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!

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…)

5 Lessons Learned from Acts 9:11

Prayer Moves People

In Acts 9:11 we learn some powerful truths that will help us to pray powerfully and faithfully.

Acts 9:11
“And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,”

Prayer moves the heart of God. He is ever attentive to His children. A father’s ear is tuned to the voice of his children. He can recognize his child’s voice over the noise of a busy store or the clamor of many children playing together at a park. Our Heavenly Father has no trouble recognizing your voice in the midst of this world’s commotion. He loves it when you pray. He longs to hear your voice. He yearns to bear your burdens and fill you with peace. Have confidence that God can hear your prayer! Have confidence that God wields the power to answer your prayer according to His perfect will.

When we pray, our Almighty Father has many options to answer our prayers. In this verse, we see God’s ability to move other people as a direct result of our prayer. Saul of Tarsus (more…)

How to Pray for One Another

Pray to Praise

When God brings someone to our minds, we should pray for them.  As we pray, we should praise God for the people he brings into our lives.

Philippians 1:3 “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,”

Pray to Protect

We must pray for one another to protect them from the attacks of the Devil.

Luke 22:31–32

“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

We should pray fervently for those who are struggling with sin, those who are in a great trial.  Those who have forsaken the way of God and are backslidden must be prayed for until they are converted from the error and they way and restored to the will of God.

James 5:16–20

“16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. 19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”

Pray to Perfect

As we pray for others, we must pray that they will grow in the Lord.  The Biblical word perfect means “complete, mature”.  We should pray that others will grow in grace and become more like our Saviour.

In several places, the Bible gives us a list of what we should pray for each other.

Ephesians 3:13–19

“13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”

Ephesians 6:18–20

“18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Philippians 1:9–11

“9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

Colossians 1:9–11  

“9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;”

1 Thessalonians 5:23

“23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 1:11–12

“11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 3:1–5

“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: 2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. 5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.”

List of Biblical Prayer Requests From the Above Verses:

  1. Protection from Satanic attack
  2. That thy faith fail not
  3. That trials will convert and strengthen
  4. For physical healing
  5. For strength to overcome faults
  6. Faint not at tribulations
  7. To be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man
  8. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith
  9. Be rooted and grounded in love
  10. Comprehend and know the love of Christ
  11. Be filled with all the fullness of God
  12. Boldness to speak the Gospel
  13. That your love may about yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement
  14. That ye may approve things that are excellent
  15. That ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ
  16. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God
  17. Filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding
  18. Thant ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing
  19. Be fruitful in every good work
  20. Increasing in the knowledge of God
  21. Strengthened with all might according to his glorious power
  22. Unto all Patience
  23. And Longsuffering
  24. With Joyfulness
  25. The God of peace sanctify you wholly
  26. your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
  27. God would count you worthy of this calling
  28. Fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness
  29. Fulfill the work of faith with power
  30. That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ
  31. That the word of the Lord may have free course
  32. That the Lord be glorified
  33. That we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men
  34. The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God,
  35. And unto the patient waiting for Christ.