Sunday, November 22, 2009

Giving Thanks...

For every beast of the forest are Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness.
Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
Psalms 50:10-15

How many times have I heard the words quoted “The cattle on a thousand hills are God’s” when referring to someone believing that a financial blessing is coming their way? I think the meaning of it has somehow morphed to “When my ship comes in”.
It’s a shame because when this scripture is read in its context it is so much deeper than believing for your (ahem) “ship to come in.”

Most or all of the psalms were actually songs under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and this one was sung if you will by Asaph who declares basically that God owns everything and though He appreciates the sacrifices that people were making to Him, what He wants most is their thanks. “People, people, your giving of sacrifices are great but they’ve turned into rituals rather than acts of love, I don’t need your sacrifices, it’s all mine anyway, but some thanksgiving would be nice and appreciated”. Forgive me I have a vivid imagination. (smile)

Do you see some correlation to us today? Running hither and yon, doing good things yes, but a lot of it has turned into a ritual rather than an act of love. Even when we work or minister in the church, are we doing it out of love or has it become a thing we sometime grudgingly do because if we don’t do who will? Hmmmm. Are we showing real love, warmth and kindness to those that we are suppose to be ministering to or are we just filling a spot so the Pastor will think we are “serving” like we should? Hello!

Are we going to our jobs and doing the very best that we can or are we constantly complaining about the situations that occur? Have our jobs become a ritual that we drag ourselves to every day? OUCH!

What about our families? Do we take them for granted? Do we treat them as if they will be with us forever, has loving and caring for them become a ritual instead of an act of unconditional love?

Everything belongs to God, whether we want to admit it or not; our jobs, our ministries, our families and our very lives. We get so caught up in doing what we think is the right thing to do, instead of asking God what does He want us to do. And He’s asking “Can you take time out to just give me some thanks?” Because when you spend time thanking God, He will give you a clearer path, He will guide you, He will show you how to minister, how to do well on your job, how to love your family and how to live your life with joy.

Don’t let thanksgiving just be for this Thursday coming. Let’s give God Thanks starting now, it’s what He wants.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Don't be anxious!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Anxiety, pressure, stress, and worry! We’ve all experienced these emotions and with them come a loss of peace and well being. Many of my friends and loved ones have lost a lot in the past years. In fact the world as a whole has been going through turmoil, loss of jobs, finances, homes and more importantly loved ones. There are more situations than I can mention that people are going through right now that is causing them to be anxious about their future, pressure to come up with an answer to the problem, stress under the grief of having lost someone or something very precious and worry about how this is all going to turn out.
I like the way the Apostle Paul wrote it above, he said don’t be anxious about it, just pray about it and throw in some thanksgiving too. But you may ask “How can I be thankful at a time like this?” And my humble answer is “It ain’t easy, but what other solution do YOU have?” Thank Him through the tears? Yes. Through the pain? Yes. Through the uncertainty? Yes.

Do we want Peace that passes all human understanding? So much peace that when people look at us they marvel at how we are able to be sustained through what we are going through? Well the scripture makes it clear, pray, give it to God (He can handle it) and then thank Him. It’s too much for us to try and carry anyway.

Don’t wait to be at a dinner table with a turkey before we give thanks. Thank Him today, sure it’s rough, sure it hurts, sure you want to give up and throw in the towel. Through the tears thank Him and He has promised to give us Peace, sweet peace. Peace to face another day He has blessed us with.