Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giving Thanks Oughta Be An All-year Thang - It's Never Been A Time-waster For Any!

I don't know about you, but these days I've kinda gotten to a point in my life where I just don't want to burn the clock on things that aren't what's right or worth it. 

Kurt, are you like sayin' that you never get sidetracked anymore by time-suck projects etc? 

Not really, don't think so. I do still miss it, but more than ever before I just hate to waste hours on what's lame and worthless. How 'bout you? 

If a book doesn't tightly grasp 'hold of me by the lapels and just pull me in with "what's really so" ..within say fifteen minutes.. then I just quickly set it down and pick up a better Book.

I'm now fairly quick about up n politely excusin' myself and then basically ditchin' a restaurant when I find out it only offers Cajun crayfish with french fries ..no matter how cool or trendy the ambiance or music is.. when I was aimin' to take Liney out for some juicy surf (lobster) n turf that the establishment had clearly advertised. Okay I'm a bit Western World spoiled, admit it, but she deserves far better cuz she is better..for sure more deserving. 

I'd tell my three boys.. If at any point along the way you're not on the right path, don't deny, admit it and quit it. Quickly see it for what it is and just bail on over to the right Path ..without wasting any more of your limited time wanderin' in vain.

Don't settle for second best even if others are doin' that, and you also really feel tempted to do that... especially when God is tellin' ya to: Wait, I've got better for you. Let's, from the heart, give sincere thanks all year long.. when things are goin' good and even when things are goin' otherwise.. yup, "in" when it can't be "for." 

Sure, we officially pause annually on a Thursday to give thanks upwards to the Lord. Why on Thursday? Well, because Congress officially declared the holiday would be on the 4th Thursday of the month and that's why the actual date changes. 

Thanksgiving is so American..or at least it used to be and should be again. Let's opt to revive it! But doesn't Christ deserve more than a mere thumbs up LIKE, or a quick nod of acknowledgement before a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixin's on one day per year? Sure, He does. And it's so important for believers to consistently display and express genuine gratitude to God all year.. and also to people who need to hear it from us. 
Of all people shouldn't we be the first ones to cultivate an attitude of gratitude? It's simply a good witness (It's one way that we born again believers can really shine and properly represent the Lord to others who are in the dark and don't yet have a relationship with Him). Who wants to hangout with or become like a gripey sourpuss? Who would want the God that such an ungrateful person is allegedly serving? The Bible tells believers, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 nkjv

Question for ya: Did you know that our holiday celebration - Thanksgiving - actually has an Old Testament precedent?

It certainly does. The Israelites way back in the day offered pure worship to the only God existing through a series of five different offerings: 1.) The burnt offering, 2.) The grain offering, 3.) The peace offering, 4.) The sin offering, and 5.) The trespass offering. 

And guess what.. the last two were compulsory; y'all (if you were a Jew back then) had to do those. 

But the first three were totally voluntary; you did them only if you really wanted to. And so those three types of offerings were important to God; He called them "a sweet-smelling aroma to the Lord."

The meaning of the burnt offering was the full consecration of one's self or person to God, and the grain offering was all about the dedication level of one's service as unto God.

The peace offering is my very favorite of em all; it's the celebration of true salvation. Like our Thanksgiving holiday, the people gathered together to rejoice and share a meal with fellowship. They brought a portion of it as a sacrifice, and a portion of it went to the priest. The rest of it they took with them home, they cooked it up, and then had friends and family members over to their homes to thank the Lord for what He had done for them.

Why be a grumbler, a murmurer, or a complainer when you can be grateful? The world is full of negative thinkers, but it's ain't yet full of those who gladly give thanks to God. Let's be child-like and learn to count our blessings even reciting them in prayer and at other times. Let's make it a habit of life, a normal practice to give thanks. 

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever" (Psalm 107:1 niv). 

"O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods" (Psalm 95:1-6).

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations" (Psalm 100 kjv).

Listen, the greatest thing among other good things that we have to be thankful for is Jesus Christ and all that He said and what He did for us in shedding His blood on the Cross at Calvary ..for our sins. All of history is His story and pivots on that great Event. We've all blown it here, but God came here to pay for all that and we just need to sincerely repent and receive Him by faith. We do this here, and right now is a really good time to get right.. before we get left. 

By the way, the peace offering that we celebrate once a year ..I mean this Thanksgiving feast.. we enjoy, should primarily be centered on gratitude expressed for our great salvation. Check yourself; has this happened with you

Living right, in harmony with God through faith in Christ due to His forgiveness... enjoying His superior peace, strong J-O-Y, overflowing love, sweet fellowship, and richly satisfying spiritual rest inside ..is so much better than anything that we could gain on our own. The world can't satisfy. You on our own can't. Good works won't get it but Jesus gained it for us on His lonely Cross. 

"A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues." Cicero

"We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction."  ~ Harry Ironside

"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many--not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." Charles Dickens
Down here we preach Christ not ourselves, we pray to the Father through Him with thanksgiving, and we all-out praise Him, but in heaven we believers won't preach or witness any more. Nope. Won't need to there. Others need us to here now, but there'll be none left to win. 
Please make your reservations in advance. Don't put it off. Today is the day.   
The writer of Hebrews says, "Therefore, since we are receiving a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe" (Hebrews 12:28, niv). You won't have a better Thanksgiving without this...without putting Him first. Go tell.  facebook.com/shareJesus
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