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So Much To Be Thankful For

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Seeing that Thanksgiving will soon be here and (hopefully)the thought of thankfulness is on a lot of people’s minds, I wanted to offer this post as a way of expressing my gratitude for several things.

First and foremost I am thankful to know Jesus Christ as my Savior.In my life,this is the starting point of every good thing that has come my way.Everything I have or enjoy is because of His provision.No one ever needs to tell me that I am nothing without Him,I know this to be true.

The story of how God interrupted my life as I traveled my own Damascus Road is one that most would find hard to believe.To say I was headed for Hell would be a gross understatement,and the power of God’s Love,Forgiveness, and Grace makes my story all the more remarkable.Suffice it to say that to whom much is forgiven…

I am also thankful that God has blessed me with a loving and caring wife.When I listen to other men tell their “less than flattering” stories about their wives it only increases the gratitude that I have for my wife.While the Lord may indeed be my Rock,she is my soulmate and the greatest source of encouragement a man could have.

I cannot remember a day that she hasn’t said something to me of encouragement,hope,and love.She prays for me without ceasing,both for physical healing and also that I would continue to seek the Lord’s direction for our family.She is strong in her convictions and will not be swayed by popular opinion,be it a spiritual matter or otherwise.In this we are identical.

She is a praying wife and mother yet she is also very sensitive to the needs of others.She loves the elderly and I lover her heart for them.Like me,she roots for the underdog and those who society disregards.She loves deeply,and also hurts deeply.

I am thankful to have a great job,material blessings,and pretty much anything I need in this life.I have made many,many acquaintances through the years that I have been involved with in ministry as well as working at a secular job.My friends can be counted on but a few fingers (what does that word really mean anyway?),yet I consider myself highly blessed.

In spite of how I may feel however, the scriptures remind us that there would come a time when people would generally be “unthankful”and it’s pretty safe to say that we are living in such a time.While many wonder why or how things are so out of control in our world today,anyone can find the answers to their questions in God’s word.Which makes me want to say “wow! this Bible stuff that was written so long ago is amazingly accurate isn’t it?”. But that’s for another time.

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”  2nd Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV

The awesome thing is that God has made a way that we do not have to be like those described by Paul in his second letter to Timothy.We can choose a different path,one filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for what He has done in our lives.

It really is that simple.God has set before us a door that He invites us to walk through.On the other side is a peace and contentment not found in the world we have created for ourselves.

Won’t you join me this Thanksgiving? Be thankful to God for His many blessings.

Ron

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This is the message…..

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For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.   1 Jn 3:11  KJV

The message that was sent to a lost world.

To You and Me.

A message that is so easy to understand and yet so easy to willingly ignore. To love one another.

Love

An often overused word that can mean so many things to so many people.

All kinds of Love….love of food…love of sports…romantic love…love of family and friends…

Christian love….serving God…serving one another…preferring others before ourselves…selfless love…

The God kind of love…that doesn’t offend…that doesn’t hurt…that doesn’t demand…

That we should love one another“…

Over the past few years I have noticed a shifting away from this type of love in the church.

Yes…in the church.

“Christian love” has been replaced with a new type of “cultural love”. A type of love that really is not love because it does not extend beyond the word.It’s a new kind of “love” that doesn’t require anything of us other than to say the word. It goes something like this: church member Sally is desperate to know that someone,anyone from her church cares about her.She has endured sickness and turmoil in her home.She suffers from depression and anxiety.

She feels all alone

Her phone never rings.

Her doorbell never rings.

The mailman never brings her a card.

She needs the love of Christ extended towards her.

Sally faithfully attends services each Sunday.She’s still worshiping,still singing,still listening to the sermon.She’s doing her very best to stay engaged.Then it’s time to leave…

Martha shakes her hand and say’s “love ya” as she bounds towards the door to meet the others for lunch after church.Pastor Mike shouts to her “hey Sally we love you guys” as he runs after a staff member to remind them about something or other.

Easy love… Cultural love…Uncaring love…

Is this the message? Is this what it means to “love one another”?

Wait you say,you don’t understand.Everyone is so busy.

Uh huh. Too busy to love. Never too busy to talk about love.Too busy to show love.

If we know someone is in need what should our reaction be?

But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 1 Jn 3:17-19 (emphasis mine)
I wonder…how will we give an answer for our inability to love one another in deed and in truth?
What excuse will we give to the King of Kings on the day that we stand before Him?
41“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”  Mat 25:41-46 NKJV

This is the message….

I will accept no other, and neither should you.

Ron