Reasons for Thanksgiving

All of our reasons for thanksgiving, even when it isn’t Thanksgiving Day, are rooted in God, because He is the source of all good things:

O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting. 1 Chr. 16:34 NASB

Eternal love and kindness. That’s a great start! How about His righteousness?

I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness and will sing praises to the name of the LORD Most High. Ps. 7:17 NASB

Out of Jehovah’s righteousness comes the revelations of the right ways of living, to reach our highest and best, as well as the helpful convictions to alert us when we stray:

“He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.” Ps. 50:23 NASB

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Col. 3:16 NASB 

Do you ever consider the marvel of God’s creations that He has surrounded you with, the wonder of this universe custom-made for you?

I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. Ps. 9:1 NASB

Have you thanked Him for His protection? 

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. Ps. 28:7 NASB

Are you inspired by His faithfulness, that His word is resolute?

Your vows are binding upon me, O God; I will render thank offerings to You. Ps. 56:12 NASB

Do you jump for joy with answered prayers?

I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, and You have become my salvation. Ps. 118:21 NASB

O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; for You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness. Is. 25:1 NASB

Are you grateful for how God made you?

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. Ps. 139:14 NASB

What about the BIG one? Do you appreciate God for sending His Son for your salvation?

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus… 1 Cor. 1:4 NASB

…thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 15:57 NASB

Whatever good comes your way, (even some of the bad, if it is instructive), answer with this:

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Cor. 9:15 NASB

…in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 2 Thess. 5:18 NASB

Even in times of trouble, thank Him for His faithful help:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Phil. 4:6 NASB

Finally, let us thank God for His kingdom, and that we are invited to enter it:

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God acceptable service with reverence and awe… Heb. 12:28 NASB

I am sure that you could think of a plethora of additional things to be thankful for, (e.g. His grace). I hope that these words of God help you expand help your mindset for all that lavish divine love this Thanksgiving holiday – and beyond…

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Goodnight and God bless. 

Are You Glorifying God?

Glory (noun): high renown or honor won by notable achievements; magnificence or great beauty; the splendor and bliss of heaven; praise, worship and thanksgiving offered to a deity. 

Glory (verb): take great pride or pleasure in.

Glory (synonyms): prestige, distinction, eminence, acclaim, adoration, veneration, reverence, exaltation, grandeur, majesty, rejoice in.

Now, we have clear picture of ‘glory.’

When Moses went up to the mountain, the cloud covered it. The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. The appearance of the LORD’s glory to the Israelites was like a consuming fire on the mountaintop. Ex. 24:15 – 17. CSB

God’s glory, (Shekinah), reflects His power and Divine light. Wherever it appears, it brings with it His sacredness; and He can confer that sacredness upon a thing or a person:

“…at the doorway of the tent of meeting before the LORD, where I will meet with you, to speak with you…and it shall be consecrated by My glory. I will consecrate Aaron and his sons to minister to Me.” Ex. 29:42 – 44. NASB

However, there are conditions one must meet to have this consecration take place:

…the whole community came forward and stood before the LORD. Moses said, “This is what the LORD commanded you to do, that the glory of the LORD may appear to you.” Then Moses said to Aaron, “Approach the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering; make atonement for yourself and the people.” Lv. 9:5 – 7. CSB

…in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. He will repay each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality; but wrath and anger to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth while obeying unrighteousness. Rm. 2:5 – 8. CSB 

To be able to access God’s glory, you must make atonement for your sins. Thank God for His infinite mercy, that is in Christ who died for us, that we can have that very thing. Thus, we need to seek Jesus out and make Him the Lord of our lives and then do our best to walk the God walk.

How big is God’s glory? It’s as infinite as He is:

“…as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Nm. 14:21 NASB

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Ps. 19:1 NASB

God gave this same glory to His Son: 

“I kept looking at the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven one like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him.” Dan. 7:13, 14. NASB

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. Jn. 1:14 NASB

God is not stingy with His glory:

What is man that You thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and you crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet… Ps. 8:4 – 6. NASB

Our glory manifests as a gift from God, (as we were made in His image); and He is the whole source of it:

My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. Ps. 62:7 CSB

And it is conferred through Christ:

“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one…” Jn. 17:22 NASB

We give God glory when we find pleasure in Him, when we honor Him with worship, and when we tell of His goodness:

Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad. 1 Chr. 16:10 NASB

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him; worship the LORD in holy array. 1 Chr. 16:29 NASB

Sing the glory of His name; make His praise glorious. Ps. 66:2 NASB

Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. Ps. 96:3 NASB

We glorify God just because of who He is:

…to Your name give glory because of your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. Ps. 115:1 NASB

And we focus on that glory, even when times get tough: 

For I consider [from the standpoint of faith] that the sufferings of the present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us! Rm. 8:18 AMP

In fact, to the best of our ability, we should live our lives solely for the glory of God:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God. 1 Cor. 10:31 ESV

If we do that, God will slather us with that same glory:

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:18 NASB

God is also glorified when we glorify His Son:

…every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil. 2:11 NASB

Amen; and we must confess it to as many as possible, because those who will not accept Him have a grim ending:

…many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things, but our citizenship is in heaven… Phil. 3:18 – 20. CSB

Our ending doesn’t end…

…because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thess. 2:13, 14. NASB

Always, let us glorify God and Jesus, by letting it be the center focus of all we do. Let us find our primary pleasure in them for their magnificence and love, and everything that are fruits of that: kindness, forgiveness, mercy, salvation,and life; and kneel gratefully in awe at everything they have created for us in this universe. How mighty are our blessings! 

Glory! Glory! Glory!

Goodnight and God bless.

Giving Our Children a Better Start

The best start that we can give our kids in life is a relationship with Jesus:

…if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings new life]. 2 Cor. 5:17 AMP

However, this is happening with much less frequency these days. In order to demonstrate, I’m going to use examples of Baby Boomer parents (of which I am intimately familiar with), and their Millennial children in the USA…

Satanic attack is nothing new. It began in the Garden of Eden, and it has never let up. The devil works these aggressions out through willing human followers:

“For you are the children of the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Jn. 8:44 NLT

The big lie Satan would have you believe is that there is no God, or at the very least, that He is a liar. Jesus Himself prophesied about the future manifestations of the fruit of the devil’s actions:

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” Mt 24:11, 12. NKJV

The future has arrived

Many times, the devil works within governments (Mt. 4:8), and through their many tentacles. It is no more apparent than in the present day. Look no further than in the decades-long indoctrination by the nanny state of our children through public schooling. Our kids have been assaulted on multiple fronts, to lay waste to the foundations of morality, civility and reality.

Many of us Baby Boomers haven’t been much help either – taking a lackadaisical approach to parenting, trusting the schools to do it for us. After all, we were too busy ‘doing our own thing,’ (same as ‘You do you’ in Millennial-speak).

First, our children were taught that their history (i.e. their ancestors) were brutal, racist killers, to plant the seed of guilt regarding their lineage. Instead of teaching that the evolvement of all human beings is messy at best, ancestry has been weaponized. The guilt is used to shame them into apologizing for their bloodlines and ‘make reparations’ to the descendants of the ‘victims’ – even though both parties had no part in that long-dead history. 

God looks at this differently:

The person who sins is the one who will die. A son won’t suffer for the father’s iniquity… Eze. 18:20 CSB

To make matters worse, our children are not allowed to learn to accept others on the basis of their humanity. Instead, they are taught to group those of color as a band of victims and villainous those who pale by comparison – again for the sins of the ancestors. Thus, all become victims. Victims have no power, making them ripe for manipulation and control.

What is God’s view?

And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth… Acts 17:26 NKJV

For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the LORD of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality… Dt. 10:17 NASB

One people, all equal…

Next, these would-be teachers deny our children the truth of the sciences of anatomy and genetics. God created us, and is crystal clear on what He created and how they are to relate:

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Gn. 1:27 NASB

…a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Gn. 2:24 NASB

Marriage is to be held in honor among all [that is, regarded as something of great value], and the marriage bed undefiled [by immorality or by any sexual sin]; for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Heb. 13:4 AMP

Man, Woman, joined in matrimony and monogamous. Anything else is sown from seeds of confusion – either from something misconstrued, or forced upon them by a parent, who, without regard for the child, is trying to glorify themselves in the face of the politically correct crowd.

In fact, God condemns any deviation from His word in this regard: (Lv. 18:22, 23; Rm. 1:26, 27; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10.)

So far then, we see that our kids may suffer from not knowing who they are, where they stand, and what they are: confused, powerless, and insecure. This again, is 100% contrary to what God wants for His children:

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace… 1 Cor. 14:33 NKJV

Next, they are taught what to think, and are severely castigated if they differ from the groupthink that is darkening their ability to reason; and God forbid that they should have an opinion of their own. As a result, our children have been kept from cultivating the ability for lively discourse, to examine and exchange differing points of views.

Instead, they are morbidly fearful of their fragile belief’s disintegration in the face of new ideas, regardless of their virtues. Insecure in their convictions, they have been taught that anything that conflicts with their indoctrinations, is tantamount to assault. And so, they strike out in verbal and physical response, (many times before the new ideas can be presented), playing out the very violence they condemn others of propagating. 

In doing so, they are impotently trying to destroy free speech, (one of the very things that make this country so great). 

There are dark forces at work:

Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. 1 Pt. 5:8 AMP

There is an agenda being played out that is reaching for the minds of everyone – parents included, and its global. It’s all about controlling the masses, by creating a dependency in the people upon those who rule over them. It’s about power and the continual proliferation of it. 

Once again, this is in stark contrast to what God intended for all of us. He gave us free will so that we could make choices in this life – so much so, that He even opens the door for our complaints if we don’t think life is working out the way we think it should:

“I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak to the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God, Do not condemn me; let me know why you contend against me.” Job 10:1, 2. ESV

This agenda plays right into the ‘climate change’ scare, which is being used to frighten our children into thinking that they have no future. Are there human-induced dangers to our planet that need to be addressed? Most certainly. Will the earth be uninhabitable in ten years? Absolutely not. God’s got a plan for this earth, and He’s not going to let humankind mess it up. 

It’s all about mind control. 

Finally, if our children are rigid in their thinking, their ability to communicate and relate to others will be fragmented at best. Add to that the invasion of the internet and smartphones, with their rewards of instant gratification: and what we are seeing is increasing social isolation. And so, the final product is a child who is totally focused upon self, which too, is proscribed by God:

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Phil. 2:3, 4. NASB

So, what as parents are we to do? The first thing is to not make them wrong. That is already their greatest fear. All they will do is throw up walls of defense and take a stand for their misguided convictions. Human nature. 

Here is the big message that we want to relate:

IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU’VE DONE, WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE, HOW CONTRARY TO GOD YOUR WAYS MIGHT BE, GOD LOVES YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. HE WANTS YOU TO BE IN HIS HOUSE (church). HE WANTS TO BRING YOU TO JESUS, SO THAT YOU CAN SPEND AN ETERNITY OF PEACE AND LOVE AND PROTECTION WITH HIM!!!

That’s it. Make the case for Jesus:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” Jn. 3:16, 17. NKJV

“I am the Door; anyone who enters through Me will be saved [and will live forever], and will go in and out [freely], and find pasture (spiritual security). The thief only comes in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His [own] life for the sheep.” Jn. 10:9 – 11. AMP

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Pt. 1:3 – 5. ESV

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Mt. 11:28-30. NASB

“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jn. 1:29 NASB

We can do nothing without Jesus (Jn. 15:5). Do whatever you need to do, to get them introduced to Him. The conversation that they have with Jesus, will be between them. I’m guessing it will be a good one…

Goodnight and God bless. 

God Wants You to be Joyful

Perhaps you can be happy at the same time. You can be happy when God nudges you back onto the right path when you have digressed:

“See how happy is the person whom God corrects; so do not reject the discipline of the Almighty.” Job 5:17 CSB

You might be happy when you have great wealth; yet it avails you nothing if you don’t have a relationship with God:

Be not afraid when [an ungodly] man becomes rich, when the wealth and glory of his house are increased; for when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not descend after him. Though while he lives and counts himself happy and prosperous – and though people praise you when you do well for yourself – he shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never again see the light. A man who lacks [spiritual] understanding and a teachable heart, is like the beasts that perish. Ps. 49:15 – 20. AMP

Conceivably, you could be happy because you have children:

Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them… Ps. 127:5 NKJV

The accumulation of godly wisdom can also confer happiness upon you, because you will be able to navigate this life far better – bypassing many of its pitfalls: 

Happy [blessed, considered fortunate, to be admired] is the man who finds [skillful and godly] wisdom, and the man who gains understanding and insights [learning from God’s word and life’s experiences], for wisdom’s profit is better than the profit of silver… Pr. 3:13, 14. AMP

However, there is a common theme here with regards to happiness; that is, you must ‘do this’ or ‘have that’ to attain it. It suggests then that happiness is transitory, which we can attest to in our own experiences of the ups and downs of life. That is not what God wants for you. 

He wants you to be continually filled with an ever-enduring ‘joy’ (delight, great pleasure, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, glee, exhilaration, exuberance, elation, bliss, rapture, etc.) It is a far more elevated form of happiness – taken to its greatest heights and depths. 

Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit:

…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control… Gal. 5:22, 23. NASB

And so, if it is from the Spirit, then joy is found in God:

“All my springs of joy are in You.” Ps. 87:7 NASB

…the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him, strength and joy are in His place. 1 Chr. 16:26, 27. NASB

You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures. Ps. 16:11 CSB

Note that His joy is eternal; and all of His creations reflect that joy:

Let the sea roar, and all it contains; let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the LORD; for He is coming to judge the earth. O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting. 1 Chr. 16:32 – 34. NASB

So, in like kind, we, made in His image, are to absorb His joy, and reflect it outward at all times – especially in our relationship with Him:

…let all who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice, let them ever sing for joy; because You cover and shelter them, let those who love Your name be joyful and exult in You. Ps. 5:11 AMP

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Phil. 4:4 NKJV

This is not a request. It is a continual command to find our joy in God, and nowhere else:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 Jn. 2:15 NKJV

Jesus made the same point:

“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God] – he cannot be My disciple.” Lk. 14:26 AMP

So, if we look for our joy elsewhere, we are in fact being disobedient; and there is always a price to pay for sin:

“Because you did not serve the LORD your God with a heart full of joy and gladness for the abundance of all things [with which He blessed you], you will therefore serve your enemies whom the LORD sends against you, in hunger and in thirst, in nakedness and in lack of all things…” Dt. 28:47, 48. AMP

This is not punishment per se; it’s a warning, because God loves you so much, He wants to spare your life from the total destruction that is the fruit of looking for your joy in the world. Let’s take a look then at His joy and the associated benefits thereof:

Then he will pray to God, and He will accept him, that he may see His face with joy, and He may restore His righteousness to man. Job 33:26 NASB

The joy of God is redemptive. He restores those who seek their joy in Him, to their right-standing with Him. And we all, ever since the fall of Adam and Eve who perverted this relationship, have to make this journey.

For You make him most blessed forever; You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence. Ps. 21:6 NASB

We are most blessed with joy, when we are in the presence of the Lord. 

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and upon the lyre I shall praise You O God, my God. Ps. 43:4 NASB

For You have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. Ps. 63:7 NASB

Our joy comes when we glorify our Father. That glorification and joy is manifested when we serve Him. It positions us in His righteousness:

The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, but is terror to the workers of iniquity. Pr. 21:15 NASB

Also, if joy is found in the presence of God, by default, it’s also found in His word:

“When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies.” Jer. 15:16 NLT

Joy is also facilitated by His Son:

“…I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you…ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” Jn. 16:23, 24. NASB

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Rm. 5:1, 2. CSB

Who doesn’t want you to have joy? The devil himself. He will try to take it away from you, by leading you to places where you sin and suffer. And he will succeed from time to time. We must cling to our God, to restore our joy – even in the midst of suffering:

…for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. Phil. 4:11 NASB

“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven in great…” Mt. 5:11, 12. NASB

…to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 1 Pt. 4:12, 13. NASB

We don’t let the evil one knock us down and keep us the world:

…rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer… Rm. 12:12 NASB

…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Rm. 14:17 NASB

I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction. 2 Cor. 7:4 NASB

Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials… Jas. 1:2 CSB

How can we have such faith, to be able to steep in joy, regardless of our circumstances?

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]. Rm. 8:37 AMP

HAPPY! HAPPY! JOY! JOY!

Goodnight and God bless.