SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT THANKSGIVING, SALVATION AND OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!
Over the last few weeks, we have discussed in sermons and Bible classes the need for thanksgiving. We must always consider that we enjoy what we have due to God’s provisions and love for us. For the Christian, thanksgiving is something we should do every day of our lives, not just once a year.
God is good! He has blessed us beyond what we can imagine in giving us food, shelter, and clothing. We (most of us) have jobs that allow us to pay the bills and provide for our families. Yet we often take God and His word for granted and have failed to share the good news of the gospel with the world. Will there be some on judgment day that, according to the song, say “you never mentioned him to me?”
One of our national leaders once reflected on the goodness of God and penned these words:
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.
“But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us. We have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and persevering grace, too proud to the God that made us.”
Brothers and sisters, we need to realize that the problems we have in America and in our country are due to Satan’s plan to destroy righteousness and godliness. It seems more and more that many “Christians” are leaving the faith that was once delivered to the saints. Satan is putting pressure on via mass media and false teaching in schools and colleges and many of our children are walking away from the faith. Sin in all matters is glorified, and many of our young people fail to see that God is saddened by the prevalence of the sins of the flesh. We used to “shun” those who sinned, hoping that they will repent and come back. Now many blatantly sin and expect the church to accept them in their sin, without any remorse or repentance. GOD HAS NOT CHANGED HIS MIND ABOUT SIN! Sin that is not repented of will be punished. It should break the heart of every child of God when he/she sins and blatantly and brazenly dares God to accept such.
Jesus prophesied of such before the destruction in Jerusalem in Matthew 24:9-14. Notice, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
It should break our hearts that we as Christians have failed to set the example in the church to our young people about sin and what it does to our relationships to one another and to God. In love we must help the erring Christian to come back home, and we need to proclaim aloud again the need for righteous living as per God’s commands.
“Righteousness exalts a nation, and sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34). Our battles for “moral values” will and must be a constant one, and we must speak out against the sin that so many in America glorify. The moral values that we must stand for are and must be based upon the Word of God! Beloved, it is time to stand for God’s righteous morals and encourage those who have strayed away to come back home! THEN THANKSGIVING WILL BREAK OUT ONCE AGAIN IN THE CHURCH, as those who have left the faith will hopefully come back because we, in love, have tried to bring them back.
“Father in heaven, help us to stand for your truth, your ways and your will. Help us IN LOVE reach out to those who have sinned, and let them know that they are still loved by you, Father, and you want them to live lives that are reflective of you and your glory and grace. Help us to weep over the straying Christians, over the lost that will spend eternity with the devil and his angels. Help us Father, to weep as your Son did and preach as he did, to save some. In Jesus name. AMEN
THANKS BE TO GOD!
One of the great problems with mankind is that so many trust in themselves rather than God. Men think that are self-sufficient, therefore there is no need for God. Men have allowed their great achievements to cause them to overly praise themselves instead of God. When we begin to think too highly of ourselves, we are walking on dangerous ground.
One of the fundamental teachings of the Bible is that all we are or have or ever hope to be we owe to God. This world and all therein belongs to him. We are told in Psalms 24:, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; The world, and they that dwell therein.” We are further told in Psalms 50:10, “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills,” and then again in Haggai 2:8, “. . . the silver is mine, and the gold is mine, sayeth the Lord of hosts.” Daniel 5:23 tells us our very breath is in his hand, and Paul said in his famous sermon in Athens, Greece, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being.” (Act 17:28). Whatever we have or can accomplish in this life is because of God. How can men go to the moon and back? Because God gave them the intelligence and resources to do so. How can doctors do so many marvelous things even to the point of heart transplant? The answer – because of God. We could go on and on from very great accomplishments to the smallest, ALL BECAUSE OF GOD! The man who lives this life without a recognition of God doesn’t know what this life is! Remember, “The fool has said in his heart, There is no God . . .“ (Psalms 14:1).
I hope tonight you will pause to than God for what you are and have and ever hope to be. Yes, we owe it all to him. May we show our appreciation by living an obedient life to his will.
Ke Tyler Via The Exhorter October 4 1987