Saturday, February 20, 2016

Thanks Living: Always—Not "A Sometime"

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Psalm 30:11, 12
To the end that: purpose, on account of as a motive or an aim, intent
My glory: of the seat of honor in the inner man, the noblest part of man
Sing praise: to celebrate in song and music
Not be silent: be or grow dumb, silent, hold peace, quiet self
Give thanks: 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.)
Forever: indefinite futurity, with preposition for ever, always (sometimes = during the lifetime)

Forever. Indefinite futurity. 
When does forever start? Tomorrow? Next week? Next year? Actually—now. 

Thanks Living isn't about thanking and praising God SOMETIME in the future. Rather it's about thanking and praising God starting now and CONTINUING in the future. Thanks Living to be an "always", not "a sometime". 

Are we waiting for some big, grand moment or circumstance for which we can thank God? What about the "small" everyday happenings? Aren't they thanks- and praise-worthy? 

Forever. Indefinite futurity.
Since Thanks Living is to be an "always" and not "a sometime", then it's time to make sure that I am purposeful and intent on giving thanks to God. Celebrate, rather than being silent, how awesome God is and the wonderful things He does each and every day. 

Always—not "a sometime". Forever begins right now!  

Friday, February 19, 2016

Thanks Living: Divine Influence on the Heart

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 
1 Timothy 1:12-19

And I (have): such as possession; ability, continuity, relation, or condition; 
Thank (thankfulness): of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude)

Lord: properly, a person exercising absolute ownership rights
Enabled: to empower, increase in strength

Counted: esteem, judge, suppose, think
Faithful: trusty; of persons who show themselves faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties

1 Timothy 1:12:
I’m so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work. (MSG)
I thank our Lord Jesus the Anointed who empowers me, because He saw me as faithful and appointed me to this ministry. (VOICE)
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has granted me [the needed] strength andmade me able for this, because He considered me faithful and trustworthy, putting me into service [for this ministry]. (AMP)
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who gave me strength, because he ·trusted me [considered me trustworthy/faithful] and ·gave me this work of serving him [placed me in his service; appointed me to ministry]. (EXB)
How thankful I am to Christ Jesus our Lord for choosing me as one of his messengers, and giving me the strength to be faithful to him. (TLB)

A divine influence on the heart and its reflection in the life. 

Thanks Living begins in the heart and is reflected or manifested in life. A life filled with thankfulness can't be hidden from others. It's reflected in actions, attitudes, thoughts, words, motivations. When one lives a life of Thanks Living, no matter the circumstances—one can remain faithful to the to the task. When one acknowledges the Source (God) of ability, strength, wisdom, knowledge, then thankfulness is the result—as one knows it can't be down alone. 

Thanks Living: Divine Influence on the Heart. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Thanks Living: Memories

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. Psalm 30:4
Remembrance: to mark (so as to be recognized), to remember; by implication, to mention; memorial, memory
Holy name: sanctity -- consecrated, dedicated, hallowed, holiness

There are some memories that make me smile, and some make me laugh out loud—literally! And yes, some memories make me sad and cry. Memories evoke emotion. 

When I remember God's holiness, I am to filled with thankfulness. The question is, "Am I?" 
When I remember God's holiness, what emotion does it evoke? Am I filled with wonder and awe? Am I filled with terrifying fear? Am I filled with regret? Am I filled with apathy? 

Give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. Give thanks. Take time to realize who God is and that He personally loves and cares for me! Take time to remember that God, the Creator of all, created me in my mother's womb, and knows EVERYTHING about me—and loves me. 

Give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. Remember. 
I have to say that as I get older, I find myself forgetting things. I have good intentions on remembering, but I forget. However, there are some things which I remember — it's like there is a NEON sign flashing in my mind. I can't forget. God's holiness, should be one of those "I can't forget memories". 

Remember. Long-lasting Memory. 
If I want God's holiness to be a long-lasting memory, that I need to make it important in my life. I need to make sure that each and everything I remember God's holy name, I give thanks! 

Thanks Living is making an conscious decision to remember God's holy name and give thanks! Thanks Living is making sure God's holy name is memorable and important in my life. 

Memories. God's holy name should be a very precious memory. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Thanks Living: Anticipation—FaceTime

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. Psalm 95:2
Let us come: to anticipate, hasten, meet
Before His presence: face to face
Thanksgiving: thanksgiving in songs of liturgical worship
Joyful noise: shout with religious impulse; in public worship with music and sacrifice, with/to God
Psalms: song in praise of God

Anticipate: to think, speak, act, or feel an emotional response in advance; wait with expectation; eagerness, enthusiasm, longing

Can't wait! 
There are many things which we get excited for—the longing, anticipation creates an overwhelming sense of joy and excitement! It can't get here fast enough! 

Perhaps it's a specific day that are anticipating. For some it might be their wedding day. Others a special birthday or anniversary. I know some who are waiting for their Adoption Match day and then the "Gotta Day" as they wait to create forever family. 

As I have been thinking about "anticipation" as how it relates to entering the very presence of God, several things have come to mind. 

1. I should be filled with joy at the very thought of entering God's presence. 
2. I should want to be filled, no make that bursting, with thanksgiving to and for God. 
3 I should be praising God with a loud voice in private and public. 
4. I should...... but what hinders me from the excitement of anticipation of having "FaceTime" with God? 

Number 4 can sure put out the fire of anticipation. What hinders me? Why am I not excited and bursting with joy at the thought of spending time "FaceTime" with God Almighty? One answer sums it all up: sin. 

Sin puts out the fire of anticipate quicker than anything. Because how can I enter the presence of a holy God, when I have not confessed the sin in my life? He is willing to forgive the sin because of His grace and mercy—but I must confess and acknowledge the sin and repent. 

Anticipation is a wonderful and exciting time. And spending "FaceTime" with God is beyond anything I can anticipate! 
Thanks Living is about making sure that the anticipation of "FaceTime" with God remains. And for that tot be true, I must confess my sin and acknowledge it before God Almighty. Once I am forgiven, the overwhelming joy of thanking and praising God face to face will be real once again! 

Are you filled with anticipation thinking about "FaceTime" with God?