming through my window onto my face. This immediately reminded me of Matthew 5:45, “…For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” This immediately prompted me to say in thanksgiving, “Thank you God that you cause the sun to shine on the evil and the good, you are so kind. This is a direct evidence of your kindness that I am experiencing in this moment. Thank you.” This simple acknowledgment of God’s Word and prayer of gratitude to Him, caused me to want to get up and keep thanking Him for His kindness. A few days later, I was eating a piece of homemade pie (funny how certain small memories remain crystal clear even after years) and I remember silently thanking God for giving me the ability to enjoy this delicious food and for His provision of sustenance for my body (I Timothy 4:4). I realized this was yet another evidence of a kind and gracious Father. Then one night, as I was reading the Psalms and praying I was convicted over my sin of bitterness and anger against an individual, as well as selfishness. I prayed that the Lord would forgive my sin and help me to walk in repentance. I started thanking the Lord that I would be worshipping Jesus in heaven alongside this individual someday and started to pray for the Lord to bless this person’s life. As time went on, these prayers weren’t just an act of obedience, they eventually became my joy to pray in this manner. This season didn’t leave quickly, as seasons like this rarely do. But the act and discipline of thankfulness became the means by which the Lord granted repentance and deep joy and growth in the days and nights of many tears.

The Gift of Gratitude

When God commands thankfulness (i.e. the Psalms, Ephesians 5:4, Philippians 4:6, Colossians 4:2, etc.), he does it with the understanding that it will bring life and joy and renewal in the inner man, even in the very darkest of valleys. The most important thing in the life of a suffering believer is not that pain be alleviated, but that the believer looks more like Jesus after having endured the trial (II Corinthians 12:9-10). Thankfulness is a powerful means of grace for the believer to lay hold of in the midst of fiery trials. ²

Don’t let Thursday be the primary day this year that you give thanks to God for his great kindness. Let it be a day of rejoicing that we can praise God for his kindness and all of his blessings for everyday of our lives on earth and into eternity.

 

¹ Frame, John. Doctrine of the Word of God, 16.

² For more on thankfulness as a means of grace, see Chapter 8 in Finally Free, by Dr. Heath Lambert.

Michelle Lesley

Originally published November 22, 2016

thanks

Next to Easter and Christmas, there’s no better holiday that Christians could celebrate than Thanksgiving. Scripture reminds us over and over that we have a precious Savior and innumerable blessings to thank God for. Here are ten of my favorite Bible verses about giving thanks. Feel free to share them around on social media or print them out to use in your Thanksgiving decor.

1. Psalm 100:4

ps 100 4

2. 1 Corinthians 15:57

1 cor 15 57

3. 1 Chronicles 16:8

1 chr 16 8

4. Ephesians 5:20

Eph 5 20

5. Psalm 69:30

ps 69 30

6. Colossians 3:17

col 3 17

7. Psalm 79:13

ps 79 13

8. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

1 thess 5 18

9. Psalm 86:12

ps 86 12

10. Revelation 7:12

rev 7 12

What’s your favorite Bible verse about giving thanks?

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From Rapture Forums

https://www.raptureforums.com/

Are We Evangelizing or Compromising?
By Howard Green

It should be clear to any born again Christian living in this generation that the return of Jesus is near. If we take a panoramic view and look at all of the geopolitical upheaval around the globe, we see that Bible prophecy is being fulfilled right before our eyes. Knowing that the hour is late, isn’t it time to get down to the business of evangelizing and making disciples? Instead of fulfilling the great commission, many believers are content with seeking ecumenical harmony and common ground with non-Christians. In our day marked by spiritual blindness, are we evangelizing or compromising?

Mark 16:15-16 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Go to a street corner, college campus, or workplace in almost any city and you will find a plethora of spiritual beliefs held by people. Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, Mormons, Gnostics, Spiritists and new age worshippers are just a sample of people you may meet. As Christians, we will certainly come into contact with many people who don’t believe in Jesus as we do. Some of these people believe in an afterlife and some don’t but the fact remains that they will spend eternity somewhere.

Article HERE

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