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Tag Archives: gratitude

Bless-ed! 52 Blessings Your Lost Friend Doesn’t Have . . . And What You Can Do About It! (Part 33)

I’m grateful for my friend Mike. Yes, he’s as lost as lost can be. And I’m praying earnestly for him to come to know Christ. But thinking about him has got me thinking about me. Well, not about me so much as about the many blessings I enjoy as a believer which my friend Mike does not yet enjoy.

Another blessing of which I’m becoming aware is that of a heart full of gratitude toward God for all He has done for me.  And I’m pretty sure that Mike — and my other unsaved friends —

33. THEY DON’T HAVE A HEARTFELT, GOD-DIRECTED THANKFULNESS!

I’m not saying my unsaved friends aren’t thankful people. But how much of their thanksgiving is directed toward the Lord? Apart from giving thanks at dinner, do they praise Him for life, for His mercy, for the gift of salvation? Not yet, as far as I can tell.

We live in an unthankful, entitled culture that demands its rights and expects only good things in life. But the believer is told: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thes. 5:18).

A lack of thankfulness is one characteristic of the lost person, according to Romans 1. In Paul’s diatribe against fallen man, he writes, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (v. 21) 2 Timothy 3:2 says, “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy . . .” Jesus advises His followers: “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” (Lk. 6:35)

So, how do I pray for my unsaved friend? I demonstrate by my life that I am grateful for all God’s blessings to me. And I strategically pray for my lost friend that he would recognize his thankless natural state and turn to the Lord in gratitude for salvation. (to be continued)

 

 

 

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Everyday Thanksgiving!

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings, thank you, Lord, that I can hear.  There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible, thank you, Lord, that I can see.  Many are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising, thank you Lord, that I have the strength to rise.  There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, and tempers are short, my children are so loud, thank you, Lord, for my family.  There are many who are alone.

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the pictures in magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced, thank you, Lord, for the food we have. There are so many who are hungry.

Even though the routine of my job is often monotonous, thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work.  There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest, thank you, Lord, for life.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2019 in Thanksgiving

 

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Ten Habits That Are Helping Me in My Christian Life! (Habit #3)

“Just read your Bible — and pray!” This was the advice given to me when I was first saved. And, to a large extent, that was great advice!

But the Christian life involves more than (but not less than) reading God’s Word and praying. I’m not at all sure I’ve mastered those two habits, but I’m working on them.

A third habit that really helps me is to practice a spirit of thankfulness. This might seem like an odd “discipline,” but it is certainly biblical. We read in Romans 1 that our default setting is unthankfulness:  “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” My foolish heart gets darkened when I stop being thankful.

For me this is a several-times-a-day habit. I’ll say to myself, “List five things you thank the Lord for. Right now!” It’s not all that hard to do. I’m still vertical (alive). I’ve got a great wife. I’m getting opportunities for significant ministry. We’ve been given six wonderful grandkids.  I actually have people reading my blog! You get the picture.

We glorify God with thanksgiving (Ps. 69:3). We are to “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” (Psalm 100:4). In fact, we are to overflow with thankfulness (Col. 2:7 says that we are to be “rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”) I don’t quite understand how I am to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” (I Thes. 5:18), but I believe it and I want to practice it! When it comes to joking around (which I like to do), Paul commands in Ephesians 5:4 the following: “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” And then my prayer life ought to help me with my anxiety and worry, for Scripture says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil. 4:6).

Is this a holy habit you want to cultivate?  Then I thank God for you and pray for you to take steps toward that discipline! (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2018 in holy habits

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 116)

Psalm 116Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 7.36.51 AM

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the LordScreen Shot 2015-04-26 at 7.44.00 AM
    in the land of the living.

10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
    “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
    “Everyone is a liar.”

12 What shall I return to the Lord
    for all his goodness to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
    is the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, Lord;
    I serve you just as my mother did;
    you have freed me from my chains.

17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
    and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord
    in your midst, Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord.[

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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Thanksgiving Cartoon #2: Being Thankful!

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What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? ____________________________________________

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in family prayer

 

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