Be Thankful

2nd December

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

A new day has started and with it brings hundreds of reasons to be thankful to God. Even from the small things we take advantage of everyday, such as having warm food to eat or hot water to shower, there are always reasons to be thankful. None more so than the gift of Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son”

That is a reason to be thankful this morning. Moreover, there was nothing you did to deserve that gift. It is and was a free gift. Salvation is found in no other nam; And yes, that also was and is a free gift. His Healing: Free. His forgiveness: Free. His comfort: Free. This free gift we have received gives us reason to worship Him in thanksgiving despite our circumstances, fears and worries. David Jeremiah wisely shares his thoughts on this verse..

Note that the verse doesn’t say for everything give thanks, but in everything give thanks. In every situation in life there are reasons to give thanks, not the least of which is the truth that God uses all things for good in the lives of those who belong to Him (Romans 8:28).1

God is good and loves us. God is love. May we today be at peace in knowing He is for us and not against us. May we be thankful in and for everything in our lives. May be know how to be thankful even in hard times, because even there, God’s goodness can be found.

 

1 David Jeremiah: Daily Devotionals, Turning Point

Rejoice…Again, Rejoice

14th – 15th November

Weekend Edition

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!”

Philippians 4:4

In the past weeks we have looked at the many verses and reasons why we can worship God despite our circumstances. Yet in the same breath we could also say that there are many reasons why we can moan, be grumpy, complain and not be happy. After all we do live in a fallen world, right? Yet, the reality is this… God is still sovereign, even in the darkest times of our lives. Yes we may have many reasons to moan and grumble, and it is okay to express your hurts and frustrations to God. However, it is imperative that an attitude of praise and thanksgiving quickly replaces an attitude of complaining and moaning.

If we allow our hearts to be set on our negative emotions, then they will quickly dictate our behaviour and our attitudes towards others. That is not to say that we should suppress our problems, but rather it is saying that we are making a conscious decision not to allow a spirit of complaining and moaning to dictate our lifestyles. Rejoicing is always a decision we have to make instead of agreeing with negativity. Yes it is hard, and yes it goes against what we feel is our right when we have been hurt or aggrieved. However, if we see all that God has and will continue to do, then we can, in the power of His Holy Spirit, replace our anger with rejoicing. Moreover, we can look beyond our circumstance and rejoice IN THE LORD.

Let us remember Paul wrote this letter from prison in Rome. If he could find a reason to rejoice, then we can too! Let us give us hurts and frustrations to God and ask Him to help us replace them with a spirit and attitude of joy!

Knowing What To Rejoice In

11th August

When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to Him,”Lord even the demons obey us when we use Your Name!”….“But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in Heaven.”

Luke 10:17, 20

Jesus sent out seventy-two of His disciples on a mission trip with the aim to heal the sick, spread the message of the kingdom of God and to make more workers for His kingdom. He anointed His disciples with power and encouraged them to bring peace wherever they went, if they were accepted.

When they came back they were over joyed at experiencing victory in the Spiritual realms and realising how powerful the Name of Jesus was in casting out demons. Yet Jesus reminded them that true joy was found not in spiritual victories but in knowing their position in Heaven.

Today we can know the fullness of what Jesus did for us on the cross and the victory that was won. There is and was no greater victory. It is because of that victory that we should rejoice. We should rejoice that we are called Children of God, that we can abide in His love and that whatever comes against us, we can remain secure and unshaken because our names are written in the Book of Life. It is the knowledge of how much we are loved and valued that helps us to rejoice in-spite of our circumstances and in the midst of storms. Gaining victories through Jesus’ Name is great, yet the greatest miracle is when your name was written in the Book of Life because of the Blood of the Lamb.

Rejoice It’s Good Friday

2nd & 3rd April

 “Jesus fully realised all that was going to happen to Him, so He stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” He asked. “Jesus, the Nazarene,” they replied. “I am He”…As Jesus said “I am He,” they all drew back and feel to the ground.”

John 18:4-6 

I remember the first time I realised that Jesus died for me personally was at a communion service. I was sitting on my dad’s lap and he was explaining to me why Jesus died for me. I think I must have been around 8 years old. As soon as he had finished telling me, I started crying because I knew that I didn’t deserve someone dying for me, even at that young age. So often on Good Friday around the world we can feel that same sadness because an innocent Man had to die to pay for our debt.

However, the reality is, is that if Jesus did not go ahead with what He came to Earth to do, then there would be no salvation, no forgiveness of sins, and no personal relationship with the Father. We wouldn’t know who we are in Christ, we wouldn’t know the purpose as to why we are on this Earth and we wouldn’t have a reason to bring joy, light and hope into a dark and needy world. It is because Jesus died that we can rejoice in His death. It may sound contradictory to rejoice in someone’s death, but the truth is that Jesus had to die and it is a great thing He did.

John, in His depiction of Jesus’ last hours, tells us that Jesus was fully ready to embrace the forthcoming torture, beatings and inevitable death sentence. He writes that when the angry mob came to arrest Jesus, Jesus didn’t run away or hide in the olive grove. He stepped forward and embraced His adversities. He was prepared for what was about to come. The writer of Hebrew even describes that Jesus knew the joy that awaited His endurance of that shameful death on the cross.

If Jesus knew that His death would set humanity free from the debt of their sin and was joyful about enduring the suffering for our sakes, then we should also rejoice with Him and not mourn. He died but now He is alive. Rejoice the King died but now is alive.

Rejoice….It’s A New Day

24th March

“This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24 

Psalm 118 is filled with fulfilled promises about Jesus the Messiah. Many wonderful songs have been written using the Psalmist’s wonderful words. Yet none more so than today’s verse. We could take this verse and build it into its context of hardships and struggles. However, simply lets take this verse as face value.

Whatever you are going through, this is the Lord’s day. Whatever challenges you may face, this is the day that God has made. Be strong and rejoice. Rejoicing is a choice. You choose to rejoice in the day, because you know God Himself has made it for you. The Lord has made this day for you to enjoy…REJOICE.