Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 20 Number 11 November 2018
Page 15

Priscilla's Page Editor's Note

Thanking God All Day—Every Day

Marilyn LaStrape

Marilyn LaStrapeIn November 2016 my article was entitled, “God Gives Us Everything.” Since then my attention continues to be drawn to the virtually countless times that the Bible tells us what God gives us and why. It tells us what God has given us, is giving us and will give us until He brings this world to an end. Whatever “it” is, if God does not give it to us, we literally don’t and can’t get it!

This irrevocable truth was beyond debate when God created Adam. Genesis 2:7 reads, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Adam was a corpse, a dead body until God gave him breath! Job 12:10 asked, “In whose hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind?” Job 34:12-15 says, “Surely God will never do wickedly, nor will the Almighty pervert justice. Who gave Him charge over the whole earth? Or who appointed Him over the whole world? If He should set His heart on it, if He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.” Do we thank God daily for still being alive?

As Christians, giving thanks to God should be as natural as our breathing. We must be thankful daily for life, health, strength, provision, protection and care because God is who He is. God holds our breath in His hand and owns all our ways. Psalm 119:168 says, “I keep Your precepts [rules] and Your testimonies [God’s divine truth or charges], for all my ways are before You.” One writer’s thoughts on remembering to give thanks stated, “Though our days may be cut short, we have tasted the good things of the Lord. In the worst of times, it is only appropriate to intermingle our petitions for His care with the gracious spirit of thanksgiving.” Do we always thank God daily for watching over us?

Psalm 68:19-20 reads, “Blessed be the LORD, who daily loads us with benefits, the God our salvation. Our God is the God of salvation; and to God the LORD, belong escapes from death.” We are never more vulnerable than when we are asleep. Psalm 3:5 says, “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me.” Psalm 4:8 says, “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” In his commentary on Psalms, Volume 3, “Psalms 50-72,” Tom Wacaster wrote on Psalm 68:19-20,

God’s blessings are daily, not intermittent. His blessings are loaded, not light or sparse. His blessings are for all of Israel, namely “us.” If we are bowed down with sorrow, our God will provide us comfort; if with fear, God will give us courage. No matter the burden, our God will provide release from it. Death surrounds us at every hand. We witness physical death almost every day of our life. Every obituary page in the newspaper and every funeral procession is a reminder that death is real. Spiritual death is just as real, yet carries far greater consequences. Men seek a cure to death, but it is in vain, for “it is appointed unto man once to die” (Heb. 9:27).

Do we understand our total physical and spiritual dependence on God?

In her book, A Pearl Seeker, Becky Blackmon wrote, “As we thank God for the blessings He pours down upon our heads daily, we will find ourselves living this verse.” The verse she quotes is 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” She wrote the verse is “just three words, but how powerful they truly are.” She continues, “We will be praying continually all day long.” She then enumerates numerous things we should be daily thanking God for because we are rich, rich, rich! She concludes that section of the chapter with, “He chooses to love us this much. Why in the world wouldn’t we want to tell Him thank You all day long?” I was especially impressed with her repeating the phrase all day long. Psalm 100:2 reads, “Know that the LORD, He is God, it is He who has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” One commentary states our being the sheep of God’s pasture means He is the stately source of all spiritual food and water. Are we thankful all day long for His providential care?

Psalm 107 addresses God’s care of the Israelites when He brought them out of Egypt. Verse 1 reads, “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” Verse 8 reads, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” Verse 8 is emphasized verbatim in verses 15, 21, and 31. What about us? Are we giving thanks to the Lord for His goodness and His wonderful works in our lives and in all the lives of those we love, know and about whom we care? Are we giving thanks for His care to all His creation because He is God and because His Son gave His life for every one of us?

Are we giving thanks to God for His goodness all day every day? Do we understand that glorifying God is the way of life for Christians? Do we give God exalted distinction, honor, praise, renown, adoration and thanksgiving all day long every day? Let us all answer with a resounding, “Yes!”

Twelve Givers of the Bible

Martha Lynn Rushmore

Martha Lynn RushmoreI found this sermon outline on Louis’s bulletin board and recognized it immediately. I knew it was a sermon my late husband Bob Noland preached many times. So, I decided it needed to be put into an article.

  1. The first giver we find in Genesis 22:1-19 is Abraham, the willing giver. He was told by God to offer his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. Abraham got everything he needed for his trip. He took two of his servants and Isaac with him, and Abraham headed for Mt. Moriah. He left his servants at the foot of the mountain, but Abraham took Isaac, the wood for the altar and whatever else he needed. On the way to offer the sacrifice, Isaac asked his father, “Where is the lamb?” Abraham’s answer was, “God will provide.” This shows the faith of Abraham.
  2. The next giver is the big little giver in Mark 12:42-44. This was the poor widow who gave two mites (a few copper coins to us). This was all she had. It does not seem that she gave much according to our standards, but when you give all, the amount does not matter. She gave because she loved the Lord.
  3. Now, we come to the stingy giver in 1 Samuel 15:20-24. This giver is King Saul and the Israelites that went to war against the Amalekites. God told them to destroy all, which meant everything and everyone, including the animals and the enemy king. The people and Saul thought it would be better to bring these spoils back to offer to God for sacrifices. However, God wants obedience.
  4. We find  a sacrificial giver in 2 Samuel 24:24. Now this was David. He refused to sacrifice something that cost him nothing. To sacrifice, we must give of ourselves or something that costs us. King David wanted to buy a threshing floor to build an altar to the Lord. Araunah wanted to give it to David, but David said, “No.” If he could not buy the threshing floor, he would not take it. You see, it would not have been a sacrifice, because it wouldn’t have cost him anything.
  5. Our next givers are covetous and found in Acts 5:1-11. These givers were Ananias and Sapphira. They sold their land like Barnabas did, but instead of giving all to the church, they held some back. The problem was they tried to lie to God and say they had sold their land for less than they did. When Ananias went before the apostles to give the money, Peter asked Ananias why he lied to God. Immediately Ananias fell dead. Those at the door took him out and buried him. About three hours later, Sapphira came in and also said they had sold the land for so much. She did not know that Ananias had died. Peter asked her why she was lying to God. He told her those at the door who buried her husband were there and were going to bury her, too. She immediately fell dead and was taken out and buried.
  6. The sixth set of givers are consecrated givers in 2 Corinthians 8:1-5; 11:8-9. This group of givers were those of the Macedonian church who first gave of themselves to the Lord. They did not have much riches, but they gave freely to the work of the Lord.
  7. In Acts 3:1-10, Peter and John were life givers. They had gone into the Temple through the gate called Beautiful. There was a lame man at the gate begging alms. Peter told him they had no money but what they had they would give him. They made him well. He had been lame from birth, and now the beggar was able to jump, run and walk. They gave him freedom to move around and not to depend on others.
  8. Eighthly, we come to the voluntarily giver, Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-9. Without being asked, he volunteered to give half of his goods to feed the poor. This was a great example of what Christianity is all about.
  9. In Matthew 6:2, we come to the reward givers who did so to be seen of men. We are not to do good works for others to be seen of men. We are not to brag about our good deeds. If this is what we do, we will get our reward from men, not from God.
  10. The unpretentious giver is found in Luke 10:25-37. This man is known to all of us as the Good Samaritan. There was a Jewish man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; he had been beaten and left for dead. A priest and a Levite saw him and passed him by on the other side of the road. These two “men of God” should have helped him. Thirdly, along came the Samaritan. He was considered worthless by Jews. He stopped to wash the man’s sores. The Good Samaritan put the injured man on his animal and took him to an inn. He told the innkeeper to take care of this man and that when he came back he would pay him what was owed. Jesus was teaching a parable on “Who is my Neighbor?” Of course, the answer was that the one who took care of the man who was beaten and left for dead had acted the part of a neighbor.
  11. Then, there are the perfumed givers, the Philippians, whose gifts were “an odor of sweet smell” (Philippians 4:17-18). These gifts given to Paul were an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.
  12. The greatest giver is God, Who gave “his unspeakable gift” (John 3:16). God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to come to this earth, to live among humans and to be crucified on the cross—a cruel death for all mankind. Jesus was the best gift this world has ever and will ever receive. Through His death on the cross, we have the promise of eternal life.

What kind of giver are you? Are you a giver for your reward from man or for your reward from the Lord? Let’s be givers for the Lord.

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