Illustration results for thankfulness
R. David Reynolds
“Great Is thy Faithfulness” is not the result of some tragic event in Thomas Chisholm’s life but a powerful witness to his daily walk with Jesus as he experienced “morning by morning” new mercies from His Everlasting Father. Pastor Chisholm always trusted his Everlasting Father to take care of Him, sustain him, and provide for his daily needs. Just before his death in 1960 he wrote this power, personal witness:
My income has never been large at any time due to
impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me
on until now. But I must not fail to record here the
unfailing faithfulness of a covenant keeping God and that He
has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care
which have filled me with astonishing gratefulness.”
[SOURCE: Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace: 366
Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions (Grand Rapids:
Kregel Publications, 1990), 348.]
A CHILD'S PERSPECTIVE OF THANKFULNESS
When asked to list what he was thankful for, one little boy wrote, "My glasses!"
"That's good," said the teacher, "they help you see better".
"No," responded the child, "I’m thankful for my glasses because they keep the other boys from hitting and fighting with me and the girls from kissing me."
This little guy clearly understood the meaning of gratitude.
Late one summer evening in Broken Bow, Nebraska, a weary truck driver pulled his rig into an all-night truck stop. The waitress had just served him when three tough looking, leather jacketed motorcyclists - of the Hell’s Angels type - decided to give him a hard time. Not only did they verbally abuse him, one grabbed the hamburger off his plate, another took a handful of his french fries, and the third picked up his coffee and began to drink it. How would you respond? Well, this trucker did not respond as one might expect. Instead, he calmly rose, picked up his check, walked to the front of the room, put the check and his money on the cash register, and went out the door. The waitress followed him to put the money in the till and stood watching out the door as the big truck drove away into the night.
When she returned, one of the bikers said to her, "Well, he’s not much of a man, is he?" She replied, "I don’t know about that, but he sure ain’t much of a truck driver. He just ran over three motorcycles on his way out of the parking lot."
ON TOP OF THE FENCEPOST
Alex Haley, the author of "Roots," had an unusual picture hanging on his office wall. It was a picture of a turtle on top of a fence post. When asked, "Why is that there?" Alex Haley answered, "Every time I write something significant, every time I read my words & think that they are wonderful, & begin to feel proud of myself, I look at the turtle on top of the fence post & remember that he didn’t get there on his own. He had help."
That is the basis of thankfulness - to remember th...
1 John 2:4-2:5
What Does Hope Do For Mankind?
Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest.
Hope motivates when discouragement comes.
Hope energizes when the body is tired.
Hope sweetens while bitterness bites.
Hope sings when all melodies are gone.
Hope believes when evidence is eliminated.
Hope listens for answers when no one is talking.
Hope climbs over obstacles when no one is helping.
Hope endures hardship when no on is caring.
Hope smiles confidently when no one is laughing.
Hope reaches for answers when no one is asking.
Hope presses toward victory when no one is encouraging.
Hope dares to give when no one is sharing.
Hope brings the victory when no one is winning.
- John Maxwell from Think on These Things –
O Lord, that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.
A Thanks Offering For God's Grace
In this country, the entire nation celebrates Thanksgiving in November. Some celebrate by busily preparing food, watching football and gathering with family. These are great Thanksgiving celebrations. However, Christians have a greater blessing in the opportunity to give thanks to God. Whether people in this world want to recognize it or not, everything they own is given to them by the Lord and there is going to be a day when all will give an accounting.
Christians are thankful for God's saving grace.
Ephesians 2:8-10 says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." This is one of the great evangelistic summaries in the Word of God. F.F. Bruce so wonderfully points out, "This is the watchword for the reformation theology: 'By grace alone, through faith alone, to God be the glory.'" The Bible teaches that everything Christians have comes by grace. "Grace" (charis) here affects man's sinfulness. It not only brings forgiveness to repentant sinners, but also joy from the Holy Spirit and heartfelt thankfulness to the Lord Jesus. This grace changes repentant sinners into new creations without destroying their individuality.
Those who live on this earth were marked by sin that came down to them as a curse from the time of Adam. It was decided and agreed upon by God the Father, Christ His Son and the Holy Spirit that Jesus would come to earth and redeem sinful mankind from willful sin. Christians have been saved by grace and they are sustained only by the grace of God. The precious children of God feast from the manna of God's Word daily, just as Mephibosheth did at King David's table. And there will be that day when all who have Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord will be eating at that geatest Thanksgiving feast, the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb of God." What a day that will be!
Does your life Express God's Grace?
One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"
"It was great, Dad."
"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.
"Oh yeah," said the son.
"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father. The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls aro...
GRATITUDE = SHORT PRAYERS
Few years ago, we had Carl Mitchell of Harding University come to Albania and do series of lectures on family life and issues. Other then the lectures he gave, we asked him to preach for us on Sunday. I vividly remember that as he was talking about gratitude or thankfulness, he shared an experience from his ministry as an elder.
He related one occasion when he and his fellow elders had asked that all the worship service be centered on gratitude. By that he meant that songs chosen, the partaking of the bread, the giving, the sermon and prayers be centered on gratitude. On prayers he said that we had specifically asked that no requests be made, only thankfulness for what He has done, is doing and will continue to do. Then his comment was: "That Sunday, the prayers were unusually short!"
Jacob Golden, Jr.
Last month Charlie Summers, the pastor of Seigle Avenue Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, wrote an op–ed piece for The Observer that I wish I’d written. Charlie stands in an interesting place. He’s got one foot planted among the poorest folks in Charlotte, for Seigle Avenue is in the heart of housing project ghetto. His other foot, however, is in Davidson, where he teaches at the college and rubs elbows with some of the wealthier, more well–educated, and powerful members of the Mecklenburg community. Let me read to you a little of his article:
What puzzles me is that our current national prosperity is coupled with such a meanness of spirit. Business is good, inflation is low, we are not at war (hot or cold). Yet instead of celebrating these good times with thankfulness and compassion, we find angry legislators pushing to cut off aid to dependent children. Talk show hosts belittling the poor for being lazy. Letters to the editor call for taller fences along the U.S. border and more prisons in the state.
The new “welfare to work” legislation from Congress is so cold it should be entitled “Here’s a Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares”... “I got mine. You get yours”....
Stock values, CEO compensation and sales of luxury autos have soared in recent years. But the wages paid to poor people for long hours of work have barely moved. Now the prosperous are going to cut off even the few benefits that make up the safety net in our nation. Do the math. A full–time job (a rare thing in itself for low–income people) at $6 an hour pays only about $12,480 a year before taxes. How is a parent going to support children on a wage like that? No wonder so many poor people have to work two jobs just to get by.
This current climate might be called an era of “Grab.” If gratitude leads to compassion then grab leads to resentment. Grab asks, “Why don’t I have more? Why does that person have a bigger car, a larger house, or a better pair of Nikes?” Grab, in its resentment, looks for someone to blame....and the poor are easy targets. The national mood has moved from a War on Poverty to attacks on the poor.