Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’


1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the joys I have in serving God through this platform is how God brings people to encourage us when we serve. It can be quite daunting to go out on a limb to serve a God who is not seen, whose Son lived and was crucified 2,000 years ago and who ministers and directs us by the Holy Spirit, who again is unseen. As we step out in faith convicted by our belief in this God, He responds by ministering to us through His Holy Spirit which fills us up and directs our path moment by moment. The other aspect of his provision is bringing His own to encourage us and as I continue to walk in faith serving this great God, he has placed many in my midst, albeit that being online, who continually encourage, support, value add and pray for me. Was Paul speaking as an encourager here and was that the essence of his message to us today?

A dear christian friend and encourager shared an incident at her church where a lady attending shared a vision that she saw 2 ships, one with people having a great time but no joy inside and another with people all wounded but full of joy. The christian ship is the latter and even though we are the downcast in the eyes of society, we are the chosen in the eyes of the Living God and our encouragement is from God and each other. I thank God for each of you that are serving God the Father, His son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit together and I celebrate with the hosts of heaven your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love

 

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Philippians 4:4-7
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Recently, a dear friend of mine has been challenging me with questions that shake the very foundation of our belief and I in my desire to prove my point wanted to counter rock for rock albeit in a friendly manner. His questions seemed harsh, his arguments sound and his conviction clearly evident in his unbelief and I kept seeking wisdom from the Lord to respond and all I got was calm and quiet. How can Paul encourage us to rejoice always in the face of opposition, challenges and difficulties? Could he not have encouraged us to be hopeful in trying times and rejoicing in good ones?

When we examine the life of Christ here on earth, his every moment seemed filled with challenges. He was born from a virgin which is a hotly debated subject, he was born poor which is unlike any king, his father was a poor carpenter, he did not have any fancy education and was from a lowly town, he grew up in the face of opposition from his own people and finally died by their own hands. Through all the challenges, his strength was his faith in God the Father and his only desire was to accomplish his father’s will. When I wanted to counter each question, the only thought that came to mind was to respond in gentleness and not try to make sense of God to man but instead just direct man to God. I do know that it was God who reached my wicked soul and not man and so I pray for my dear friend that he will find his answers in God alone. Are you anxious about anything, are you challenged? I urge you to look at the cross and find hope in Christ who overcame this world for you. Lets rejoice in Jesus daily!

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

Luke 14:12-14
Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Jesus was certainly ruffling feathers of the holy men during his ministry and it was not because he was doing it to offend them but because they were so unbelieving. They were so blinded by their belief that they did not see how they were robbing people of any connection with God through their rituals and laws. God was not looked at as someone who loved us but instead it was pressure that pushed people to follow God. What a tragedy because God is love and we have no right to change that nature of God! In the above passage about the banquet, it is something I would find very hard to follow. How could I not invite my own or those that are dear to me for a special occasion where I want to share my joy with them? How can I focus my energy and resources on those less fortunate than me and what good would that be to me? Would this be a lost networking opportunity or a smart PR strategy?

In today’s world, we are so focussed on doing good for public perception and there is seldom a business or famous person who does not support some cause or give to the needy but that’s never done without making a big deal about it. Jesus is not telling us to do things to get approval of man. Our focus should be on serving those less fortunate without expecting anything back. My grandmother has a thanksgiving dinner every year on the occasion of my grandfather’s passing away and one of the things they do is to invite all the less fortunate people in the community for a meal. There are over 100 people who are brought in, fed and sent home with love and what strikes me most is that this is done without any expectation of anything in return. These people cannot give anything back materially but Christ is shared and they receive willingly. What is your Christmas plan this year? Are you giving those who have lots or those who have nothing? Can we find someone in our areas of influence who is in need and share the joy of this special season? Can we give them some love that God shared with us who were once lost?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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