Saturday, January 16, 2016

Thanks Living: Was His Custom

So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”
So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever! All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.” Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. Daniel 6:4-10

As was his custom since early days. 
Just as he always had.
He continued to do what he always did.

Often we wait until we get into trouble before we start praying. Daniel knew the importance of the prayer even when there was no trouble. Creating habits and practicing praise and thanksgiving to God in the good times, will insure us of praising and thanking God in the "bad times".  Our situation should not change our praise and thanksgiving! We are not praising and thanking God for "stuff", rather because of Who He is! Our situation does not change Who God is! 

As was his custom, he always had, always did. 
Thanks Living is about creating a habit of thanking God for Who He is and all that He provides. Thanks Living is to be a habit — no matter the situation! In order to insure that Thanks Living is a habit, it must be practiced on a daily (and even multiple times daily). 

As was his custom—I want Thanks Living to be what I always did, so that I can always do it in the future! 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thanks Living: Puts Life Into Perspective

Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: "Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;

Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all.
Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name." 1 Chronicles 29:10-13

Blessed: adore with bended knees
Greatness:  mighty acts -- dignity, great things(-ness), majesty
Power: valor, victory -- force, mastery, might, mighty (act, power), strength
Glory: beautiful, brave, comely, fair, glorious, honor, majesty
Victory: eminence, always, constantly, end, nevermore, perpetual, strength
Majesty:  splendor, vigor, grandeur

Riches: wealth, far richer
Honor: splendor, glory, of external condition and circumstances

Thank: literally, to use (i.e. hold out) the hand; physically, especially to revere or worship (with extended hands—the open one—indicating power, means, direction, etc.)
Praise: make boast self, celebrate, commend
Glorious: splendor, majesty, vigor, grandeur
Name: especially as embodying the (revealed) character of

Thanks Living. When it begins with God, it puts life into perspective. 
Attention and acknowledgement of who God is + realizing that all we have is from God = thanksgiving and praise. 

To truly give thanks and praise to God, one must first begin with acknowledging who God is. For when one acknowledges who God is, it puts all of life into perspective. 
To truly give thanks and praise to God, one must realize that all is from God. For when one realizes that all come from God, it puts all of life into perspective. 
To truly give thanks and praise to God, one must make a point and determination to thanks and praise God. For when taking the time to thank and praise God, it puts all of life into perspective. 

Who is God. All we have is from God. Thank and Praise God. 
When done in that order, it puts life into perspective. For when one realizes all that God is capable of, and that He does, then thanks and praise should be automatic! Knowing that God is God and that He is in control puts life into perspective—God's perspective! 

How is God's perspective different than mine? Well, when I choose my perspective, I see only how things benefit me and what I can get out it all. I only want the good, the great, the blessings. I want the Lottery winnings. I want things to be easy. 
However, from God's perspective—life is good in the sense of how will it glorify Him and accomplish His will. His perspective includes all of Eternity, not just the here and now. 

Puts life into perspective. 
Attention and acknowledgement of who God is + realizing that all we have is from God = thanksgiving and praise. 
1 Chronicles 29:10-13: David said. A wonderful ascription of praise follows, tracing all good to Jehovah"s sovereign grace. E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Thanks Living. When it begins with God, it puts life into perspective.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Thanks Living: Act of Worship

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. Psalm 100:4
Thanksgiving: in songs of public worship
Praise: the act of general, public, praise
Thankful: literally, to use (i.e. hold out) the hand; physically, especially to revere or worship (with extended hands—the open one—indicating power, means, direction, etc.)
Bless: adore with bended knees

Thanksgiving is an act of worshiping God. We are to make a point to ENTER His presence with an mind-set and heart-set of worship and adoration with gratitude. 
And not only are we to have a mind-set and heart-set, we are to actually BE thankful to God. A humble attitude of worship and joy as we express our outpouring of thankfulness to Almighty God. 

Act of Worship. 
Not just saying "thanks", but spending time in the presence of God worshiping Him with gratitude for Who He is and all He has done for me. 

Who is God? 

Thanks Living must include an act of worship of God Almighty. 

For another post on Psalm 100:4, read Expressing Gratitude:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Thanks Living: If I am mindful...

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  Colossians 3:17
Whatever: everything (anything) whatsoever
Word: the act of speaking
Deed: the idea of working; doing
Do all: whatsoever
Name: relying or resting on the name of Christ, rooted (so to speak) in his name, i. e. mindful of Christ
Give thanks: to be grateful, i.e. (actively) to express gratitude 
Father: one who imparts life and is committed to it; a progenitor, bringing into being to pass on the potential for likeness
Through: of one who is the author of the action as well as its instrument, or of the efficient cause (because the possibility both of glorifying God and of giving thanks to him is due to the kindness of Christ)

If I am mindful of Christ, then my attitude and action will be done in accordance with His will. And my heart-set and mind-set will be filled and overflowing with gratitude to God, the Father. 

If I am mindful...... 
There are times, when being mindful of Christ is easy, and then other times, not so much. During those "other times", my focus changes from Christ, to ME—and that is a dangerous occurrence. For when "Me, myself, and I" take the lead, I not only am telling God He doesn't know what He's doing, I am setting myself up for disappointment, discouragement and heartbreak. 

If I am mindful......
Creating a habit of relying and being mindful of Christ—how exactly is that done? First and foremost, I must acknowledge that God is real, and that He sets the standard. I must accept God as Lord and Savior. Then as I begin to know God, learn who God is, learn His ways, learn His characteristics, then that solid unwavering trust is developed and then the desire to obey Him impacts my actions and attitudes. 

If I am mindful—
That means, when I get frustrated with someone, I stop and pray—that creates a change in attitude. Then I must act on that change in attitude! 
That means, when I don't want to do something, I stop and pray —that creates a change in my attitude with then will translate into action. 
That means, when "Me, myself, and I" want to make the decisions, I stop and pray—that creates a spirit of humility allowing God to once again become "number 1" and my attitude and actions will change in accordance with His will. 

If I am mindful—
That means, each and every actions and attitude must first be "approved" by Christ. If Christ disapproves—there must be a change on my part. 
If I am mindful—
I will not only have the desire, but the determination to act and respond Christ-like in each and every situation. 

If I am mindful—then I'll want to express my gratitude to God by having the right actions and attitude. That means that Thanks Living is to be evident in each chore, in each interaction, in each and every thought. 

If  I am mindful........ 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Thanks Living: At a loss for words.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15
Thanks: graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude, joy, pleasure, thank(-s, -worthy).
His: self (emphatic)
Indescribable: that cannot be thoroughly related indescribable, that cannot be thoroughly related, inexpressible. It is higher than the mind can conceive; higher than language can express.
Gift: a gift, freely given and hence not acquired by merit or "entitlement." Expresses a brand of giving that highlights the beneficent desire of the giver.

At a loss for words. Inexpressible. 
Can't describe the "awesomeness". No words to describe it. Overwhelmed to the point of total awe. 

An indescribable gift. Gift, given freely. Nothing earned. No entitlement. Simply a gift with no strings attached. 

God in His grace and mercy, gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sin. (For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3)

Our sin is forgiven. Indescribable! 
Gracemercyand peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. 2 John 1:3
At a loss for words. Inexpressible. 
Do I realize that magnitude of God's gift? Am I at a loss of words in trying to express my overwhelming gratitude to God? 

Thanks Living is not about the gifts, it's about realizing that God in His grace and mercy forgave me of my sin. It's all about God and His amazing goodness! No way to earn it. No entitlement. Simply an indescribable gift from God! 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Thanks Living: Entitlement

Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way. Psalm 25:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:8

"We must learn to trust God, not live with a sense of entitlement." (The Gospel Project)

When I started studying "Thanks Living", I realized that it's easier to say "thanks" for things, but a bit more difficult to thank God for WHO He is. Not receiving anything, just thanks for God Himself. 

I have to say that God has blessed me abundantly. And often people wonder how I can give praise to God, when I live in chronic pain. My reply is, "How could I NOT?!!" My pain level doesn't change WHO God is. My pain level doesn't make God stop being good. My pain level doesn't make God unfaithful. God cannot change. He is good. He is faithful. Period. 

"But if God was a good God, then He'd heal you." Really??!!! Who am I to tell God, the Creator of all, what He should do? Just because I would like it, doesn't mean it's best in God's plan. From God's perspective, my chronic pain is a good thing—as it is being used to accomplish His will. 

God is good. And He is a good God! Just because God has unlimited resources, doesn't mean that He has to give them to me. Entitlement is a dangerous mindset. When we start to think that we deserve something—we forget that what we actually deserve is punishment for our sin. Only by the grace of God and His provision of Jesus as the sacrifice for our sin, are we saved from eternal damnation. 

Thanks Living, has to begin with a solid understanding of Who God is, and that God does not "owe me anything." I am to give thanks to God for Who He is. I am to give thanks to God because He is good. I am to give thanks to God because He is faithful. God can be none other than Who He is! 

As I learn to trust God and understand that He is good — then my mind and heart will begin to develop a sense of Thanks Living, based on Who God is, not on a sense of entitlement.