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Give Thanks!

(John 3:16) “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

In this season of thanksgiving take a moment and examine your relationship with God. Let us begin with this passage. In Luke 17:11-19 we are told about ten men with leprosy. As Jesus traveled by, they cried out “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” Having mercy on them Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priests. They were not healed until their faith moved their feet and they started walking to the priests. They were healed on the way. Only one came back and praised Him and gave Him thanks. Isn’t that extremely sad? Yet, in one way or another we all do that; we come before Him with all of our needs. Do you ever stop to think that God needs to be appreciated and loved? In Genesis 1:26 He says, “Let us make man in our image.” We were made in the image of God with the emotions that He has and as we need to be appreciated, so does God.

So, examine your ways; are you truly thankful for Jesus and all that He went through for you? Do you ever just take a moment to just thank Him and love on Him; to let Him know that His sacrifice alone whether you ever receive anything you are praying for or not is still worthy of all your praise? (Isaiah 52:14) “Just as there were many who were appalled at Him—His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and His form marred beyond human likeness.”

Jesus was beaten so bad His face was unrecognizable, He was spit on, ridiculed and He carried a heavy cross; the one He was nailed to for us. It was not just heavy due to its own size and weight but due to the weight of our sins; the sins of the world. I myself, have to repent. I get caught up and the whirlwind of problems going on in my life and do not praise Him enough for just being Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Because of God we have life; give Him thanks and praise. Because of God we have an eternal home in heaven; give Him thanks and praise. Life is not about how we live here on earth, but instead it is about here on earth how we are preparing for our eternal life afterwards. Because of God we have a roof over our heads; we have clean water to drink and food to eat. Give Him praise. Because of God we are still alive; that means we still have time to make a difference. (Isaiah 58:6-7) “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away your own flesh and blood?”

Is this the way you live your life? This is in fact showing Jesus that you love Him. He says in (John 13:15) “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” He laid down His life for us; He put us first. Do you do that for others? (Philippians 2:3-4) “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Are you living this way or are you just concerned with your own agenda? Is your agenda yours for your own personal good or is it for the good of those in need? Are you reaching out to others; others outside our church walls; the ones that sadly enough may have never heard of the name Jesus? The great commission is not to take care of self, family and church. No! It is to take as many people we can with us to our eternal home in heaven. Jesus met the people where they were; He gave them what they wanted before He gave them what they needed; a Messiah. He fed them and then taught them. He healed them and then they saw Him. Is your agenda truly for God or is it yours? Do you show the love of God unselfishly to those in your everyday life even those who have unlovable qualities, so the “Jesus” in you can be displayed and plant a seed in their hearts? God did that for us. (Romans 5:8) “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we still sinners, Christ died for us.” He did not wait for us to clean ourselves up before He loved us; “He loved us first.” Do you give Him thanks for being who He is? Do you ever take time to just spend with Him without giving Him a grocery list of wants and needs? Do you praise Him for being God Almighty, Creator, Messiah, Savior, Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God and Prince of Peace?

Give Him thanks and praise for He is worthy! Give Him thanks, (Psalm 136:23-26) “to the One who remembered us in our low estate, His love endures forever and freed us from our enemies, His love endures forever and who gives food to every creature. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven, His love endures forever.”

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