February 2018 S M T W T F S « Jan 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Why is the practice of being thankful so important in your spiritual walk with Christ? The following scriptures will help you to understand the vital role of thankfulness in your life.
It is essential in your life with Christ. “It is good to give thanks to the Lord” Psalm 92:1
It is God’s will for you. “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” I Thessalonians 5:18 and Ephesians 5:20
It is a spiritual quality in your life. “Be glad in the Lord, you righteous ones; and give thanks to His holy name” Psalm 97:12
It is how you come into the presence of the Lord. “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving” Psalm 95:2
It is how the Lord is worshipped in heaven. “And all the angels were standing around the throne … and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever.” Revelation 7:11-12
It is continuous before the throne. “And the four living creatures … day and night they do not cease to say Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come… give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne” Revelation 4:8-9
It is how you call upon His name. “Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name” I Chronicles 16:8
It is how you share your requests with the Lord. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God” Philippians 4:6.
It is how Paul prayed for others. “For this reason I too … do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers” Ephesians 1:15 & 16
It is an important part of your prayer life. “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” Colossians 4:2.
It is your midnight prayer. “At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You” Psalm 119:62
It is how you are to intercede. “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men” I Timothy 2:1
It is submission to the Lord. “Willingly I will sacrifice to You, I will give thanks to Your name, O Lord, for it is good” Psalm 54:6
It was how the Jewish priests presented an offering. “Now this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which shall be presented to the Lord … if he offers it by way of thanksgiving” Leviticus 7:11 & 12
It was a chosen position before the Ark of the Covenant to minister to the Lord. “And with them were Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest who were chosen, who were designated by name, to give thanks to the Lord, because His loving kindness is everlasting” I Chronicles 16:41
It is how the chosen of God act. “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body and be thankful. 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 heart to God” Colossians 3:15-16
It is a Levi example to you. “And they are to stand every morning to thank and to praise the Lord, and likewise at evening” I Chronicles 23:30
Jesus gave thanks before He gave His life. “And when he had taken a cup and given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins” Matthew 26:27-28
Jesus gave thanks before he performed a miracle. “He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples in turn, to the multitudes” Matthew 15:36
“Jesus said to her, did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God? And so they removed the stone. And Jesus raised His eyes, and said, Father, I thank You that You have heard me” John 11:41
It is what we share. “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Colossians 1:12
It is a testimony to those around you. “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” II Corinthians 2:14
How to be thankful in hard times. Psalm 107
It is how we stay in the Lord’s presence. “Surely the righteous will give thanks to Your name; the upright will dwell in Your presence.” Psalm 14:13
It is a caution, even for believers. “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heat was darkened.” Romans 1:21
“Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”
Have you considered the importance of the words you speak to others? Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” In your daily life of plentiful information that you hear and speak, consider the “R” of your words and how you can build up others and be a benefit in your relationships.
Remember – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” Proverbs 18:21. In those times of anger or frustration it’s easy to let hurtful words come out of our mouths, words that have the potential to cause great pain and the Bible describes those words as speaking death to a person. Your words will stay in the heart and mind of the people you encounter daily, so remember to bless them with words of life instead of words of death.
Responsibility – What can you do to be more careful with your words, to keep in mind that as a believer you have a responsibility with your words? Consider this passage from Psalm 19:14 as a daily prayer “May the words of mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord.” Ask the Lord to teach you how to honor Him with your words, to remember your words are how you communicate with a Holy God.
Regard – To have regard or value for the words you speak, take into account that Matthew 15:18 says, “The things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart.” This reminds me of a computer term called input/output which is a device to transfer data to and from a computer. So you could say that what you input in your heart is going to have an output from your mouth. II Timothy 2:22 is an effective prayer to help control the desires of the heart, “Flee evil desires and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” Input = run away from wrong desires and the output = a spiritually healthy heart.
Request – Studying and reading your Bible on a daily basis is another essential aspect to build up your life with truth and the words that will come from your heart will be what Colossians 3:16 describes as, “The word of Christ richly dwelling within you.” When I have opportunities to pray with people who are going through a difficult time, I sometimes don’t know what to say to comfort them. I have found in my loss for words, it’s more important to speak or pray a word from the Bible that will give more comfort than my words. I have also discovered that as I’m faithful to be in God’s Word, He is faithful to speak His word to comfort, correct and give me direction for my life.
Repent – I’m reminded of an uncomfortable passage in Jeremiah 17:9 that tells me my heart is deceitful above all things. I daily have to ask Jesus to forgive me for the wrong thoughts, desires and ideas I hold in my heart and “create in me a clean heart” from Psalm 51 is a regular prayer in my relationship with Christ so that I have the assurance I have been washed and cleansed from my sin. As you pray and ask the Lord for healing and forgiveness, you will then have the ability to speak words of kindness, truth and love that flows from a clean heart.
Rely – You have a promise from the Word of God when you believe in Jesus and rely on Him as your Lord and Savior, “Whoever believes in Me, as scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” John 7:38. This is a promise that the Holy Spirit of truth will pour through your life and you will be filled with the Spirit of the Lord. You will have power to speak truth and have victory over your flesh and desires of heart. Your words will be a refreshing stream of water to those in your life.
“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach … the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it” Deuteronomy 30:11 & 14
It was time to move my childhood things from an old beat up box to a storage container. As I picked up the worn out box a small Bible fell to the floor and I opened the front cover and read the prayer and blessing that was spoken over my life. I was only seven when the Bible was given to me, but I remember a husband and wife that picked me up and took me to church. I have always wondered who the family was that took time to reach out to a young girl whose dad often traveled and whose mom was too ill to take her to church.
The couple was only a faint memory but as I looked at the signature on the front page of the little Bible I began to wonder if it was possible to ever find them and thank them for their kindness. I decided to call a friend at church that had the same last name and ask him if he had any family members by that name. His response was quite a shock, “I sure do, that is my parents and they had a bus ministry that picked up children and took them to church.” I began to cry and through my tears I read the words to him that his parents wrote to me over 40 years ago.
What a surprise to learn that I have been friends with the children and grandchildren of a husband and wife who sowed into my life as a young girl and gave me the opportunity to hear about Christ by taking me to church. How amazing it is that the next two generations of the Bell family continues to sow into my life with their love, prayers and friendship.
I thought of the scripture from I Corinthians 3:6 when Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” This is a reminder that as we sow into the lives of others we may not ever see the results; someone else will be used to water that life. You might only speak a thoughtful word, say a prayer, perform an act of kindness, but you will never know the eternal value your words will have in the lives of others. Paul said, “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it” (I Corinthians 3:10). Pray the Lord will give you understanding of how important you are to those around you, even in the simple ways you sow into people’s lives.
One of the meanings of RSVP is a request for a response. What response will the Lord RSVP to you when you are facing a difficult situation and pray to Him for help? Consider this RSVP from Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
R – Refuge
S – Strength
V – Very
P – Present
All the qualities the Lord wants to be for you in your time of trouble.
Do you have a storage closet in your mind that contains a box of difficult and hurtful words that were spoken to you? The words from a family member that made you feel you will never be good enough in a certain area. Or the words from a broken relationship that continues to cause pain. Maybe you have in your box the words from a job situation that said you were no longer needed or a friendship that has gone wrong.
When we experience painful words from others it leaves a wound in our heart that will continue to stay in the storage closet of the mind if we are not careful to clean it out. Is it time to clean out your closet? You might feel, “Oh that’s easy for you to say, you have no idea how much I have been hurt by words, how angry I feel or that I will never forget what was said.”
As long as you continue to store those words in your mind you will have an open door for the enemy to speak lies and condemnation to you. It will be one of the tools the enemy uses to keep you chained to the very words that were said to you and will pour into other areas of your life, other relationships and more importantly into your life with Christ.
Galatians 5:1 says, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Receive the freedom that Jesus has offered you by His life. You no longer have to be an emotional slave to the words that have hurt you or kept you in bondage. Begin by asking the Lord to heal the wound, the memory and the emotions of the hurtful words. God’s Word tells us that Christ has set us free so pray you will begin to receive and understand the freedom that is offered through Jesus.
It’s also important to forgive the person who spoke the words. This person might not be in your life any longer or you may be unable to speak to them about the hurt they caused, but you can still forgive them from your heart. Tell the Lord you want to Him to do a work in your heart and emotions to help you forgive and be set free from the pain, the words and the memories.
Don’t allow the enemy to continue to try and open the door. When the memories or the words come to mind refuse to think about them. Philippians 4:8 instructs us to think about things that are lovely, honorable and pure, that we are to dwell or focus on minds on what is true. Don’t keep going back to think about the words, but instead direct your thoughts to scripture. Concentrate on the words of life that Jesus spoke instead of the words of death from the enemy.
“… we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” II Corinthians 10:5
Sometimes the Lord has a hidden plan
That we don’t always understand
He uses hard and difficult things
To help us know Him as our King
Even when life goes up and down
Our Lord gives each of us a crown
The Bible calls it the crown of loving kindness
That gives us the daily guidance
To face our deep trials and pain
Knowing He is going to remain
By our side as we suffer
Our Father has promised His mercy will cover
Our lives with His love and healing
So take the step to do some kneeling
Pray your life be redeemed from destruction
And trust the Lord to remove the obstruction
If you are feeling upset and hard pressed
This is what I would suggest
Look to the Word in Psalm 103
To find important things you need
Healing, renewal and forgiveness
Are only a few of the riches
That have been promised from above
To those who put their trust in the Father’s love.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with loving kindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
The Lord performs righteous deeds and judgments for all who are oppressed.
The whisper of the enemy that I don’t fit in
tried to lure me back into sin.
Why do the ways of the world set my heart to beating
when I know they are only moments of pleasure that are fleeting.
Times of indulgence that calls to my heart
a fun pursuit that will spread its wings and quickly depart.
I turn to the one who knows what is best
asking to be delivered from the pleasure seeking test.
I thought my life was set on being humble
then I felt a dart aimed at my heart to cause me to stumble.
Lord, heal my heart of worldly desires
burn them out with Your refiner’s fire.
My path I have chosen to follow the God I love
where it leads I’m unsure but I trust the one above.
Lord Jesus your ways I willing choose
because nothing compares to walking with you.
“Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one”
Ephesians 6:16 (ESV)
Have you ever considered the importance of the name of Jesus? This name is so powerful that when we call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we will be saved (Romans 10:13). This name has the power to heal and to make demons flee (Acts 3:6 & Mark 5:7). When the people of Israel trusted in the name of the Lord their enemies were defeated (II Chronicles 14:11). This is the name that has the same power for your life to heal and overcome the power of the enemy. It is a name we are to praise (Psalms 113:1) a name we are to walk in (Michah 4:5) a name we live by, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” Colossians 3:17.
There is something else to consider about the name of Jesus. He tells us in John 17:11 that His name was given to Him by the Father, “Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.” Jesus’ prayer to the Father was that we would be kept in unity and relationship with the Lord based on His name. Jesus also prayed we will experience the same love He shares with the Father, “and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved me may be in them, and I in them” John 17:26.
Because this name is so significant we have a caution in scripture not to take it lightly or speak it casually without reverence. You might think OMG is a fashionable term to use with your friends, but the Word of God says, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” We are to respect the name of the Lord that has been given to us as a gift and honor the name that will keep us in a loving relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name” Psalms 29:2