Give Thanks Always


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How was your Thanksgiving? My day was quietly spent giving thanks to the LORD. There was no turkey or football, but a meditative study in the Book of Leviticus.

I did make a squash stew in memory of my mother who would prepare that dish especially for me on Thanksgiving. Mom and Dad passed away during the holiday season so it is difficult to navigate this time of year, and impossible to escape the vivid reminders that this is supposed to be a festive season.

And it was on Thanksgiving, as a teenager, when I was first struck with an eating disorder. In the early stages I would empty my stomach in the bathroom, but bulimia is such a noisy affliction that I would later sneak away into the backyard and dig a hole.

Every day the LORD gives me is a day of thanksgiving. For people who spend maybe thirty minutes a week in the Bible it may be hard to understand, but add up the number of hours you spend each day connected to gadgets or social media. If it dwarfs the time that you spend connecting with the One who gave you life then maybe …

I mean, how many people truly give thanks to the LORD? Not just on Thanksgiving, but everyday. We are instructed to give thanks always.

Paul explained it this way:

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God (Romans 14:5-6).

On Bless Friday — otherwise known as Black Friday — participating churches joined in a day of worship and praise. I hope you were able to spend some quality time with Him.

There continues to be political fallout from the November elections, and I am concerned that far too many Christians are blinded by a naiveté that is both dangerous and foolish.

I don’t understand Christians who have close associations with unbelievers, or why they believe they can do so and remain unstained by the world. In my experience a little leaven spoils even the most vigilant Christian.

Paul wrote that we should not be yoked together with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14–15). This is especially true when seeking a marriage partner, but no less applicable to our social network.

What partnership does righteousness have with wickedness; what harmony exists between Christ and the Devil; what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

The pastor told of the young couple who wanted to minister to people in bars. He advised against it, but they would not be moved. Did they have a fruitful ministry? “Well,” said the pastor, “they went to their first bar, and the girl came out two hours later drunk as a skunk.”

Christian, you can be sure that if the world hated Christ it will hate you, too. You may have gay friends, for example, whose influence will compromise what the Bible teaches about sexual sin. That Christians yield on this issue for the sake of worldly affections has caused a deepening rift within the body of Christ.

My brothers and sisters, you are called to be light and salt. You should be influencing the world — not taken captive by its sensual persuasions.

It is disturbing to me when I read female Christian bloggers taking a liberal stand on divisive moral issues. Millennial, Christian women post untruths on social forums that the church is being judgmental and hateful. The often used argument that Jesus didn’t speak to these matters caused one dissenting voice — an older woman — to chastise the younger for their immaturity and lack of Scriptural understanding.

As the older generation passes away what will happen to the church of Jesus Christ? Millennials, not all, seem hell-bent on making Christianity user-friendly. Jesus warned that when the salt loses its saltiness it is good for nothing (Matthew 5:13).

As I was researching this article I stumbled across the following Twitter feed. It was posted under the heading Racists Celebrate Thanksgiving. I want you to be mindful of the fact that the people who tweeted these comments most likely voted Democrat, if at all. We could also presume that they are not Christian. Ask yourself — and be honest — who are the haters … who are the racists?

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I have never met anyone as hateful and intolerant as a liberal. If I repeated things I have heard them say I would be banned from the Internet, and most likely put in jail.

What surprised me were a couple of articles on Michael Moore and Bill Maher in defense of white males. Moore laid out a reasoned case for why the industrial states voted for Trump, and Maher opined that the Democrat Party paid the price for neglecting white men.

Maher noted two things in particular that have driven away white male voters — political correctness and not recognizing that, in the war on terror, Islam is the enemy.

The Democrat response to Islamic terror, noted Maher, is to be nice to Muslims — not understanding that Islam is incompatible with American values. Where is the outrage that the Clinton Foundation accepted $14.5 million from Saudi Arabia where women are second-class citizens, Christians are not allowed to worship in public and homosexuals can be put to death for being gay?

Said Maher, “Democrats have become to a lot of Americans a boutique party of fake outrage and social engineering and they’re not entirely wrong about that.” He noted that his measured opinions, especially with regard to radical Islam, have ruffled the feathers of the leftist orthodoxy.

Political correctness that maligns Trump as a racist because he wants to secure the border, and vette Muslim immigrants is a slap in the face of common sense.

Christians need to remove the blinders, and recognize what is going on all around them. Yes, we are citizens of the Kingdom of God, but we do not cease being citizens of the United States. Do you have a driver’s license, social security number, pay taxes? Paul did not cease being a Roman citizen when he claimed those rights and privileges after being imprisoned in a Philippian jail; and in Jerusalem where he was beaten (Acts 16:35-39, Acts 22:25).

One final comment that may not be relevant, but it does reflect the tactics of our adversaries. Recall in the last debate that Trump was asked the ‘gotcha’ question by Chris Wallace:

“Mr. Trump, will you accept the results of the election?”

Trump said he didn’t know, or he would have to think about it after the votes were counted. Well, Mrs. Clinton and her media rat pack made political hay out of Trump’s response.

Folks, all Trump meant was that he didn’t want to make the mistake of Al Gore who conceded in 2000 only to back track over the hanging chads in Florida.

The people who tweeted those racist posts are also shouting, “We got more votes!” As of this writing, Mrs. Clinton leads the popular count by 1.5 million votes. That margin can be credited solely to the socialist republic of California where Clinton received over 60% of the vote (7.3 million to 3.3 million.)

This is why our Founders established the Electoral College. Do we really want California electing the President? The system works as it was designed. There is no need to comfort college students with Play-Doh and hot cocoa, or for Trump opponents to lobby for Calexit — the proposed initiative that California secede from the Union.

Although, the state of California is so radically opposed to Christianity and the Constitution that it would be no great loss. Or maybe Mexico would take it back? And that is the insidious reason Democrats want to flood the country with illegal immigrants — to steal elections and perpetuate their socialist agenda.

As California goes so goes the nation.

Copyright © 2016 Messiah Gate

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2 thoughts on “Give Thanks Always

  1. The idea of thanking the LORD is a thread that runs through the entire fabric of Scripture. The most basic truth of the gospel is that our Creator, the King of the universe, loves us so much he wants to have a relationship with us. We’re not talking about religion, but an intimate, loving relationship. If we examine all our relationships we discover they are about the giving and receiving of gifts. And the very first thing we should do when we are given anything is to say, “thank you”. It tells the giver they are appreciated, valued and significant. By thanking the greatest Giver of gifts, we are validating our relationship with him and telling him he is greater than even the greatest of his gifts. Saying “Thank you LORD” is the most basic and sometimes the most meaningful thing we can do in faith. And sometimes it takes a sacrifice to thank the LORD, such as in Psalm 116:17. Why does Scripture have to remind us, encourage us and urge us to thank the LORD? Because it requires that we sacrifice our egos and admit that without him we can do nothing. Our old nature loves to think we can be self-sufficient. But the Messiah says we must deny ourselves in order to follow him. When we do, it becomes second nature to cling to him and thank him…not only for those special blessings, but for all those “little” things we might otherwise take for granted or take credit for ourselves.

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