JUST GIVING THANKS                                                                                                                 Andy Hollifield 10-23-18

1 Chronicles 16:8 Give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever.

The word “thanks” is in the bible 73 times. “Thanksgiving” is used 28 times. “Thankful” is used only three times. “Thankfulness” only once and “thank” is mentioned 27 times. It kind of makes you think that we ought to be more thankful to the Lord doesn’t it? Psalms 100:4 says we are to “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name”. Thanks is defined as “a grateful feeling or acknowledgement of a benefit, favor, or the like, expressed by words or otherwise. I noticed something interesting in Psalms about the benefits of God. Psalms 68:19 says, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. Psalms 103:2 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. And finally Psalms 116:12 says, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?” Did you see that? He loads us with benefits. I will not forget his benefits. And what can I give for his benefits toward me. We get them. We remember them. And we try to give something in exchange. There’s just nothing we can give or do to be worthy of all his benefits or to thank him properly. Paul said in Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”. Living for the Lord is not the incredible sacrifice that we play it up to be. It is just our reasonable service. Nothing spectacular but just reasonable. If we could get that in our mind, I believe we would live a lot different than we do.

There is no need to write a big long post because it comes down to one thing: Are you thankful or not? Sometimes we are prone to get busy and fail to thank God for the things he blesses us with. So I just wanted to take a minute to put in writing a few things I am thankful for. I have always believed one thing; you don’t have to look far to find someone worse of than you.  I know that God don’t have Facebook but I want to thank him for my home he has blessed me with, the family he has blessed me with, and the vehicles he has blessed me with. I am especially grateful for my son’s health being good because that wasn’t always the case. I thank him for all the trips we didn’t have to make to the hospital. Aside from being overweight and diabetic, my family is healthy and happy. I am thankful for the ministry he has blessed me with and for all of those pastors that have allowed and invited me into their pulpit to share the gospel. I also appreciate all of the board members and volunteers and supporting churches that make it a success and get the job done.  After having pastored, I know that it is not an easy thing to do for fear of someone hurting your church. I am thankful also for my pastor Bruce West. He was my pastor when I got saved and has mentored me in the ministry, even though we didn’t know that’s what it was called back then. To us, it was just an older seasoned preacher giving guidance and Godly counsel to a younger one.

I am also thankful for my health. It seems like things pop up more than they used to but I attribute that mostly to age. I am glad that I have lived long enough to be having the issues that come with age. I successfully put my feet on the floor this morning and stood up and walked under my own power which was a privilege denied to many. I fully expect to pillow my head tonight having received another 24 hours of God’s blessings and wake up in the morning even more thankful than I am today. At some point today, I will have faith enough to turn the key in the truck and expect it to start. If it don’t, God has blessed me with a set of jumper cables that will help. Last night I slept in a bed with cover and a roof over my head in a warm house. A lot of folks didn’t. Speaking of my house; there was a time when it looked like I would lose it but I didn’t. I had more than enough to eat yesterday and a lot of folks didn’t. Some folks went to bed last night expecting to wake up this morning but didn’t and I did.

Well, that is just a few things that came to mind. Sometimes we are apt to forget those little, normal, everyday, things. We sometimes do pretty good thanking God for those big things but then forget about that last breath we just drew. Yep, there’s another one. He holds each one in his control and each beat of our heart. I am glad he keeps giving me both of them. It’s kind of hard to quit once you get started but don’t take my word for it; try it. I bet you’ll find it’s hard to stop when you get started “Just Giving Thanks”. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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