Psalm 50:14-15 (NLT)
Take thankfulness your sacrifice to God and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Then call on me when you are in trouble and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.
Thankfulness is a product of satisfaction. You cannot be thankful if you are not content. How can one be content in the world today with all the attention placed on having it all and getting your fair share out of life? Marketers grab our attention in the media with luring ads and enticing offerings to never be satisfied but remain firmly embedded in a society based on supply and demand driven by greed and now lust. I imagine that the fast food chain selling those burgers does not include the scantily clad model who was licking the burger. I also would be willing to bet the young lady is a vegetarian who opposes the slaughter of animals and has a strict caloric intake that does not allow over 900 fat grams in just one bite so it was written that she would under no circumstances eat it during the shoot. However, some national food chains to the absolute glee of many young men have employed supermodels to sell a $2.99 burger for them. You will never find thankfulness in the world we live in because it is a society based on more. So where is contentment and satisfaction to be found so that we as Children of God will be thank full? It is important to find it. We must live to have it. The words of the psalmist give us insight as it is a sacrifice. As we keep our vows to the Lord and offer thankfulness, we are given the privilege of walking in the Glory of God. The natural outcomes of this life turn into supernatural opportunities. Satisfaction can only be found in the Lord. Contentment is a byproduct of faith. It cannot be seen or felt. It is a heart decision based on confident hope. We must strive to find it so our offerings to God are acceptable and will gain us access into His Presence. Why? EVERYTHING we need is found in that place!
Ephesians 5:1-5 (NLT)
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
Imitate God in everything you do. Why? Because you are His Children. Live a life filled with love. Why? Because it is the example of Jesus Christ. Our life should offer the pleasing aroma of sacrifice to God. What is the sacrifice He is asking for? Thankfulness. Why not anything else? Why can’t I do something for all that God has done for me? Why can’t I work out my salvation on my own and find my own way to God? It is finished. When God wrote His Plan for your life it was definitive. The only thing that you had to do to have it was accept the Gift of Salvation and follow Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ completed the work of the Cross on His Own with no help from you. He didn’t need it. The world has created a bunch of do-it-yourselfers that are bent on finding some other way to impress God rather than doing it His Way. Nothing offends Him more than doubt and fear that He is not able to do what He promised. He hates that so many people think that God is a liar. Anytime we try to add to or take away from His Word, Will or Way implies that we doubt the Lord in some way! We are not thankful for what the Lord has done because we do not believe that He has done it enough to separate from the world and tap into the Kingdom of God. What if Heaven is not real? My life is wasted. What if God is nothing more than another manmade idea? Great, I have lost everything. The problem is that because we never invest any time and effort in securing our faith in the Kingdom of God, we do not live what we believe. Our failure to imitate God causes us to miss out on satisfaction and contentment that produces more faith, joy and peace in our life. So we blame God for our trust issues and inability to commit. Those who decide to imitate God and fully accept His Calling as Children of God will be thankful. Faith that becomes confident hope will produce an abundance of thankfulness but only for those devoted to being His People.
Hebrews 11:1 (Amplified)
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. (Hebrews 11:1, Message) Faith is the title deed of a life that is coming but not here yet. It is proof of what we do not see and tells us that it is real and forthcoming. The power of faith allows us to live for Eternity today even though it is totally contradictory to the world’s way. Faith is to be used to build a relationship with God for the future not to change your circumstances today. As one might soon discover faith does not always change the outcomes that we think it should. It is all about hope which is why thankfulness is sometimes a sacrifice. I am thankful naturally for everything that the Lord has done for me in the past. Those things I can see and relate to others. But now it is time to use my faith and hope to be thank full for those things in the future beginning with today that I cannot see. I must use the confidence found by faith that builds a bond of hope that allows me to trust the Lord even though I cannot see what He is doing. My faith is fortified by His Word and secured by confident hope that keeps me imitating God and following Jesus Christ even when all hell is breaking loose in my life.
Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT)
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
True thankfulness that remains in good times and no-so-good times is evidence of faith. Faith will grow in the Truth (the Word) that is planted in one’s heart through a thriving relationship with the Lord. It allows us to know what to do and what to believe when things are amiss. I know my husband. I know how he thinks and what he does that allows me to know when something is wrong or if something is just not right. It is because we have a long term committed relationship. It alerts me if there is something going on that needs my attention. People call on God like a repairman and page Jesus like a doctor. We do not have personal relationships with these people. We pay them for a service. But if my dad can fix the sink, he will do it for me because he loves me and wants to help me. He does not charge me a fee. Our daughter got an oil change in her car the other day. The serviceman said that she needed an air filter and an ungodly cost for a $3.00 part. She declined and told him, “That’s okay, my dad will do it!” She knows and has confidence that her father will take care of it. She did not have to call and ask or worry about it. She came home and told her dad what she needed knowing that he would do it. She has a relationship with her dad that is personal. She knows that he loves her and would do anything in his power to take care of her. We must stop have purely professional and platonic relationships with God (our Father) and Jesus (our Savior). We must develop in intimate relationship with the Lover of our Soul. Desire and passion is well-placed in pursing the Lord. He will take care of every detail in our life. But too many are afraid to call on Him afraid of the price. It is your life…all of it. You must choose to be His Child and continue to follow Him. As you do, your roots will grow deep into a foundation of faith that will allow thankfulness to overflow in your life.
Hebrews 12:12-15 (NLT)
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
It is time to get a grip and strengthen our weak knees. You have every reason to praise the Lord and He is ready to communicate on a deeper more personal level with you. You can come to the Lord just as you are by His Grace. Here is a word of warning: watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grow up to trouble you. Unforgiveness is probably the largest root choking the Body of Christ today. Spend about ten minutes watching every single channel on television and you will find drama. The world loves it and thrives on it so much that reality TV is at an all-time high. Without drama, people call shows boring and ratings fall. There must be opposition and a side to choose to make it inviting. The Body of Christ has given such entertainment a place in their life and emulate it every day. This world has nothing for you. You have no enemies other than satan. You are called to love your enemies because you have everything you need in life and people cannot add to it or take anything away. Your inheritance is secure in Christ unless you choose to become rooted in bitterness in constant opposition with those you are called to love. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. You were not created to be them. You have a purpose and plan with future and hope designed to perfection for YOU! The Grace of God cannot hack that bitter root – you have to and put it on the altar for His Grace to set you free. You must allow deep roots of faith to hold you firmly in place now that you have been set free from the bondage of fear and lack. God loves you! He loves your co-worker, ex-spouse and greatest enemies. You are called by Grace through Faith to love and forgive them too. If not, you will never be satisfied or content. You will never be thank full!
I Thessalonians 5:14-22 (NLT)
Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.
The Christian life is simple. We must stop overcomplicating it and watering it down. Jesus Christ is the Way. His Word tells us exactly what to do. Faith allows us to “stop being lazy, encourage others, care for the weak, be patient with others, seek no revenge, do good for each other (including everyone), always be joyful, never stop praying, and be thankful in ALL circumstances. This is God’s Will for your life. It gets no plainer than that. Anything less will stifle the Holy Spirit and limit the power and potential of God in your life because your fear has allowed doubt to overtake your faith. Anything is possible for those who believe. But your attitude and actions are an intricate part of walking in the Glory of God otherwise it would not imply activity. We walk in the Glory of God which means we are to do something with it. Reference back to the verse. This is how you walk in the Glory of God. We must stay away from every kind of evil to remain in the Righteousness of God allowed by the Grace of Jesus Christ. There are not just seven deadly sins do not be confused. The deeper our personal relationship with Jesus Christ becomes we go on high alert to remove those things that get in the way especially sin! Living for Jesus is simple. You just have to do it!
Colossians 4:2 (NLT) Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
It is time for our mind to be on high alert. We must devote our heart and mind to thankfulness. We must build a deeper more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ to develop confident hope. This is so very important. See God is about to shake the earth once again. I believe it is already beginning. “When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also. This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.” (Hebrews 12:26-29) Only those with unshakeable faith and immovable hope will make it to the end. Anything less will cause you to fall away when all hell breaks loose on the earth. Are you alert? Are you ready? Thankfulness is the overflow of faith and confident hope from a secure soul and satisfied heart. To be alert is full aware and attentive. Wide-awake. To have an attitude of readiness or caution. Alertness is for the unseen. It is necessary as we wait on our hope to arrive. Jesus warned believers to keep alert at all times. (Luke 21:33-36) His Word will never disappear even when the world does. It must be our anchor that keeps us secure when everything begins shaking. Faith holds firm in such a foundation as His Spirit produces confident hope that helps us hold it all together when we cannot “see” a thing. Complacency must go. (Ephesians 6:17-18) Compromise must end. (I Thessalonians 5:5-6) Conflict is coming as the enemy approaches. (I Peter 5:7-9) Will we be ready? Only when devoted to persistent prayer with an alert mind and thankful heart attached to the Father by Jesus with deep faith and confident hope. It’s just that simple!
Colossians 3:12-17 (NLT)
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
God loves you! I mean He really loves you! You have not and will never experience any other love as great as the affection and devotion that the Lord has for you. By accepting God’s Love, we have accepted His Mercy, Kindness, Humility, Gentleness, and Patience as we are transformed by the renewing our mind and restoration of our life as His Children. We are completely released from needing anything or anyone in this world. We are now free to love like God does because we are satisfied and complete lacking no good thing. If you do not feel this way, then it is time to spend some time getting to know just how much God loves you! You will be surprised, blown away and completely overtaken if you are willing to let this world go and accept His Love completely. We can live at peace in this world because our expectation if fully and completely in the hope that is to come. We want nothing more than the Love of God found through Jesus Christ. Now we can be thank full…because we have it all!
Philippians 3:8 (NLT)
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.