It seems as though Giving Glory to God and giving Him Thanks continues to surface in life and in sermons. I keep coming back to Romans 1:21 which says: 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. It sounds like if we as Christians fail to Glorify God and give Him Thanks, our thoughts and our hearts become clouded over and darkened. In other words, we no longer think clearly and no longer make good decisions in life. This seems to be a problem.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV) 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Paul says in everything give thanks and that this is the will of God. Giving thanks to Him seems to be the heart God wants us to have!
Ephesians 5:20 (NKJV) 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ… Again, Paul says “giving thanks always”, “for all things”, “to God the Father”. I think these are some good words of advice for us to heed.
Matthew 22:21 (NKJV) 21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Even Jesus said to give to God the things that are His and we know that all things belong to God.
So here is what I get from these kinds of verses. As I go through life one day at a time it is important to “ALWAYS” be acknowledging that God is the source of our “successes” and therefore it is proper to “give HIM thanks”. If we are not giving God the glory and thanks for where we are in our lives, weather that be our families, jobs, social life, or even our church life, we are in danger of taking the glory and thanks upon our own self instead of giving it to God. When we think our good fortune is all of our own makings we are setting ourselves up for failure and are outside of God’s blessing.
Therefore, make every effort to acknowledge God and give him thanks on a daily basis. Then watch this thinking process grow.
I thank God for each one of you!
Be Blessed in the Lord.
Chet Wiswell, Elder
Secrets are messages or activities which are hidden from being observed or detected. They are sometimes called mysteries. Small children usually discover them early on when they observe their parents whispering or spelling out secrets. Usually this is done to shield and protect them from harm or to avoid revealing an upcoming surprise. From then on they will find a world filled with secrets. They will experience it by interaction with peers at school, from huge corporations who zealously guard their secret recipes and force visitors to be accompanied by armed guards while entering or leaving their facilities ( happened to me once). They will learn that fraternal societies, cults and pseudo religions all have their codes, rituals and secret greetings and demands.
Gossip, conspiracy theories and visits from outer space aliens all thrive on having knowledge that outsiders don’t know. One bizarre example was on a History Channel which claimed the ark of the covenant was made and given to the Egyptians by space aliens and taken by Moses during the exodus. Many such odd notions flourish because humans desire to be among the insiders instead of left out. However, many secrets are necessary, especially for personal financial security or national defense issues.
The Bible often speaks about mysteries and secrets. God Himself has secrets, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us…”( Deu 29:29). Samson’s secret about this great strength was eventually discovered by a nagging, weeping Delilah ( Jud 16:6, 16, 17). This cause him to lose his strength and his eyes ( vv 19-21).
David understood that he, “…was made in a secret place (womb)…” ( Ps 139: 14-16). Solomon mentioned that a gift given in secret soothes anger ( Pr 21: 14). Jesus declared that our giving and our fasting should be done in secret so that our heavenly Father could reward us (Mt6:3-4). Jesus told his inner circle of believers, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to outsiders everything is said in parables…” ( Mk a4:10-12). Paul taught the Corinthians that, “ No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom that has been hidden…” (1 Cor 2:7) and that, “…men ought to regard us as servants of Christ as those entrusted with the secret of God” ( 4:1).
Many of the secret things of mankind happen in the dark places of Satan’s deep secrets ( Rev 2:24). However, “…God will judge men’s secrets ( Eph 5:12) through Jesus Christ…” ( Rom 2:16) They will be laid bare ( 1 Cor 14:25). As Christians we ought to emulate Paul’s secret, “…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…” ( Php 4: 12). Peter shows us why we are so blessed to be living on this side of the cross. God kept the suffering of Christ and the glories that would follow from the prophets and angels but revealed them to us through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven ( 1Pe1: 10-12).
Submitted by Jery Bailey, Elder
While the twin towers were burning and crumbling from the terror attack, police, fire and medical personnel were rushing into them on 911. They were able to save a few people, but many of those first responders sacrificed their lives in the attempt. Even years later some of them are still dying from the toxic materials which they inhaled. Such brave heroes deserve our admiration, appreciation and acclaim.
Christians are also first responders in a world headed for eternal destruction. Sin and apathy rather than fire and debris are destroying souls ( Jo 8: 2) ( Heb 9: 27). The big difference is that surely no one who has a chance to be rescued from a burning building would reject the help of first responders. Whereas, many more souls reject rather than accept and are grateful for a way out. Many mock the scriptural first responder’s efforts to show them the way of salvation (Mt 7: 13-14) ( Lk 13: 3)
Not only do some souls reject the message, but metaphorically “ seek to kill the messengers” ( Mt 5: 11) ( Rom 1: 21). In deciding to reject God, they become, “…filled with every kind of wickedness…” even becoming God-haters ( Rom 1: 19-30). However, God still loves them and doesn’t want them to perish ( 2 Pe 3: 9). Christians should also show that same care and concern for such souls ( Col 4: 5-6) ( 1 Tim 3: 7) ( Jas 5: 20).
Quite possibly there were people who became confused amid all the dust, darkness and heat and got lost in the twin towers. To souls who choose to head in the wrong direction, spiritual first responders can, “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch them from the fire and save them ( Jude 22-23).
Submitted by Jery Bailey, Elder
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