With the holiday season upon us, wishes of “peace on earth and goodwill to men” fill the hearts of people around the world. But for Christian’s, the peace of Christ should rule in our hearts everyday, not just at Christmas. When we receive Jesus as our Savior, wonderful things begin to happen. First, we become adopted members of God’s family. Next, the Holy Spirit enters and gets to work transforming us into the likeness of Jesus. He begins by softening the rough edges of our heart. Next He takes out the garbage, and replaces it with the joy, love, and peace of Christ. A peace we are to let reign in our lives, and a peace we are to extend especially to fellow Believers. For we are each valuable members of the body of Christ. And out of thankfulness for the grace shown to us, we need to show the peace of Christ to a world that is anything but.
Although it varies by both the individual and the color, a person averages around 100,00 hairs on their head at one time. That’s a lot of hairs to count, yet God knows the exact number each person has. Why? Because with His hands, He created every individual specifically according to His purpose and plans. And to Him, we are of great value. He loves us unconditionally, perfectly, and without end. As His beloved children, our Father in heaven cares about every part of our lives. God is deeply devoted to everything He makes, especially us, because we were created in His image. The Lord knows us intimately. Better than we even know ourselves. He knows our our good and bad, our problems and victories, and our joy and pain. And He collects every tear we shed in His bottle. (Ps. 56:8) How thankful are we that even if the whole world rejects us, God never will. For He loves us like no other!
We are all searching for a port in the storm. A place of safety and refuge. And a place to call home. For Christian’s we have that in the secret place of God’s presence. He is our mighty fortress, and our dwelling place is underneath His everlasting arms. We know the earth is only our temporary home, and our hearts long to be with the Lord forever. The Israelites wandered for forty years in search of their new home. And through Moses, God brought them to the promised land. Yet even during their journey, God reminded them that He was their dwelling place. And no matter where they settled, He would always be their truest home on earth. The same goes for us. Until God calls us to eternal destination in heaven, He is our safe harbor, security, and sanctuary in this world. So we can rejoice and give thanks. For no matter where we wander, God is always our true north, and in Him alone can we find our forever home.
The term “sheep” is the current insult of the day. It’s used to describe people who blindly follow the crowd without doing any critical thinking of their own. But for me, I see being called a sheep as a badge of honor. For I follow the Good Shepherd. And He will never lead me astray. It is said the reason people are followers, is because our hearts are created to long for connection. Connection with each other, but most importantly, connection with God. And as our Good Shepherd, the Lord cares about every member of His flock, and wants a close, intimate relationship with each of us. So much so, that He laid down His life to save ours. And so with a heart overflowing with thankfulness, I will gladly follow my Shepherd, Savior, and Friend. For from His great love, He will never abandon nor forsake me, His lowly sheep. And His path leads to an eternity of love, peace, and righteousness.
Life has its up and downs, and some days are better than others. But each day that we are given, is a precious gift from God. And the morning dawn brings with it fresh opportunities. Opportunities to love another, to grow in our relationship with God, and to start anew. Yet while the Lord is indeed the Creator of every day and we should in fact rejoice in each one, the psalmist is actually speaking about a specific day. The wonderfully glorious day in which Jesus triumphantly entered the city of Jerusalem. Riding on the back of a donkey, He entered the city praised as “the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38) So give thanks. For our Savior, Jesus Christ, and each day we are given on this earth to spend with those we love. Rejoice and be glad in it!
1 Chronicles 16:34
As we celebrate this thanksgiving day, I pray that as the autumn leaves shower the land with their beauty, the Lord will shower you with His love, blessings, and goodness. Wishing you all a very happy holiday!
Lord, give me a thankful heart,
one that is appreciative
one that to all Your blessings
is attuned and sensitive.
Let it be a heart,
that sings its daily praise
let it be my heartfelt gratitude
that to You I earnestly raise.
Let me have a heart,
truly thankful for all things
no matter what in my life
You should choose to bring
Let my heart flow with,
the rivers of Your peace
so my appreciation to You
I may continually release.
Lord, give me a thankful heart,
one that is steadily hopeful
let it be the heart of one . . .
who is truly, forever grateful! ….Deborah Ann Belka
1 Corinthians 15:57
Charles Spurgeon once said, “The best moment of a Christian’s life is his last one, because it is the one that is nearest heaven.” For followers of Jesus, death isn’t to be feared, but to be celebrated. Because we know to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. (2 Cor. 5:8) Through His death and resurrection at the Cross, Christ defeated death forever. And now all Christians can look forward to an eternity spent at the side of our Savior. There we will celebrate Christ’s victory forever with songs of thanksgiving and continual praise for His mercy and love. Never again will we suffer from the pull of sin, for we will finally be the complete perfect images of our Lord. So with our last breath we can rejoice and give thanks to God. For His Son, Jesus Christ, has stolen both the victory and the sting of death forever!
Don’t you hate it when you’re trying to reach someone and your call goes straight to voicemail? That never happens with God. Through the privilege of prayer, we have a direct line of communication with God. And He’s always there, ready and eager to answer the call. Some Christians mistakenly believe that God only cares about the big stuff. But the truth is, He cares about every area of our lives both big and small. Prayer is a gift our heavenly Father gives to us so that we can come to Him with everything. Be it a petition, guidance, thankfulness, or to unburden our heart, God wants to be our first destination. For when we talk to Him, God promises to both listen and respond. And although we may not like the answer, we can give thanks that no prayer will go unanswered.
Everything in life has an expiration date, even us. But there is one thing that never dies. And that is the love God both feels and demonstrates to those He calls His own. It never waivers, never changes, and never leaves us. And because God is the Author of love, the perfect love He gives isn’t because of our goodness, but His. For we fail Him daily, and could never deserve the great devotion and affection our Father lavishes on us. Yet out of His great faithfulness, God’s mercies are new each morning. With the dawn of each day, He gives us a fresh supply of His love and compassion. And how thankful are we that no matter how many times we mess up, each morning brings with it a chance to start over. To do better than the day before. Knowing that even on the days where we get up on the wrong side of the bed, God doesn’t. He is there always, waiting to give to us His mercies!
There’s no two ways about it. Life can be hard. Each day is filled with its own challenges and choices. So no wonder there are a million self-help books out there. But there is only one book we need. Only one which is a perfect compass and guidebook for life; the Bible. Christians don’t need to wander around in darkness looking for the correct path. We have the Word of God to light our way leading us in the right direction. Our Father knows that we stumble. He knows the trials we face and the questions we have. And so from His great love, He provided us with His perfect manual to navigate every situation. The Bible is our guide, helper, deliverer, peace, joy, redemption and our everlasting promise. We can rejoice and gives thanks knowing no matter what life throws at us, we have the Word of God to perfectly light our way!