The opposite of being set free by God’s truth is being held in bondage by Satan’s lies. Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). Satan is the “Father of lies” and every falsehood he spreads and every temptation he presents has as its ultimate goal our destruction. Let us be grateful men and women who fill our lives with God’s truth and thereby find freedom from Satan’s destructive lies.
As followers of God, grateful for all that he has accomplished on our behalf, one of the defining qualities that is to characterize us is our love for God. Simply put, we are to love God with everything we’ve got. From our possessions, to our vocations, to our relationships – all that we are and do is to be an expression our grateful love to God. Jesus said it this way, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).
In the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we discover how God has provided the answer to our greatest need by doing something for us that we could never have done for ourselves. On our own we are helpless to remedy our sin problem. Jesus, took on human flesh, satisfied the Father’s requirement for holiness on our behalf, took the punishment that we deserve (death), and rose victorious over sin and death – offering eternal life if we will simply rely on him for our salvation. Today we are thankful for the Gospel.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). God’s will for our lives doesn’t get any clearer. He desires His sons and daughters to be people who rejoice in their relationship with Him and give thanks to Him daily.
Psalm 136 is a beautiful Old Testament song of Thanksgiving. It lists a variety of reasons why our hearts should be filled with gratitude. It begins by declaring,
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1-3)
I invite you to read Psalm 136 and allow it to be an expression of your personal worship and gratitude.
Jesus healed nine men who were afflicted with leprosy. Only one of the men returned to Jesus to say “thank you.” In our busy lives, we can frequently fail to express gratitude and appreciation to God and to the people he uses in our lives to bless us.
Today is Election Day in the United States of America. As American citizens, we have the opportunity to have a voice in the selection of our political leaders. Please exercise your privilege to vote and continue to pray for God’s protection and blessing on our nation.
As the return of Jesus draws near, one of the defining characteristics of our age will be ungratefulness. Look at how the Apostle Paul describes society in the end times, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4). It is striking that listed among some of the most vile behaviors is a lack of gratitude. All of us need to realize that thankfulness isn’t simply a nice gesture … it is a core moral quality of righteousness. It is a virtue of Jesus.
Every day we are blessed by the packages and letters that are delivered to our homes and places of business. We depend on the reliability of their service to accomplish a wide variety of tasks – from delivering expressions of love to filing our tax returns. Let’s take a moment today to express our gratitude to these dear servants who make our life easier.
I live in Southern California. Recently the Santa Clarita fire threatened the home of my son-in-law’s parents. They were forced to leave their home for several days not knowing if they would ever return. The brave service of the fire department along with the protection of the police department saved their home and many others. First responders like police and firemen place themselves at risk every day in order to serve and protect us. Let’s express our gratitude in prayer.
God has created us to thrive in the context of community. By His design, the Body of Christ is to serve as that nurturing network of relationships that helps us grow in our faith, encourages us to fulfill our life responsibilities, and comforts us in times of crisis. Today, express to God and others your gratitude for your church family.