Thursday, November 22, 2007

Give Thanks

2 Corinthians 9:15 (NASB)
15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

On the day that has been set aside in our nation to give thanks, I pray that today will be a wonderful day for you. We have so much to be thankful for! As I write this, I realize that life, with all it’s disparity finds each of us at different places. For some, you are celebrating the birth of a new child while others are mourning the loss of their father. Some are enjoying a year of prosperity while others are unemployed and struggling to get by. For many, today is a “family day” while others are alone or estranged from their families. For some, it is “easy” to be thankful. For others it may be very hard.

Paul encouraged us to remember that life, with its ups and downs, affects us all. We will all find ourselves in “good times” or “bad times” at some point in our life. Our thankfulness should not be controlled by the constantly changing circumstances of our lives, but rather by this one unchangeable truth: As Christians our sins are forgiven! We are in good standing with God. Not because of our goodness, but because of God’s indescribable gift! That fact remains the same no matter the circumstances of my life! That fact makes it possible to give thanks in everything. May this Thanksgiving Day be filled with peace and gladness in your hearts!

Friday, November 16, 2007



Proverbs 17:17 (KJV)
17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

It seems as though there are times when we get hit with seemingly one wave of adversity after another. You know what I’m talking about. A friend dies, or a pet, or something less tragic but still disheartening like the transmission goes out or the refrigerator quits. Have you ever noticed how it sometimes seems that these things come in multiples? It’s times like the ones I’ve mentioned and others that you may presently be experiencing, that we need each other. We need our friends; our brothers.

We are blessed to be a part of a congregation of believers and we need to leverage that blessing to its maximum potential. Friendships within the body of Christ are important for a number of reasons.

1. It gives us a support system when things go wrong
a. You and I need the prayers, love and support of other believers when things seem to be swirling out of control in our lives. We need that trusted friend or group of friends that we can confide in and share our burdens with. “Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

2. It provides accountability
a. Even though my relationship with my friends may keep me from doing some things that are considered “fun” by a large segment of our society, it preserves my integrity with them and with my Heavenly Father. Being responsible or accountable to my friends around me helps keep me from straying from the path

3. It provides positive peer pressure
a. When I surround myself with a group of Christian friends, I am less subject to temptation and it becomes much easier to simply “be Christian”.

We are blessed that we have a group that we can call our friends. A friend “loveth at all times”. It’s really easy to take the low road and become critical or judgmental of others, but a friend loves when it isn’t the popular thing to do. A brother is born to be there during adversity. In the worldly culture it is common place that friends abandon friends when the level of adversity rises. But a true friend; a Christian friend, was “born” to stick with the brother during those adverse times.

Be blessed and be a blessing!