Thanksgiving Before Blessings

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jesus, on the night before he was crucified offered thanksgiving during the Last Supper. “He broke the bread and gave thanks to God for it.” Jesus was expressing eucharisteo ¬ - thanks, joy, and grace. If Jesus could offer a prayer of thanks to his Father on the eve of his crucifixion, in the midst of his suffering, can’t we do the same? What we see in Jesus’ example is that he prayed a prayer of thanksgiving then experienced death, burial, and resurrection. Even though the dark time continued there was a miracle, a re-birth on the other side. Our Heavenly Father will resurrect us too. Oh, that we too would offer Him praise and thanksgiving in the midst of the storms. Blessings will come!

2 Chronicles 20: 12-22 shows that thanksgiving preceded a blessing.
The armies of the Moabites, Ammonites and other armies declared war on Jehoshaphat, King of Judah. Jehoshaphat called upon the people to get serious with God. As the enemy began to bear down on Judah, God spoke through Jahaziel, “Do not be afraid!...for the battle is not yours, but God’s. You will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”

Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same. They worshipped the Lord. The king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holey splendor. They sang, “Give thanks to the Lord and; his faithful love endures forever!”

At THAT VERY MOMENT, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. When the army of Judah arrived, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see.

Thanksgiving preceded the miracle! This land was called the Valley of Blessing. The army then marched into Jerusalem singing music as they entered the Temple of the Lord.

Can we become thankful for EVERYTHING? Even in our wounded moments? Can we look back and see the blessings on this side of our bruised and wounded moments? Let us go before him with praise and thanksgiving as he always goes before us.

MInd of Christ

Monday, April 8, 2013

Paul writes, Let this mind be in our which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5

How can we think like Jesus? We need to be students of Jesus to learn what he said and how he acted because of these actions began with thoughts. Paul struggled with the same thing we struggle with. After his conversion when he began to speak to others about Christ, he did it “in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.” Then he too must have realized he needed to be a student of His heavenly Father. He realized he had to rely on the Holy Spirit to speak through him. He refers to speaking words of wisdom which he calls the “mystery of God” that he says are revealed to him through the Holy Spirit.

When we try to think like Christ we really must rely on the Holy Spirit.

We cannot think, speak, feel, and act like Christ without the help of the Holy Spirit. That is way beyond our human ability. Look what Paul tells us in I Corinthians.

13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. 14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16 For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ. I Corinthians 2: 13-16

This is a very powerful message! Only those who live in the spirit have the mind of Christ. THE world and OUR world can be changed when live in the spirit because then we can truly reflect God’s glory in the world.

Is it any wonder that the world is in the mess that it’s in! Is it any wonder that people strive against each other? That people lash out, live immoral, self-centered lives?

When people live in and for the Holy Spirit, they have the mind of Christ. Then they think like him, feel like him, speak like him, and act like him. Let’s remember the cycle ---what we think becomes how we feel, speak, and act. God planned it this way! Let’s think like him.

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