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Thank you for praying for me as I preached last weekend. I know your prayers made a difference.
Thank you for taking a minute or two to read this blog.
Thank you for your love.
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. (Philemon 1:4, 5 NIV)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (Romans 12:1 NIV)
Any occasion to give is good. Giving thanks is how to give and live in God’s grace.
When giving thanks becomes a daily habit instead of an occasional event, life becomes rich with a perspective that invites joy.
Let’s begin this week by giving thanks to God for your body. When was the last time you did that?
Lately, the following has been my thanksgiving prayer to begin my day with. It has set me up with a new perspective and I have been so blessed by it:
“Thank you, Lord for this body. Thank you Lord that I do not serve my body but I use my body to serve you.
Use this body to work hard, reach out, touch with gentleness, embrace with faith and help others.
I am thankful for the body you have given me to live in. Bless it and may it and all I am glorify you today.”
Feel free to make it your own or make one of your own.
Give thanks. Live by His Grace.
Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. (Psalm 116:7 NIV)
The very best way restore rest for your soul is to cultivate your attitude of gratitude.
When the world crowds you and makes you feel claustrophobic with all the “things needed ASAP”, it is good to take a moment and remind yourself how the Lord has been good to you.
It resets your perspective and returns your internal state from “fret” to rest.
How has The Lord been good to you?
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. (Psalm 28:7 NIV)
When I feel weak, I lean on his strength.
When I feel vulnerable and attacked, I hide behind his shield.
When my hope has been betrayed, my heart will trust in him.
When I cry out for help, he hears and responds.
When I realize I am not alone, I am not abandoned, I am loved and cared for by the Almighty God, my heart swells with thanksgiving.
I love because I am loved and there is no situation that is bigger than my God.
So no matter what I am facing, I can and will praise him.
Sometimes it is good to be reminded that the most powerful weapon in your spiritual armory is thanksgiving.
It will destroy negativity,
shut the mouth of the enemy,
banish fear and anxiety and
fill your heart with joy.
It adjusts your perspective and let’s faith in.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” (Psalms 100:4, 5 NLT)
You have the key in your hands.
What are you thankful for today?
Oprah has trumpeted the virtues of keeping a “gratitude journal” for years. I don’t have one and probably should start one (…yea, that is not going to happen). However, I do need a way to remind myself to begin with gratitude. Make it my starting place and the launching pad. I came across this verse today and it just blossomed inside like a beautiful rare flower:
“Thank you! Everything in me says “Thank you!” Angels listen as I sing my thanks. I kneel in worship facing your holy temple and say it again: “Thank you!” Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness; Most holy is your name, most holy is your Word. The moment I called out, you stepped in; you made my life large with strength.” Psalm 138:1-3 MSG
This is the true secret of “living large”. It isn’t about outside income, it is about inside strength. Strength that comes from worship, the word and unique joy thank comes from beginning with gratitude. It makes room in your heart for faith. Gratitude pushes aside the doubt that lingers and changes your perspective to that of abundance instead of lack. It opens your eyes to see the possibilities instead of the problems. Where worry constricts your heart, worship expands it.
I was perusing through my mailbox this morning and I came across a post from one of my favorite blogs, Live to Write. A line that Diane Mackinnon(one of it’s authors ) wrote in her post about living your writing dreams caught my attention:
“Start by wanting what you already have.”
Isn’t that beautiful? Diane suggests making a list of things you want in your life and starting it with things you already have. She always starts her list with “a good cup of coffee.” (I like her already)
1. I want a good cup of coffee ( I have coffee!)
2. I want …
“Start by wanting what you already have”.
What a great way to start ….everything. It is simple. It is so simple that we often overlook it. We skip it like we skip breakfast and move right on to worry and doubt like it is our job.
It is amazing how freeing it is to open your heart with worship, to open your soul with thanksgiving. It is more than amazing, actually, it is vital for your life.
Start living large, my friend… You were made for it.