Monday, November 17, 2014

Saturday 11/15 Give thanks to the Lord

1 Timothy 1:12 "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service."

I like how Paul begins this section of 1 Timothy with the simple words: "I thank Christ Jesus". Too often we as God's people don't take the time to thank the Lord. Today's post aims to see how major figures in the Bible thanked the Lord. 

1. Jacob gave thanks the Lord. 
Genesis 32:10 "I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all thef aithfulness which You have shown to Your servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies."

Jacob had to flee for his life from his brother Esau for stealing his blessing. Twenty years had passed and Jacob was on the eve of meeting up with his brother again. God had been certainly good to Jacob in a way far more than he deserved. But in reality, cannot the same be said of us as Christians living in the 21st century. It is not until we are forced to slow down and reflect that we can look back and see all the good things God has done, even when circumstances were less than desirable.

2. King Solomon gave thanks the Lord.
1 Kings 8:56 “Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel,according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant."

King Solomon is recognizing God's faithfulness to his people, stretching all the way back to 480 years during the days of Moses. God's character and faithfulness are the lenses that enable us to see numerous reasons to thank the Lord. Solomon's statement of "not one Word of the Lord has failed" is one of the strongest affirmations in the Bible about the infallibility of scripture. To know that no one word of the Lord can ever fail is great cause for giving thanks to Him.

3. The Psalms gave thanks to the Lord
Psalm 136:1 "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,For His lovingkindness is everlasting."

This Psalm has to be among the most saturated Psalms that deals with the subject of giving thanks to the Lord. The entirety of redemptive history is rehearsed, with near continuous cries of thanksgiving to God for His provision, power and protection of His people. Should you and I not give thanks to the Lord for all those times he has demonstrated his power, protected us and provided?

4. Jesus gave thanks to the Lord. 
Luke 10:21 "At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight."

None give us a finer example of being thankful to the Lord than the Lord Himself - Jesus Christ. Jesus thanked the Lord for the illumination that was being experienced by His audience. We ought to give thanks to the Lord for those moments where clarity is obtained and where we see growth in our lives or in the lives of others. Certainly without the grace of God at work in the human heart, no one could believe nor understand the things of God. We have so much to be thankful for in this day and age. 

5. Paul gave thanks to the Lord
As we saw in the opening verse above in today's post, Paul was thanking the Lord Jesus Christ for calling him to the ministry and for the blessings bestowed upon him in salvation. As Paul wrote to Timothy and the church at Ephesus in this epistle, he was reminding them that our Christian lives and church lives ought to be constantly attended with thanksgiving to God.

Will you and I give thanks to the Lord?
So what about you and me? Are we giving thanks to the Lord? We ought. God has so blessed us in far more ways than we can think or imagine. Thank the Lord for the small things as well as the big things. Thank Him for the people in your lives - including those who rub you the wrong way. Why? They are heavenly sandpaper ordained by God to rid you and me of anything that is not likened unto Jesus Christ. Thank the Lord for His Word, prayer and even the fact we live in a free country. Most of all - thank the Lord for Himself. Give thanks to the Lord!

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