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Posts Tagged ‘emotion’

Gratitude and Thankfulness

November 22nd, 2017

Thanksgiving is the language of gratitude.

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving.” Psalm 95:2 NKJV.

My thoughts and comments today are about,

“Gratitude and Thankfulness”

Thanksgiving is the language of gratitude. God loves a grateful, thankful heart. I think those two words of similar meaning can be distinguished in this way. Gratitude is a noble attitude just as thankfulness is a worthy practice. Gratitude is the emotion experienced. Thankfulness is that emotion expressed. The covert emotion of gratitude is tangibly expressed in the simplicity of overt thankfulness. Stated more simply, gratitude displays its joyful heart with a thankful lifestyle. Gratitude is so much more than an emotion of a moment. Thanksgiving is the lifestyle of expressing sincere and heartfelt gratitude to God and others.

Why would we not be thankful? Paul’s question to the Christians at Corinth is relevant, “Who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” 1 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV. Boasting in what you have denies the charity of the gift from God and your responsibility to reflect the same to others. Humility, thankfulness, and generosity are always very much in order.

As each new day dawns, your God offers the abounding blessings of a new beginning, an amazing grace, a true forgiveness, an uplifting encouragement, a fresh hope, a strong faith, a real joy, and more than adequate strength to successfully meet whatever challenge the day requires. “As your day, so shall your strength be.” Deuteronomy 33:25 NKJV. I have long found strength and encouragement by the promise within that remarkable verse. His strength to you is in proportion to what the day requires of you.

This week in our nation, we celebrate a day of Thanksgiving. For many that day will be little more than a festive holiday, a day for family and friends to gather for a holiday meal, with side dishes and desserts of every description. But such a day should also be a thankful remembrance of the faithfulness of God, the fellowship of family and friends, and your gratitude for God’s providence throughout the year behind and ahead. We have so much for which to be thankful and His invitation to experience more. Read Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV.

Solomon wisely observed, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV. There is no end to God’s mercies, no limit to His grace, and no measure of His goodness. Therefore, “Continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7 NIV. Overflowing with thankfulness!

This season of Thanksgiving, look past your present struggles or previous challenges, whatever they have been or may be at the moment. Decide with the Psalmist David, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1 NKJV. Praise always wins. In praise and blessing, you see the full brilliance of His grace, the abounding nature of His love, the generous supply of His daily provision, and your privilege to respond with thanksgiving to God. Read Psalm 95:2-3 NKJV. “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 NIV.

You will discover that you have more for which to be thankful than things about which to complain or regret. And life is best when you look past things distressing to all that is blessing. There is ample evidence of blessings that abound. Read 2 Corinthians 9:8-11 NKJV. The sincere giving of thanks is your fitting benediction for God’s goodness to you. “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV.

Today, I pray for you to make your life a resounding Amen to what God has spoken.

On a personal note:

Gayle and I wish you a Blessed Thanksgiving as you gather with family and friends to give thanks to God for His goodness and provision. We are thankful for you  and for the months or years that you ave been a part of the circle of readers of EveryDay Life. Your recommendation of EDL to your friends has helped us to reach a broadening circle of readers. And your kind emails of how God has used a specific devotional to brighten your day remains encouraging. This has been our 10th year of writing and publishing EDL. We are grateful to God for your partnership and encouragement . . . Blessings!  

Christian Communications 2017

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Giving Thanks

November 28th, 2016

Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father.”

Ephesians 5:20 NKJV.

Giving thanks is a mark of character and good manners.

My thoughts and comments today are about “giving thanks.”

Feeling thankful is merely an emotion, coming and going at your whim; in distinction, giving thanks is a deliberate choice and specific action. Giving thanks is not always easy, but it is always possible. Thanksgiving is the lifestyle of the person who recognizes and honors God as their Source.

The Psalmist wrote, “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 NIV. Never mistake that as optional; it is recognition due the Author of all that is good. It is true that, “Every good and perfect gift is from above . . from the Father.” James 1:17 NIV. Every good thing that you receive finds its source in God.

As a boy, I remember my Dad telling a story about a Godly widow who had little but took seriously Jesus’ instruction to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Each morning she would pray for God to provide for her and every evening she thanked God for His faithfulness. Her ungodly neighbor, who had neither regard for God nor her prayers, decided to dissuade her of her foolish faith. He placed a box of groceries outside her door, watching and waiting for her to discover them. As she was exuberantly thanking God for His provision, her neighbor could not resist interrupting, “God didn’t bring you those groceries; I did.” With a patient smile, she replied, “The devil may have brought them, but God is the One who sent them.”

Giving thanks is a mark of character and good manners. As Paul reminded the Christians in Corinth, “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” 1 Corinthians 4:7 NIV. Self-sufficiency is a myth. This is the plain and simple fact, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19-20 NKJV. Should you and I not rejoice and give thanks for such a promise? “Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20 NKJV. From this verse, I see several practical truths regarding the matter we are considering today. Give thanks to God. Give thanks always, without exception. Give thanks for all things, without exclusion.

There is something I have observed. Facts do not follow feelings; feeling follow facts. The fact is: God has been gracious and generous always, in all ways, and to all people. “Therefore, by Him, let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15-16 NKJV. Note the order. “The sacrifice of praise,” precedes then results in, “giving thanks to His name.” God would not leave such an elemental truth at the mercy of emotions. People wrongly assume that a person should not give thanks without feeling thankful. Knowing the releasing power of thankfulness and gratitude, the enemy of your soul will use such inaccurate reasoning to discourage then excuse you from being thankful. Many times, you may only feel thankful after you are obedient to be thankful. Feeling thankful is elusive; being thankful is obedience.

Today, I pray for you to be faithful in thankfulness to God and others for grace.

Be Thankful Always

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Communications 2016

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Why Are You Afraid?

April 27th, 2016

You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Matthew 8:26 NIV.

Fear reigns wherever faith is lacking.

My thoughts and comments today ask, “why are you afraid?”

Life is full of questions. And questions without acceptable answers are discomfiting. However, questions can be beneficial, prompting a sincere search for truth and knowledge. Sometimes, finding the right answer depends on asking the right question. As Jesus and His disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee, the disciples became frightened by a threatening storm. In fear for their lives, they awakened Jesus and He asked His disciples, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Read Matthew 8:23-27 NIV. Without understanding a question correctly, you can’t answer the question accurately.

As I read those verses, my thoughts were captured by the simplicity and specificity of Jesus’ question. Had He asked them of “what” they were afraid, their answer would have been obvious. The suddenness of the storm, the strength of the winds, the severity of the waves, and the uncertainty of their safety were legitimate cause for alarm. But Jesus asked them “why” they were afraid. They knew what they feared; they did not know why they feared. The disciples had no answer and seemed even more puzzled by Jesus’ subsequent rebuke of the winds and waves, and the immediate, resulting calm. Fear is a wasted emotion.

Rather than ask the obvious and very real origin of their fear, Jesus questioned them about the underlying reason for their fear. They were alarmed by the elements that produced their fear – the storm with its dangerous winds, threatening waves, and imminent danger. Much like you and me, the disciples were caught in circumstances they did not create amid consequences they could not control, and they panicked. Faith or fear? Fear reigns wherever faith is lacking. Fear is a wasted emotion. It changes nothing for the better. See 1 John 4:15-19 NKJV. Fear erodes faith; faith banishes fear.

On this occasion, Jesus accurately defined the disciples as having, “little faith.” Exposing their fear, Jesus addressed their insufficient faith. God does not demand more faith than you have but life will compel all the faith you have.  Disproportionate fear diminishes faith in God’s character and promises; where there is substantial, steadfast faith in God’s care and sufficiency, fears are subdued. Maybe there is a situation in your life right now that engenders difficult questions, troubling thoughts, or fearful emotions. Why are you so afraid? There are more than enough moments when life is confusing, even frightening. Be practical. Refuse your fears. Read Luke 12:22-32 NIV. Declare your faith. “If you have faith as [the smallest of seeds] . . nothing shall be impossible for you.” See Matthew 17:20-21 NKJV.

Today, I pray for you to embrace faith tenaciously and lay aside all fear willingly.

Christian Communications 2016

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