Do you focus on what He takes?

When Job experienced great loss, he fell down and worshipped God. He said, ” the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” It is interesting to note that Job first recognized that all that he had was from the Lord. He said, “The Lord gave.” Job did something that most people would not, He focused on what God gave, and because of that, He saw what God “took” in a proper light.

In Psalm 3:5, David says, “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve rarely found a person (including myself) who is truly thankful that God sustained them when they wake up. Usually they focus on their stressful day, their lack of coffee, their manner of awakening. They focus on what God takes, or just anything He didn’t give.

Through this verse, we can learn much from David. That line about God sustaining him in his sleep, when do you think that was written? It wasn’t written while he was lounging in luxury in his palace just trying to find a Hebrew rhyme to put in his next album hit. No, it was written while he, the king, was on the run. His own son had turned against him and was threatening his life.

This ancient king found occasion to thank the Lord for sustaining him in his sleep, while he had his throne taken from him, his son rising up against him, and his very life in danger. He did so because he focused on what God had given him.

If a man in such conditions could still find it in him to sing the praises of God, couldn’t we?

” I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” – Psalm 34:1

Compliments of God

Have you ever felt you like you deserved thanks for what you did? Perhaps you helped someone out a lot, or simply gave them a gift. You thought you deserved something in return. There is someone who deserves more thanks than you. God does!

You may have given someone a gift, but God gave them life. Look at it this way, this entire universe was created for us. Yeah, isn’t that awesome? Even the stars and heavenly bodies were created, "for signs and for seasons." Not for alien inhabitants or other races, they were creates so we could have a clock to pass the time.

Have you ever gone to a hotel and they had those little soap bars and stuff. On the little cheapo things they gave you it said something like, "Compliments of blankety blank hotel." In the morning, they gave you a ‘complimentary breakfast.’ It’s like the hotel was so impressed with themselves for ‘giving’ you all this stuff that’s worth practically nothing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have a toothbrush if you forget one, but let’s face it, we are paying for it.

Now, let’s look at our universe. We didn’t pay for that. It wasn’t worked for. It was given to us. It was ‘complimentary’ in every sense of the word. Yeah, FREE!

Your next breath- Compliments of the Creator of Heaven and Earth. Energy to breathe- Compliments of God Think about your day. Everything you enjoy was directly given/created by God. Everything.

How often do you thank God for, well, anything- everything? It’s easy to remember that God’s in control when you’re late for work and you get a red light. Oh, it’s His fault then right? What about the fact that you have a job? Or you have food to eat? Or clothes to wear? God provided a way for you to have all that.

Do you thank Him?

Years ago the Levites were to, "stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even;" – 1 Chronicles 23:30 Twice a day they thanked their creator. Do you thank Him even every day? I know I fail at that.

Let’s make a decision to thank God for what He gives us. And if He allows us to lose something, let’s thank Him that He allowed us to have it for a time, and that we still have much to rejoice over!

"O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever." – 1 Chronicles 16:24

Only one in ten will be thankful this year, studies show

I was doing some pretty intense reading and I came to the conclusion that it may very well be probable that only one in ten people will actually be thankful for this year. In fact, according to previous results of the moving of God, the one person who gives glory to God may not even be a regular churchgoer!

“What?” You might say. I’m not a statistics guy, but I’ve noticed a trend. Well, not a trend, but just one instance in the Bible. In Luke 17, Jesus is called to by ten lepers. They ask Jesus to make them clean. Now, I want you to know something that I was told by a friend, who knows a Jewish guy. Apparently, the Jews had devised among themselves that there were certain things that the Messiah, and only the Messiah, could do. One of them was healing a leper.

These lepers were actually saying that they believed that Jesus was the Messiah. That’s a pretty big deal seeing that most of the Jews thought he was just a prophet.

So after the lepers asked for cleansing, Jesus recognized their faith, and told them to go to the priests and get medically examined. But of course the lepers were still lepers. These men stood strong in faith. Even though they weren’t clean, they left anyway.

And guess what! “As they went, they were cleansed.” – Luke 17:14

“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?” – Luke 17:15,17

Look at this, only one guy told Jesus thanks. Out of 10 guys!

I know I said this was only one instance, but it does seem to be a trend. Most people aren’t thankful.

Maybe these lepers thought that they had earned their healing by their faith. Maybe they thought that they had comin’ for all their good deeds. Maybe they were “just lookin’ out for #1.” Whatever the reason, they didn’t turn back. They didn’t give thanks.

At the close of this year, we have much to be thankful for. No matter how much we may have “worked for” everything we have. God has given us everything. He gave us our every ability and equipped us to do all that is necessary. Let us not be like the nine who took what was given them and went on their merry way.

Let us turn back, remember where we have come from, and thank the God of heaven for all He has given us.

Let us give thanks!

Enjoy your life, compliments of God

You ever spend time preparing something for someone. You take special pains to make it special, but when you give it to someone, they are like, "Oh." And they just take it. You may have thought, "How rude! How ungrateful!" We may take offense, but honestly, that is what we do to God everyday.

God has given so much to us, He made this world, gave us friends and family, oxygen(yes, oxygen), food , clothes, and a beautiful earth, and everyday we wake up and expect it all to be here. This isn’t a respectful nor grateful way to live. I would encourage you, give God thanks for what He’s done.

1 Chronicles 16:8 says, "Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people." Won’t you give thanks to God today? Whatever comes your way, remember, what God has given you is much greater than the trials or troubles He has allowed in your life. And even those are allowed for your benefit! (Rom 8:28)

Give God the praise in everything!

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

A time to praise,

When was the last time you thanked God for His blessings? When was the last time you praised Him because of who He is? Days and hours and weeks and minutes pass us by, yet so often it seems as if we forget to thank our heavenly father.

Our Heavenly Father has given us so much! He gave us eternal life through His Son, all we have to do is believe and accept Him. But He gave us more than this. He gives us peace, comfort, joy, patience, temperance, meekness. . . The list goes on and on. One of my favorite verses says, “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure,” Philippians 2:13. Did you catch that? God is working in us to give us the desire to do His will and the ability to do His will.

He makes it easy for us to do right by giving us the desire to. When we face temptation, God says He, “will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it,” 1 Corinthians 10:13. God didn’t have to do that! He could have just allowed us to be overcome by sin. He has given us a free choice. He promises us blessings when we serve Him. Not blessings in the far off future, but blessings now, like a long life for honoring your parents, or ask and ye shall receive, or . . .

My question for you today is, “Have you thanked God for His goodness?” or “Have you taken time to meditate on His holiness?” I would challenge you, thank God for His gifts to you today. Praise Him for His holiness and thank Him for His love and mercy and . . . God is good, all the time. He has given us so much. Won’t you take time out of your day to thank Him, today?

“O give thanks unto the LORD, for [he is] good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” – Psalm 107:1