The power of thanksgiving cannot be underestimated, as it is a key factor in our daily happiness (or contentment). If so much of the world pursues it, wouldn’t it make sense to pay attention to what determines it? As followers of Jesus, we have the benefit of knowing the God to whom we give all thanks, glory and praise. He is our source of everything we need, and in His power, we can grow to be a thankful people. Our happiness is not dependent on what we have, on what we can achieve or on what we do, but rather, it is found in knowing the God who loves us and becoming more aware of His goodness in our lives.
I suppose this topic is not just for kids or parents, but for anyone who has ever felt scared or is feeling scared about something even now as you are reading this. The key to prayer against feelings of fear, is to first know the One you are praying to, know what He has promised you, speak the name of Jesus, feed your spirit, and move toward the things in your life that bring peace.
When we read the story of the Prodigal Son, and look throughout scripture, we discover that how we view God and how we think He views us can be very different from who God actually is and what He actually thinks of us. What we need to remember, no matter what, is this: God wants for me to be close to Him, God wants for me to experience His blessings, and God wants for me to fulfill my purpose by the power of His Spirit at work inside me.
Jesus is our King, who came to bring peace for our mind, our body, our spirit and our relationships. He would do this by giving up His life for us through His death on the cross, forever dealing with the sin in our lives that brings all types of discord. Jesus would bring us peace by coming back to life for us, defeating the power of sin and making a way for us to experience new life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Why would Jesus do all this? Because of His love for us, God’s beloved creation (John 3:16).
Throughout the Bible we see God calling unlikely people to do big things for Him. A significant reason for this is because if they could do it on their own, then there would be no need for God to help them, and instead of bringing glory to God, the credit would stay with the person who was called. God wants His people to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7); they were created to bring Him glory (1 Corinthians 10:31)!
The truth is, being busy is often rewarded in our world, because it somehow translates to being productive, successful, and better. And while this may be true at times, it’s not always the case. Busyness can lead to making mistakes, being unsafe, or missing good opportunities. In Pastor Dave and Pastor Cheryl’s message this past weekend titled, “How God Wraps a Present”, they mentioned how we can be wrapped up in our busyness, to the extent that we become “insensitive to what God is doing”. If busyness has been your daily reality and you’re wanting to break this pattern in your life, it’s time to reprioritize, slow down, and develop new patterns.
Giving thanks is not only being conscious of and acknowledging the good things that we have received, but also being genuinely appreciative of them. How can we be continually appreciative of the blessings in our lives? I propose we first get to know the Giver of blessings, that we practice gratitude daily, and that we express gratitude through our actions.
A significant struggle as Bible believing Christians is with having courage to trust God even when we’ve been disappointed before. In Pastor Dave’s sermon series on courage this summer, we learned recently about how important our worldview is when it comes to standing for truth (sermon titled: Courage to Stand for Truth).
What unites a family beyond genetics, could be faith, culture, hardship, hobbies, or a physical home. But one thing that is always true without fail, is how different every family member is. As every one gets older, the things that united the family, may not seem as significant anymore and differences may become much more apparent.