“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6).
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6).
I get tired of hearing complaints about how bad it is in our world, but one day last week, I learned a valuable lesson about complaining. While I was praying (or was that whining) to the Lord, I was burdened in my spirit more than usual. He asked me something I wasn’t prepared to answer: when was the last time that you brought your sacrifice of thanksgiving before me? I pray, but when it comes to giving thanks… He opened my eyes. Thanksgiving is a sacrifice and we will not see the fullness of God’s blessings if we don’t cultivate a thankful spirit. Of course, I told the Lord that I always “enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise,” like he didn’t know it already.
He said, “You praise me when everything is going right, and every need is, by the worldly measure, abundantly met, but when are you going to thank me for the trials? I fumbled for an answer because I honestly didn’t know what to say. In the midst of a trial, it’s hard to think about the blessings that are being poured out, because we don’t see them. It is then, that we give thanks even when our cup feels sooo empty. That’s sacrifice.
“God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. Thou are my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever” ( Psalm 118: 27-29).
Isn’t it time that we bind our “sacrifice of thanksgiving” with cords, even unto “the horns of the altar”? The Lord requires a “living sacrifice” every time that we enter into his presence. We may not always feel like committing our thanks to the altar. Every day we fight principalities that try to prevent us from seeing through God’s eyes. We don’t always recognize the hand of God at work in our lives, and that hinders us from being truly thankful. We must bind our sacrifice to the altar. When everything is going well, let’s don’t forget to be thankful for it, and when everything falls apart: be thankful, God is working it all out for our good. A sacrifice will cost you something.
The world’s prosperity distracts us; Satan tries to derail us. Pray! God’s mercy endureth forever. He is exalted above all the earth; he knows what we have need of. He will give us the desires of our heart in due time.
“I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 116:9).
My prayer, today, is that I never get so caught up in events that are happening around me, that I forget what the Lord delivered me from. It’s so easy to condone what others are doing to get attention, without thinking through the consequences.
I pray that the Lord will always help me to check my spirit against the spirit of the world, and to never forget the freedoms that I have because others have paid the price for that freedom. America may not always be so free; may we not forget that we are a blessed nation only by the Grace and Mercy of God, and if we keep turning away from God, he may withdraw his hand of protection.
Our testimony should show love and respect for God, and for our country, and others who have made the sacrifices for us. I have always lived in America, so too often, I take my freedoms for granted, because it hasn’t cost me anything. There are others who know only too well, the price of our freedom. I want to give them honor, today. Thank you for your service.
The image shows a man in a wheelchair who has a deep respect for the flag. He is the only one who had an excuse to sit while the flag was passing, yet, he stood. You may say, oh the ones sitting were exercising their rights, and you would be right, but how much more honorable would it have been if they could have stood? What would it have cost them, other than a little effort to get to their feet?
Ghandi said, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” If more people would do the honorable, our nation would experience a change for the better.
You have a right to stand and honor the flag and all that it represents; don’t take that right for granted, because one day you could lose it.