Thursday, November 27, 2014

November 27 – Your Thanksgiving Promise

Always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  Do not extinguish the Spirit.  Do not treat prophecies with contempt. But examine all things; hold fast to what is good.  Stay away from every form of evil.  Now may the God of peace himself make you completely holy and may your spirit and soul and body be kept entirely blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is trustworthy, and he will in fact do this.  (1 Thessalonians 3:16-24  NET)

Your Thanksgiving promise today, is that the Lord Jesus will in fact make you completely holy and entirely blameless until we meet Him face to face.  There will be no reason to fear His rejection, we can have a confidence of peace and joy in the knowledge that He is making us holy, even when we are so full of faults and don’t deserve such great love and attention.  For those of you who live in the shadow of guilt and blame for things you’ve done wrong, or for those who have never felt completely accepted in this world, God is telling you that He Himself makes you perfect because when He sees you, He sees the perfection of Jesus.  (Galatians 3:27)  

What a relief to know that we don’t have to pay for all our mistakes.  Like a loving father wipes away the tears of his child and hugs him with reassurance, our Father wants us to know that because we are His, everything can be made new and right again.  But for us to receive that, we need to treat God as a Father who we respect, and behave as children who follow His every word.

Are you in a certain situation that you wish could be made new and right again?  God is trustworthy, so begin to obey these commands that come before the promise: always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks.  These are not just nice sayings, these are keys to powerful change in your immediate circumstances, and more than that, in creating a close bond with God.  

Always rejoice, even when things look terrible?  Yes.  You manifest raw and undiluted faith when you praise God in the midst of problems, not because you are delusional, but because you know that God’s promises are trustworthy, He is coming through for you and there’s nothing that the devil can do about it.  Rejoicing against your flesh is taking a stand against fears, and is a knife in the back of the devil.  Do it even when you don’t feel happy.  Just rejoice by faith, and the Holy Spirit’s supernatural joy will come over you.  It’s an amazing experience.

Constantly pray?  People tell me all the time how much they pray.  When I ask them how they reacted when a crisis arose, they’ll tell me everything else that they did, except pray.  Don’t assume that throwing up a few wishes into the air with God’s name attached is real prayer.  Jacob wrestled with God and demanded a blessing.  Abraham and Gideon complained with God, and all these men were answered beyond their wildest dreams.  Jesus talks about prayers of persistence and faith in what you don’t yet see.  Just like rejoicing against your flesh, praying and believing against your flesh is powerful.  Do it constantly.  On the drive to work, washing dishes, filling your gas tank, on your lunch break, brushing your teeth, and especially in your quiet times set aside just to read His Word and talk to Him.  

And in everything give thanks.  Thank Him for the fact that the answer to your prayer hasn’t happened yet.  Thank Him for the struggle your son or daughter is going through at the moment.  Thank Him for the new job that hasn’t materialized yet, or for the difficult coworker that you have to tolerate and love as God wants you to, despite her irritating personality.  Just like in rejoicing, thanksgiving to God in EVERYTHING, forces you to rein in your emotions, and take a stand on what you believe: that God is trustworthy and is working all things out for good.  Like bug repellant, thankfulness causes the barrage of negative emotions and thoughts to drop like flies.  Your faith is purer and God can work faster because the obstacles of doubt and anxiety are removed from your heart.  

Do these three simple things beginning on this Thanksgiving Day, and you will be made blameless and holy to God.  Be careful not to dismiss what God is telling you here, because one command in this promise is not to treat prophecies with contempt.  Make this way of life your new normal.  Begin a wonderful life of rejoicing, prayer and thanksgiving! 

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