Tag: give thanks

Thank offerings!

Scripture reading for June 30th:  Psalms 112-116

Key Scriptures:  Psalm 116:15-17  “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.  O Lord, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have freed me from my chains.  I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the Name of the Lord!”  

This psalm was written by someone who experience God answering prayer for from death or a desperate situation.  The psalmist realized that God alone showed mercy and kept him from acting rashly or without faith during the trial, which he almost did.  He vowed to offer a thank offering to God and to call on His Name.  Trials, when properly handled, drive us closer to God and bring new understanding of His ways.

Continually give thanks:  “Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  (1st Thessalonians 5:16-18)  ” . . . Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Ephesians 5:20)

 

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Christ is your life!

Scripture reading for September 10th:  Colossians 3

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”  (Colossians 3:1-4)

Paul appealed to the church to become heavenly-minded!  Resurrection truth was that they had identified with Christ in His death but also in His resurrection.  Christ was now seated at the right hand of God and so were they!  Where their treasure was, their hearts and minds must be centered as well.  Their old life was gone–dead with Christ on the cross and taken out of the way.  Their new life had arrived–alive in Christ’s eternal life above.  Jesus Christ would come again and they must be focused and ready to appear with Him in glory!  This was a new way to view life laid out by their pastor to help them.

As a result of this exchange, Paul went on to encourage the Colossians to put off any remnants of the old life, reckoning them dead through Christ’s gift of grace.  They must put off sexual immorality, greed, lust, as well as anger, slander and lying.   God’s wrath was coming  because of these on those who were outside Christ.

On the positive side, the Colossians must clothe themselves with compassion, kindness and patience.  Forgiveness should rule in all relationships because of Christ’s mercy towards them.  Christ’s love must bind them all together in unity.  “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”  (Colossians 3:17)  Christ’s life must produce fruit of the Spirit!

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This is My Body!

Scripture reading for March 9th: Mark 14:22-52, Psalms 52:1-9, Proverbs 11:1-3

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take it; this is My body.” (Mark 14:22)

Jesus and His disciples were eating the Passover meal together.  Judas had already betrayed Him and He had told them all that one of them had done this.  They were saddened and one by one asked if it was them.  Jesus, in Matthew, actually identified Judas as the one.  (Matthew 26:25)  Jesus knew exactly what had happened and would happen.  He had a plan that the Father had revealed to Him and went about laying out that plan so that His followers would remember Him.

In the breaking of the bread, Jesus was giving the disciples a visual picture of His own body being broken for them.  He first took the bread from the table, then He gave thanks to God for the bread, then He gave it to the disciples with this simple instruction: “Take it; this is My body.” This pattern of taking, thanking, breaking and giving, had been used in the feeding of the 5000 and the 4000 as well.  (Mark 6:41, Mark 8:6)  We have nothing that we have that is not given to us by God.  We must take it willingly for ourselves.   The bread was broken apart and distributed as Christ was Himself broken to be distributed to all who would believe.  This bread of His Body must be taken with thanksgiving because of the sacrifice that it represented. It is a gift from God to all His children to nourish them for eternal life!

The final act was eating or feeding on the bread.  Bread is the staff of life, and is used in almost every culture as a basic food.  Jesus had declared, “I am the Bread of Life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)  “I am the Living Bread that came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.  This bread is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)  When we eat this bread, we join the disciples of Jesus in the true Passover meal!  We are nourished with the Living Bread unto eternal life!  As we eat, we desire to be like Him!

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