The Importance of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving should always follow answered prayer, just as the mist of earth's gratitude rises when the sun of heaven's love warms the ground.
Has the Lord been gracious to you and inclined His ear to the voice of your prayer? Then thank Him as long as you live. Let the ripe fruit fall upon the fertile soil from which it drew its life. Do not fail to sing in praise of Him who has answered your prayer and has given you the desire of your heart. To be silent about God's mercies is to incur the guilt of ingratitude; it is to act as poorly as the nine lepers who after they had been cured of their leprosy did not return to give thanks to the healing Lord. To forget to praise God is to refuse to benefit ourselves; for praise, like prayer, is one great means of promoting the growth of our spiritual lives. It helps to remove our burdens, to excite our hope, to increase our faith. It is a healthy and invigorating exercise that quickens the pulse of the believer and prepares him for new enterprises in his Master's service.
To bless God for mercies received is also the way to benefit our fellowmen; "let the humble hear and be glad."1 Others who have been in similar circumstances will take comfort if we can say, "Magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. . . . This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him."2 Weak hearts will be strengthened, and sagging spirits will be revived as the saints listen to our "shouts of deliverance."3 Their doubts and fears will be rebuked as we teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. They will also "sing of the ways of the LORD"4 when they hear us magnify His holy name.
Praise is the most heavenly of Christian duties. The angels do not pray, but they do not cease to praise both day and night; and the redeemed, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, are never tired of singing the new song, "Worthy is the Lamb."5
1 Psalm 34:2
2 Psalm 34:3,6
3 Psalm 32:7
4 Psalm 138:5
5 Revelation 5:12
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 2 Kings 11, 12
verse 2 2 Timothy 2
Honest Evangelism: How to Talk About Jesus Even When It’s Tough
The changes taking place in Western cultures are both discouraging to Christians and, ironically, encouraging. More precisely, most of the changes themselves are discouraging, but they are calling forth a different set of changes that are encouraging. The discouraging changes are easy to list. Rising biblical illiteracy means that there is less and less cultural consensus around things like the Ten Commandments. Honor is an old-fashioned word, easily mocked; truth is increasingly flexible; the lust for power, success, and money has become more and more transparent and unchecked; dignity is old-fashioned; cruelty and vengeance are sometimes depicted as virtues.
Short, clear, realistic and humorous, this book will challenge you to be honest in your conversations about Jesus, help you to know how to talk about him, and thrill you that God can and will use ordinary people to change eternal destinies.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.