Sunday, November 27, 2016

Give Thanks. Prayer, With Thanksgiving. Sacrifices of Thanksgiving. Update.


For “Scripture Sunday”:

Thanksgiving Day is over, but we should still give thanks….


In Everything Give Thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:18

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

In everything give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18).“This week on the Daily Bible Verse Blog we have been looking at the importance of thanksgiving. Thankfulness is a hallmark of a true Christian. Almost anyone can be thankful when everything is going well, but Christians are to be growing in an attitude of thanksgiving in every situation.

This takes a spiritual perspective—the ability to see things more as God sees them. Though not everything that happens is something to be thankful for, a Christian is learning to see beyond the present suffering and to thank God for His eternal goodness and the end result of His great purpose and plan. This allows us to give thanks in everything.

When we truly believe that “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28) and that “the testing of [our] faith produces patience” that makes us “perfect and complete,” we can “count it all joy” (James 1:2-4) and give thanks even when we face various trials.

“An Old Testament example of this was when Job lost his money, his children and his health. He blessed the name of God in spite of his personal tragedies, not because of them. Nothing speaks more powerfully of a walk with God than continuous thankfulness” (The NKJV Study Bible, note on 1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Why is it God’s will that we give thanks? Because it helps us to become more like God and helps us develop His perspective and His character. Ingratitude and covetousness are the antithesis of God’s nature. Thankfulness grows out of a godly mind-set.

For more about the meaning of life that helps give us God’s perspective, see our article on the “Purpose of Life.” 


Continue Earnestly in Prayer … With Thanksgiving

Colossians 4:2

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving. …

The apostle Paul strongly connects prayer with thanksgiving in several other memorable passages:

  • “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
  • “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
  • “Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).

For more about prayer and thankfulness, see “How to Pray” and “In Everything Give Thanks.”


The Sacrifices of Thanksgiving

Psalm 107:22

Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.

Leviticus 7 describes a “sacrifice of thanksgiving” that involved offering grain and an animal sacrifice (Leviticus 7:12). This offering was not for sin, but for rejoicing and showing thankfulness to God.

We know from the book of Hebrews that the system of animal sacrifices has been superseded, yet Hebrews still talks about a “sacrifice of praise to God.” This is defined as “the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:15-16).

Praising God, doing good and sharing are sacrifices that continue to please our Creator today.

For more about thanksgiving, see “In Everything Give Thanks.” (above)


Unthankful to Our Creator

Romans 1:21

Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

In the early chapters of Romans, Paul shows the sinfulness of all men, gentiles and Jews. This verse follows the powerful statement that “His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (verse 20). God’s creation itself is proof that God exists, so even those without any biblical background are without excuse.

But the gentiles of Paul’s day put God out of their minds and didn’t give Him glory or show Him thanks. Many people today follow this same poor example. Ingratitude is a hallmark of human nature and especially of this end-time perilous age (as Paul mentions in 2 Timothy 3:2).

Psalm 100, “a Psalm of Thanksgiving,” provides the cure for this common ailment. “Know that the LORD, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves. … Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (Psalm 100:3-4).

For more about gratitude, see “In Everything Give Thanks.” See above.


Dear Friends,
The U.S. holiday is still officially called Thanksgiving, but why do I see so much more about touchdowns, turkey and Black Friday sales than about the reasons we have to be thankful to the great Giver—our Creator?
This week’s featured article, “Unthankfulness: A Sign of Perilous Times,” seeks to look at gratitude and ingratitude from God’s point of view. Why does He warn that unthankfulness will mark a society on the brink of extinction?
Here’s part of the answer:
“Being unthankful belies an underlying rejection of God. If we don’t recognize what He has done for us, we put something else in His place. Not only does this demonstrate that we are disconnected from reality, but it generally means we are making a god out of ourselves.”


Thankful for God’s Goodness and Mercy

by Mike Bennett

1 Chronicles 16:34

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

On the joyous day that David brought the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem, he “delivered this psalm into the hand of Asaph and his brethren, to thank the LORD” (1 Chronicles 16:7). This theme of thankfulness for God’s goodness and mercy is found throughout the Psalms (see Psalms 106:1 and 107:1, for example).

Psalm 107 goes on to give examples of how God displays His mercy to sinners who cry out to Him: “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains in pieces. Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:13-15).

For more about God’s mercy, see “Mercy and Grace: Are They the Same?


OK?  You got the idea…give thanks continually!


The plumbing in the little guest house has come to a standstill as more parts are needed for both the drains and the water.  But we got a mound of pine needles raked and burned.

I have to publish this in pieces as my monitor keeps on going out, and I lose everything that I have written if it isn’t saved.   I still have to restart everything to make the monitor come back on.    I tried a different monitor and it did the same thing, so I can only assume that there is something wrong with the hole (port) where the monitor plugs in.  I will have to change over to my old computer which has Windows XP, and so Open Live Writer won’t work on it, so rushing to get this done.

The lamb stew that I made for the potluck was enjoyed and a little casserole that was made with shredded English cucumbers, dressing and cheese.  One of the elders usually brings an enormous crockpot of meat, chicken or salmon loaf, but he assumed that our main meat dish would be the turkey from the week before which I had taken home to slice and freeze and make bone broth with the carcass.  The pastor’s wife and I had already discussed this and figured that everyone would be sick of turkey by then, and so it was kept frozen.  So now he wants us to have it next Sabbath potluck.

Surprise! Surprise! Jay, my neighbor’s son and previous helper, went to church with me, he was mostly sober, but was in a rowdy mood and did a bit of interrupting in the church and the dining hall.  He is going to have to go to jail for a while for something he did a few years ago, so he thought that going to church might help him.  This maybe the chance he needs .... to quit drinking and start to have an enjoyable life.

The Bible readings were Gen. 23:1-25:18, 1 Kings 1:1-31 and Heb. 11:11, these are mostly about Isaac.  The Teaching, which I didn’t hear much of it was “Glorify God”.  I was in the dining hall tending to my crockpots but someone kept on talking, so I couldn’t hear it.  I finally went back into the church and managed to hear the end of it.  I was glad to get Jay dropped off and have some peace and quiet.

It was cooler, not raining, and I am still this side of the grass so it was a lovely day.

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