3 Areas Of Gratitude This Thanksgiving

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I love Thanksgiving.  The good food, time with family, and football are enjoyable.  I even love the name – Thanksgiving.  It boldly declares the purpose of the day.  Let’s give God thanks today!

Thanksgiving Gratitude Give Thanks

We are to be thankful all the time, but it is human nature to look at what we lack instead of what we have.  This creates a feeling of loss and dissatisfaction.  Furthermore, we have a short memory when it comes to God’s blessings and people’s sacrifices for us.  Add that to a sense of entitlement and we have a recipe for ingratitude!

There is a simple recipe for gratitude.  Realize that you deserve nothing and that every good thing in your life is a gift from God.  Consider that things could always be worse if God was not caring for  you.  Compare your life now to how terrible it could be.  Things could always be worse.  This awareness creates a profound sense of thanksgiving.

Let’s look at 3 areas of gratitude we can be thankful for today.

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There is Spiritual Power Available to You Today!

Acts 1:8

God has Spiritual Power Available for You.

God has not left you helpless as you travel this life. There is a power available for you that transcends all that you see and know. It is greater than any earthly circumstance or human frailty. It works in the believer transforming him into a little Christ. How can one so like his sinful father be conformed into the likeness of his Heavenly Father? This Power! How could rugged and unlearned fishermen such as Peter, James and John become great Apostles that would change the World? This Power! The same power is available to you today.

Acts 1:8

This Power Comes from the Fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus did not leave us comfortless when He ascended to Heaven. Truthfully, He said that it was better for Him to go so that we could have the Comforter. John 16:7 Listen to God’s Word! It is better for the Holy Spirit of God to dwell in you than if Jesus was on Earth today and you were walking by His side! And yet, the Holy Ghost is ignored, quenched and grieved by most of God’s people. They live as if there was no Holy Spirit. How sad!

Did you think of Him today? Did you yield to Him? Are you in tune to His promptings and filled with His power?  Confess your sin. Humble yourself. Declare your need of Him. Ask to be filled with the sweet Holy Spirit as you pour out yourself to God in Prayer.

This Power makes us Bold Witnesses of God’s Work.

The Holy Spirit has a great and manifold ministry in us. He teaches, leads, reminds, convicts, empowers, and much more. Yet, His most obvious ministry is that He makes us bold witnesses for God. He loosens our tongue to speak of Jesus. He emboldens our mouths to publicly praise the Father. He overrides our personality to make us proclaimers of the Glorious Gospel of Christ. How can we, who have seen great and mighty things, be silent?  If you are not a bold witness for Christ, it is not because of your personality. It is because your lack of this divine power.

This Power gives us influence near and far at the same time.

God is at work in your life right now and at work across the globe at the same time. His power is not weakened by time or distance. When a believer is filled with this Holy Spirit power, God can use his influence for good near and far. Don’t just focus on your small world today. Realize that God wants to use you both in Jerusalem and Judea at the same time. Your prayers can affect those near and far. Your testimony can bring God glory in your own home and in homes across New England. Your generosity can spread God’s love in your home town and around the world. Furthermore, your testimony could bring God glory in this life and long after you are in Heaven! God’s power is not diminished by time or distance. Yet, most don’t believe it. They proclaim and big God and yet believe Him to be small. Their vision and spiritual goals reveal the true thoughts of their heart.

Let’s live for God today! He can multiply our humble influence far beyond what we dare to believe.

This Power allows our influence to spread to the uttermost part of the earth.

Ah, yes. What if your godly influence could spread across the globe to the furtherest reaches? The shadowy corners of humanity can be brought to God by a surrendered Christian. Never underestimate the power of a humble servant of God. Your effectiveness has never depended on your own ability, but that of the God you serve. He is a great God!  Believe Him for great and mighty things.

I hear someone say, “Preacher, I am barely making it myself. I struggle through each day. I have my hands full with my own life and responsibilities. This is my lot. How can I make a difference?”

Dear friend, I am not encouraging you to “try harder” in your own strength. I am agreeing that your strength is insufficient! Would to God that all of us would seek the Divine strength found in the fullness of the Holy Spirit!

Do you tire of living in your own strength? Have you had enough of not living up to the dreams God has placed in your heart? Then Rejoice! There is divine power available to you today!

Labor – The Biblical Philosophy of Work

Happy Labor Day

Labor, or work, has always been prized among God’s people. Work makes the world go around. Without the labor of men’s hands, the world stops functioning as the laws of sin and entropy are clearly seen in the certain spiral toward disorder and collapse.

Labor - A Biblical Philosophy of Work

The first Labor Day was held in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 as planned by the Central Labor Union. It was a “workingmen’s holiday” that celebrated the achievements and contributions of workers.  It is a sad fact that many people today view work as a bad thing. This Labor Day let’s take a look at the concept of Labor as seen in the Bible.

God Left You an Example of Labor.

Genesis 1:1–4 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”

The Bible begins with God working. He is using His creativity, His breath, and His words. Later He uses His hands to form man and His breath to bring Him to life. Our productivity through labor follows the example of God.

God made You to Labor.

Genesis 2:15 “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”

Mankind is made to work. A good one word definition for work is accomplishment. There is pleasure, happiness and satisfaction in hard work that cannot come from amusements. These rewards do not come from “being on the clock”, but from accomplishing the day’s tasks. Get things done. Do them right. Then you can look back on them with satisfaction as God did.   (more…)

God Loves You – Will You Accept His Love?

A Plea for Lost Souls

Everyone wants to be loved. Is there any better feeling than to know that you are loved and accepted in spite of all your shortcomings? Love stories are popular in books and movies because they reach into the deep place of the heart where we desire to be truly loved and live happily ever after.

God Loves You - Will You Accept His Love?

I have good news for you today. The greatest love story ever told includes you! God loves you. He sacrificed Himself so that you could be with Him forever in Heaven. You are so loved!

God Defines His Love For You.

God’s love is far superior than mankind’s love. It is deeper, broader, higher and completely fulfilling.

It’s a Great Love

Ephesians 2:4–5  “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”

The word “great” in this verse speaks of the amount of God’s love. Not only does He love you, but He is the ever flowing fountain of love. His love is greater than all your sin. (more…)

Psalm 102 – A Prayer of the Afflicted

3 steps to overcoming the worst trials of life

Affliction is defined as “The cause of continued pain of body or mind, as sickness, losses, calamity, adversity, persecution” in Webster’s 1828 dictionary. There is a big difference between the effects of short-term trials and long-term afflictions. Psalm 102 will help your faith to flourish during the most difficult times of life.

The Cry of the Afflicted

Psalm 102:1–2, 24

“Hear my prayer, O LORD, And let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me In the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: In the day when I call answer me speedily. I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: Thy years are throughout all generations.”

Affliction causes us to cry out to the Lord. Where else can you go when your heart is breaking? (more…)