Jump Start # 3455
Note: Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day. There will be no Jump Start tomorrow. Enjoy the time with your family and with the Lord.
Psalms 92:1 “It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High.”
Tomorrow is the day we call “Thanksgiving.” People will be traveling, feasting, sharing memories, watching football and relaxing. It is a good holiday. It is good to remember to be thankful. Our verse today teaches that.
We have been writing about prayer for a week now. Prayer is a key component to our relationship with the Lord. All relationships need trust and communication. This is true in our relationship with the Lord. But, prayer must be much more than asking God for help. It must be more than sending a list to Heaven of what I need. Prayer is built upon the love, hope and trust that we have in the Lord. It is good to give thanks to the Lord.
Sadly, for many, Thanksgiving will quickly be pushed to the back and it’s full steam ahead to Christmas. A quick, “thanks, God,” until next year really doesn’t do much to our relationship with the Lord. And, it’s easy to limit our thankfulness to the obvious, such as health, jobs, family, church. Those are all valuable parts of our lives, but is that it?
Learn to lower the nets. Think deep. Thank deep.
Here are some starting points for you:
First, think about how patient God has been with you. It’s been a journey getting to God and sometimes we have been pretty slow and even taken a few detours. But the Lord has never given up on you. Think about how long it has taken to shape your attitude and heart to where God wants it to be. We can be really selfish at times. We can be stubborn. God has moved hate out and replaced it with love. God has gotten rid of the stinginess and replaced that with generosity. God has taken meanness out and filled our hearts with kindness.
Now, the Lord did not do that overnight. He did not do that on His own. By walking with Him through the Scriptures, our hearts have changed. Some of us have been stuck on some sour attitudes for decades. God was patient. God has worked with you and on you. You’ve heard sermons that made you uncomfortable. You’ve read passages that stung you. And, all around you, God has placed people in His kingdom for you to look at, imitate, and model yourself after.
And, here you are today, so different, so Christ-like, so hopeful. It’s been a journey and the Lord was with you and waiting on you. For that, be thankful.
Second, think about how God has opened your eyes to learning some amazing truths in His word. You may have read these same passages for years, but now you understand them. Now, you see what God is saying. It may be a group of shepherds, as I had several experiences with this year, looking deeply into what shepherding really means. Now you get it. Now you understand. It may be one of the difficult books of the Bible that you have studied and now you get it. You understand. What joy there is when you see what the Lord is wanting you to know. For that, be thankful.
Third, think about the amazing opportunities God has given you to serve this year. Maybe it was in public worship, but what an honor and a joy that was to lead singing, lead the people of God in prayer or to preach His Holy Word. Maybe God put you in the place to be comfort to someone who was grieving. Maybe God used you to encourage someone who was down. Maybe God opened doors for you to answer someone’s questions. Maybe God through you helped someone to know Jesus. We are simply instruments, but what an honor that God would pick us and use us to lead and help others. Hearts have been lifted up. Hope has been restored. Lives have changed. Not because of us, but because of God. We happened to be the instruments that God used to accomplish those things.
Some may see these things as stressful, or even a burden. Some may view this as work. But to be the channel in which the blessings of God can flow to others is amazing. God uses us to help others. US. Of all people on this planet, God works with us and through us. For that, be thankful.
Fourth, think about the very nature of God. He has been so good to us. He is always there for us. He never tires with our stumbling ways. He never turns His back on us. He is kind. He is complete. He is knowable. He loves. He loves us. He has plans for you. He has a place for you. He thinks about you when you don’t think about Him. He has given the best of Heaven for you.
A little boy was saying a prayer one day in Bible class. He said, “Dear God, please take care of yourself. If anything happens to You, we are all sunk.” So true. So honest.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord. Not just tomorrow, but every day. May your day be blessed and may you be a blessing to those you are around.