Monday, October 22, 2018

Give Thanks Always

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul tells us, "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Do you remember the last time that you sat down during your prayer time and did not ask the Lord for anything, but simply offered Him thanks? What Paul is saying is believers can always find something to be thankful for, in times of prosperity as well as times of and adversity. Why? Let us keep in mind, "that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) Therefore, good times or difficult times will be equally helpful to us.

The Apostle Paul also tells us, "Not that, as to coming short, I am speaking, for, I, have learned, in whatsoever circumstances I am, to be, independent. I know [what it is] even to be kept low, and I know [what it is] to have more than enough, in every way, and in all things, have I been let into the secret both to be well fed, and to be hungering, both to have more than enough, and to be coming short. I have might, for all things, in Him that empowers me." (Philippians 4:11-13 REB) This is a passage to encourage us to live for Christ and be independent of the circumstances, especially those  that create anxiety and or worry which steal life from us. When we find ourselves needing divine help, we simply respond to the Holy Spirits invitation, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)

The Apostle Paul understood where true unwavering strength came from, "And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Holding on to the grace of God, that is, His strength, His ability, His favor in all times, like Paul tells us, is allowing the power of Christ to take over to put us over any circumstance that we may face. Also, let us never forget what Jesus did for us. When Jesus conquered Satan and stripped him of his authority, in the mind of the Father it was as though we had done it. When Jesus defeated Satan, it was our victory also. Before becoming born again, Satan was our master, but now in Christ we are Satan's master. What does this mean to us today? It means we have been given the mastery over all the works of Satan. It means the end of defeat and failure. It means it is time that we appreciated what God has done for us in Christ and appreciated being a member of the body of Christ. It means we are now the righteous victors. It means Satan cannot lord it over us any longer. It means disease is under our feet. So, let us thank Him and go out and enjoy the fullness of this marvelous Redemption that the Father has provided through Christ.

Now, every believer has a two-fold oneness with Christ. First, His oneness with our sin on the cross. Second, our oneness with Him in His glory on the throne. He became one with us in death, that we might be one with Him in life. He became as we were, so that we might become as He is. He became weak to make us strong; He suffered shame to give us glory. He was made sin to make us righteous. He was made sick in order that healing might be ours. He was made a curse to make us blessed. He was condemned in order to justify us. He died so that we could live. He was cast out from the presence of God in order to make us welcome there. He went to hell in order to take us to heaven. His triumph over Satan, death and hell, is ours to celebrate.

His resurrection from the dead gives us newness of life. His seating at the right hand of the Father is our position in Him. He has given us His name in which every knee will bow. His authority is ours over all the works of Satan. He has given us abundance of grace to carry out His will. He has given us His Word that is as powerful today as it was when first spoken. He has given us the Holy Spirit to go forth in His anointing and power. He is in us and we are in Him. We are new creations the old has passed away. We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. Hallelujah!!!

So, let us be a thankful people knowing that Jesus has not left us to live on our own, that He is living His life in us, that He is acting in us, through us, and with us. "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name." (Hebrews 13:15) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all...

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