Praise God!

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area. Glad to have my parents with me today. Here my mother and I are at the Pier in St.Petersburg.

I just wanted to share some thoughts from the devotional book “Amazing Grace” by Ellen White as we celebrate Thanksgiving day.

     I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel. Isaiah 63:7. 
     When a sense of the loving-kindness of God is constantly refreshing the soul, it will be revealed in the countenance by an expression of peace and joy. It will be manifest in the words and works. And the generous, holy Spirit of Christ, working upon the heart, will yield in the life a converting influence upon others. . . .  {AG 325.2} 
     Have we not reason to talk of God’s goodness and to tell of His power? When friends are kind to us we esteem it a privilege to thank them for their kindness. How much more should we count it a joy to return thanks to the Friend who has given us every good and perfect gift. Then let us, in every church, cultivate thanksgiving to God. Let us educate our lips to praise God in the family circle. . . . Let our gifts and offerings declare our gratitude for the favors we daily receive. In everything we should show forth the joy of the Lord. . . .  {AG 325.3} 
     David declares, “I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live” (Psalm 116:1, 2). God’s goodness in hearing and answering prayer places us under heavy obligation to express our thanksgiving for the favors bestowed upon us. We should praise God much more than we do. The blessings received in answer to prayer should be promptly acknowledged. . . .  {AG 325.4}
     We grieve the Spirit of Christ by our complaints and murmurings and repinings. We should not dishonor God by the mournful relation of trials that appear grievous. All trials that are received as educators will produce joy. The whole religious life will be uplifting, elevating, ennobling, fragrant with good words and works.  {AG 325.5} 
     Let the peace of God reign in your soul. Then you will have strength to bear all suffering, and you will rejoice that you have grace to endure. Praise the Lord; talk of His goodness; tell of His power. Sweeten the atmosphere that surrounds your soul. . . . Praise with heart and soul and voice, Him who is the health of your countenance, your Saviour, and your God.

Thanksgiving and Faith

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I am writing again today from the beautiful Tampa Bay Area.

And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.  Luke 7:50

 

Jesus told the woman who had given the fragrant perfume that her faith had saved her. That faith was more than an intellectual knowledge that Jesus existed. It was even more than just believing He was going to die for her. The woman understood that Jesus was going to die for her so since He was giving all of Himself for her, she decided to show her appreciation by giving all of herself to him. That bottle of perfume cost her everything. But after Jesus gave all she could not hold anything back. She had to show her appreciation. Her faith was more than a belief it was an appreciation that worked itself out in sacrificial giving. At the tomb on Sunday morning fear kept the disciples away, but this woman’s appreciation was so strong it could not hold her back. Her thankfulness and appreciation is what gave her faith the power to reflect Christ in her own life.

 

Thankfulness and appreciation is what gives faith its power to help us overcome and live a Christian life.  A hope of reward cannot give our faith power and neither can the fear of punishment empower our faith. Reward and fear are legalistic motivational factors that always fail. Yet we see in the life of the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet and in countless others that thankfulness and appreciation produce a faith that overcomes the world.

 

And it was appreciated by Christ. Back in Christ’s time people did not take baths all the time like we do, so they put on potent perfume to help them not smell so bad. The scent could last for days and with this woman emptying the whole bottle on Jesus, He carried the scent of this perfume to the cross a few days later. While people mocked Him on the cross and ridiculed Him He was tempted to believe His great sacrifice was all for nothing. Then He would press his feet into those cruel spikes to lift himself so He could grasp for air and would take in the aroma of the perfume and remembered that someone did indeed appreciate His sacrifice. True appreciation is not expressed with words only, but even more so in the life. This is true appreciation, thankfulness and faith. There are many kinds of faith and levels of faith, but appreciation and thankfulness are the substance of the only faith that saves.

 

This thanksgiving season I have much again to be thankful for. No hurricanes hit us this summer. With a depressed economy I still have a job and a home. I have good friends who always look out for me. I have my family and still have my parents who just celebrated their 50th anniversary.

 

 

 

 

 But most of all Jesus died for me and loves me. One day a hurricane could very well hit Tampa. My apartment and job could be washed away in a flash. My family and friends could one day be gone too. Still I will continue to be thankful to the One who owes me nothing but has given me everything. Above all Lord, help us to be thankful for your great love and sacrifice.

 

So, please comment and let me know what you are thankful for this season.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Your Christian Servant,

 

William 

Please also visit my website In Light Of the Cross.