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Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

When we begin to give it serious thought, we can find many things for which to be thankful–family, jobs, income, homes, running water, good weather–all of which are gifts from God. This Thanksgiving season, it may be helpful to turn our focus to some other intangible things we received from God through Jesus Christ.

Read Ephesians 1:3-14
1. List at least five things that God had done for you from this section of scripture.

2. Copy Ephesians 1:4 here.
3. What does it mean to be chosen by God?

4. What do the following verses teach about God’s having chosen us?
▸ Deuteronomy 14:2
▸ Psalm 4:3
▸ Romans 8:30
▸ 2 Thessalonians 2:13
▸ 2 Timothy 1:9
▸ 1 Peter 2:9

dsc_1642

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This is definitely the time to count your blessings. It helps to have a song to sing along with as you do!

count-your-many-blessings

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Be deliberate in your giving of thanks this year.  Here’s an exercise I like to use in my devotional time to give thanks for all that God had given me.
Instructions:
For each letter of the alphabet below, list one thing you are grateful for that begins with each letter.  For example, J – Jesus, S – Salvation, M – Martha (a friend):
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

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  1. When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
    When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
    Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
    And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

    • Refrain:
      Count your blessings, name them one by one,
      Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
      Count your blessings, name them one by one,
      *Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
      [*And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.]
  2. Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
    Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
    Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
    And you will keep singing as the days go by.
  3. When you look at others with their lands and gold,
    Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
    Count your many blessings—money cannot buy
    Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
  4. So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
    Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
    Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
    Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Johnson Oatman, Jr.

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How can I say thanks
for the things you have done for me
Things so undeserved
Yet you give to prove your love for me
The voices of a million angels
Cannot express my gratitude
All that I am or ever hope to be
I owe it all to Thee

(Chorus)
To God be the glory
To God be the glory
To God be the glory
For the things He has done
With His blood, He has saved me
By His power, He has raised me.
To God be the glory
For the things he has done

(Bridge)
Just let me live my life
And let it be pleasing, Lord to Thee
And should I gain any praise,
Let it go to Calvary.

With His blood, He has saved me
By His power, He has raised me.
To God be the glory
For the things he has done.

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On the subject of prayer and in the context of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:  “Rejoice Always, pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

John Wesley said, “One who always prays is ever giving praise, whether in ease or pain, both for prosperity and for the greatest adversity.  He blesses God for all things, looks on them as coming from Him, and receives them only for His sake — not choosing nor refusing, liking nor disliking, anything, but only as it is agreeable or disagreeable to His perfect will.”

In essence, the heart of thanksgiving springs out of an understanding of God, His character, that He is the source of all things and that His will is to be sought above all else.  Having that focus, I can continue in a perpetual attitude of thanksgiving to God for all that He has done for me, is doing for me and will do for me.

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Consider the following verses from the New Testament that speak of what Christ has done for us who believe.  Thank Him!

• Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

• 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

• Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ

• 1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

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