A TIME TO GIVE THANKS

Psalm 100:4 NIV Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

 

Thanksgiving is often brushed aside in all the frantic business of life, but it is the very attitude of Thanksgiving which should not only be reserved for the holiday we will celebrate today, but thanksgiving should something that lasts all year long. In the Scripture we are commanded to be thankful.

 

What must we do to develop and cultivate thanksgiving? How can we be thankful for everything in our lives? What does it mean to be truly content? First, we can remember the all that the Lord has done for us. David said in Psalm 103:2-5,  Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits–who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

What does Thanksgiving do for us? It helps us to focus on His Name, His love and His faithfulness as well as His goodness, His glory and grace. Thanksgiving reminds us of Who He is. He is the Rock of our Salvation. The Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His Hands formed the dry land.

 

The Apostle Paul said he was thankful for the following…

  1. I thank God for allowing me to partner with you in the gospel. (Philippians 1:3)
  2. I thank God for your love. (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
  3. I thank God for your faith. (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3)
  4. I thank God for your flexibility. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
  5. I thank God for your generosity. (2 Corinthians 8:2-3)
  6. I thank God for your vision. (1 Thessalonians 1:3)

 

 

I am convinced that the Apostle Paul knew how that thanksgiving led to living a life filled with praise and worship. He knew that the principal of praise and worship in the Old Testament is found in the Hebrew word shachah. Shachah means to “depress,” “bow down,” or “prostrate,” as in Exodus 4:31, where they bowed their heads and worshipped.

 

The context of Exodus 4:31 speaks clearly to the physical act of thanksgiving, praise and worship being both volitional and emotional. The Old Testament idea is therefore the reverential attitude of mind or body or both, combined with the notions of giving the Lord the adoration, obedience, and service due Him.

 

The principal of praise and worship in the New Testament is found fifty-nine times in the Greek word proskuneo. The word literally means to “kiss (the hand or the ground) toward,” hence, as often in the idea of kneeling or bowing prostrate upon the ground.  The New Testament idea of praise and worship is a combination of the feeling of awe, veneration, and adoration.

 

The Lord Jesus told the Samaritan woman in John 4:23-24, Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. True worshippers are genuine without guile or false humility. They worship in spirit and in truth. It is the attitude of the heart that matters, not where, but how (in reality, out of the heart of man, the highest and best part of man, as well as in purity of expression, purity of heart. All praise and worship should be in accordance to the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:5) who is the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). These kind of worshippers the Father is still seeking today.

 

I encourage you to thank the Lord today by saying…I love You Lord Jesus. I bow my knee and lift my voice to worship You. Hear my heart today, there is none like You my God, there is none like You. You are my everything. You are my all. I bless Your Holy Name. Amen.

 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

 

Robert

Give Thanks

 

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In 2017-Open Your Heart

I simply love the ministry of Craig Groeschel. One of his core values is to lead the way with irrational generosity because he truly believes it is more blessed to give than to receive.

If we are going to follow the pathway to irrational generosity we will need to turn a deaf ear to old voices and then, open our heart to new choices. We will need to begin with this praise and prayer…

Thank you Lord for renewing my mind today. Teach me your ways.”

The Bible says in 2 Samuel 5:6-9 NIV, “The king (David) and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there. The Jebusites said to David, ‘You will not get in here; even the blind and the lame can ward you off.’ They thought, ‘David cannot get in here.’ Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion, the City of David.  On that day, David said, ‘Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water shaft to reach those ‘lame and blind’ who are David’s enemies.’ That is why they say, ‘The blind and lame will not enter the palace.’ David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David.'”

There are two types of thought that continually vie for our attention.  One says, “Yes I can.” The other says, “No, you can’t”.  One says “God will help you.” And the other, “God has left you.”  One speaks the language of faith and the other the language of fear.  One proclaims God’s strengths and the other lists your failures.  One longs to build you up and the other does its best to tear you down.

Here’s the great news…you get to choose. God wants all of us to follow David’s example. When everyone was focused on the obvious…David thought the unusual.  Following his example during the coming year will cause you to do what no one expects and achieve what no one imagines.

I encourage you to pray this prayer with me today. “Dear Lord Jesus, help me to open my heart and mind to new possibilities. Nothing is impossible to You and nothing is impossible to anyone who believes that nothing is impossible to You. You are a Great and Mighty God. Nothing is too difficult for you. Lord, I pray that over the coming year, you will help me to:

  • Keep Growing. “I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding.” Philippians 1:9
  • Continue to Rejoice. “…the fact remains that the message about Christ is being preached, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.” Philippians 1:18
  • Be Bold. “And because of my imprisonment, many of the Christians here have gained confidence and become more bold in telling others about Christ.”  Philippians 1:14
  • Be Humble. “Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself.”  Philippians 2:3
  • Be Generous. Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:10-11

I love you!

Robert


If you would like your year-end gift to be included on your 2016 Contribution Statement, it must be received online or postmarked by midnight on Saturday, December 31.

Remember that you are able to make your contribution to Destiny Reformation Ministries through our Kindrid Smart Giving Platform. 

With Smart Giving, you can give quickly to DRM, you can set up scheduled gifts, and easily track and adjust your giving. You can begin today with your smartphone by texting the word GIVE and any gift amount to (512) 456-3421. Example: Give $250

Activating God’s Resources

“The Dead Sea is the dead sea because it continually receives and never gives.” — Anonymous

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:19-21 NIV Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

In contrast to what many teach and believe, Jesus never discouraged His followers from believing for financial prosperity or being blessed in other ways. He simply taught the importance of establishing correct priorities. For us to keep our perspective straight, the heavenly must come before and above the earthly.  Such living links our hearts to the true treasures of life and assists us in keeping our hearts in the right place.

How can we tell if our hearts are in the wrong place? Here are six clues.

  • We love things so much that our chief resolve is to get rich.
  • We envy our neighbors and covet what they have.
  • We are discontented when we consider our own lot.
  • We cling selfishly to what we call our own.
  • We put our trust in, and base our security on, our material possessions.
  • We betray conscience, destroy integrity, and compromise morals to gain more.

Jesus taught His disciples the secret of activating heaven’s resources and the steps they needed to take to become a blessing to those in need.

What is the secret to the activation of God’s resources? Simple, God loves a cheerful giver.

What is His promise to cheerful givers? God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” (Psalm 112:9) Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. (see 2 Corinthians 9:7-12)

I encourage you to start with this prayer.

“Thank You Lord for giving me the resources to give to You and to others. I am a CHEERFUL giver who loves to give because You have given to me more than I can imagine. You have given me light, life and love. Please receive my thanksgiving, praise, worship, tithe and offering this week. Bless it and multiply it so that the needs will be met and Your glorious gospel will be sent from here throughout all the earth, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

If you would like to give to our missionary ministries in the Caribbean or East Africa, you can give by texting the word “Give” to (512) 456-3421.

We have chosen to use a new Smart Giving Application called Kindrid. Kindrid Smart Giving is a new approach to giving and is a new system which makes giving more personal and easier than ever before.

Kindrid is a new entity created through the partnership of Life.Church and OneHope. Both of these  organizations care deeply about equipping the local church and para-church ministries, like ours.

Have a blessed weekend.

Robert

 

Remembering the Goodness of God

The political, educational and social spheres of our world find themselves in a season of transition. Any transition creates tension and tension has a tendency to give place to anxiety, worry and fear. Thankfully Christians have a solution. Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the sacrifice continually offered by the Altar’ed life. Thanksgiving corrects our focus. Thanksgiving opens the way into the Lord’s Presence. When we offer the fruit of our lips by giving thanks, we set the table in advance of the blessing being prepared for us.

When we offer our thanksgiving and praise we are honoring the Lord. The honor we give Him indicates the level of our admiration, respect, and esteem.  When giving honor we should bow down with more than our knees.  Let us bow our heart, our soul, and everything else that is within us.

Psalm 95:6 says, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” Take the next ten days and focus on giving thanks, praise and worship. I promise it will change your life, it has mine.

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19 KJV

Tell the Next Generation the Praiseworthy deeds of our Lord.

Let this Thanksgiving Day be a new entry point where we assist in the development of a deeper spiritual relationship between the Lord and our children and grandchildren.

Scripture Reading: Psalm 78:2-4 I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old—what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.

Thanksgiving is often brushed aside in all the frantic business of life, but it is the very attitude of giving thanks that must last beyond this week’s holiday. In the Scripture we are commanded to be thankful.  What must we do to develop and cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving? What does thanksgiving do for us and for the generations who are coming after us?

The Scripture tells us to enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise His Name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.   Psalm 100:4-5

Thanksgiving creates an atmosphere of gratefulness in our present circumstances and in our outlook on life. That outlook has a tremendous effect on our children and grandchildren. Whether it is taking extra time to give thanks at our Thanksgiving meal or asking family members to express what they are thankful for, thanksgiving should cause us to focus on:

  • HIS NAME

The Name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

  • HIS GOODNESS

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8 

  • HIS GRACE

The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Psalm 34:10

  • HIS GLORY

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. Psalm 95:2-3

The Lord wants us to be a people who continually give thanks (something we do), and become thankful (something we become). The Lord honors grateful people who are always giving thanks.  2 Thessalonians 2:13 says,  But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:7-11  

I pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday. In Jesus’ Name.

Robert