We seem to be in a time with a heightened sense of fear. Recently, I was listening to a newscast where the commentators where terrified about the American economy. They used words like “fiscal cliff,” “devastating,” “traumatic,” “life-changing,” “meltdown,” and “depression.” Whether their analysis is correct or not, the tone of their comments could not help but bring fear and anxiety to those listening.
All of us are constantly challenged by fear: financial crises, health issues, family concerns, local crime, the neighbor’s dog, and even driving in traffic. Fear is one of our God-given emotions to cause us to be alert, to warn us that danger is lurking, and to prepare us to act. But fear can also paralyze us and lead to anxiety, worry, and all kind of physical effects in our body. Fear is to be a guide, not the controller of our being. It calls us to pay attention, but it is not an emotion by which we are meant to live.
The most often used words of Jesus in the New Testament are: “Do not fear.” He did not mean that we should not be aware of our fear. He meant that we should not live in our fear. Fear can terrorize one’s life. He wants us to know that God is with is in all our circumstances and will guide us and direct us regardless of what we face.
Jesus tells us that as we seek the things of God and attempt to follow His ways, what we need will be provided as we obey and trust Him – food, clothing, health, time, guidance, etc. (Matthew 6:21-33) In our culture of abundance, it is easy to fear the loss of so many of our wants and greeds. We forget the important things in our lives.
The biggest weapon we have against fear controlling us is our faith that God is with us. Knowing that His Presence is with me - right now - empowers me to have the courage to face what is before me. His Holy Spirit, who indwells us, empowers us to move forward with caution and wisdom. Joshua 1:9 says: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
We Can Only Hope that We Do Not Take God’s Blessings for Grated and Fail to “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name”
MESSAGE SUMMARY: Introduction from “Living the Bible”:
Rev. William Tyndall, in the 1500s, translated the entire Bible, by hand, from Latin into English so that the ordinary people could have the Word from the Lord. Tyndall was burned at the stake, in 1537, by the Church for his gift to the human race. In 1611, Tyndall’s translation was used to develop the King James version of the English Bible translation. People have died in the translation, printing, and distribution of the Bible so that we can have the Bible to read and understand. If we would just take ten minutes a day to read the Bible, our Spiritual lives would be greater than we could imagine. By the way, it is OK to mark in the Bible – you can underline key points or make notes to increase your knowledge and understanding of the Lord’s Word. We need to systematically read the Bible so that we can learn and understand God’s Word through study and memorization. Also, we need to meditate on God’s Word from the Bible: “but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night." (Psalms 1:2). The five fingers for getting a grasp of the Bible’s scriptures are: 1) hear; 2) read; 3) mark; 4) learn; and 5) inwardly digest the scriptures. Remember, “The Bible is the inspired Word of God, and it contains all that is needed for our Salvation.”.
Today’s Message – “Giving Thanks to the Lord”:
In Isaiah 12:4, we are instructed: “And you will say in that day: ‘Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.’”. If we compare all our lives’ conveniences and facilitators today with the life situation of a twenty-five-year-old person in 1900, we will realize how truly blessed and privileged, in terms of things that make our lives easier, we are to live today. Also, we are blessed to live where we live today. When is the last time we gave thanks to God for living in this time period and living in America? “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name.”
We have so many things, including our health, job, home facilities, and family, for which we should “give thanks to the Lord”. However, we get focused on ourselves; and we forget how blessed our lives are. Therefore, we forget to “give thanks to the Lord”.
In Luke 17:11-19, Luke tells us the story of Jesus healing the ten lepers: “On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’ When he saw them he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, ‘Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ And he said to him, ‘Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.’". Of the ten lepers that Jesus healed, only one leper, the “foreigner”, gave “thanks to the LORD, call upon his name”. It seems that Jesus is disappointed that not one of His fellow Jews gave thanks for being healed. We can only hope that we don’t take God’s blessings for grated and fail to “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name.”. As Jesus Followers, we should not need our country’s upcoming legally designated Thanksgiving Day to, during every day of our lives: “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name.”.
TODAY’S PRAYER: Lord, Sabbath rest is truly an unbelievable gift! Thank you that there is nothing I can do to earn your love; it comes without any strings attached. As I close my eyes for these few minutes before you, all I can say is, thank you! In Jesus’ name, amen. Scazzero, Peter. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day (p. 133). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
TODAY’S AFFIRMATION: Today, I affirm that because of what God has done for me in His Son, Jesus, I AM FORGIVEN. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9).
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE (ESV): Luke 17:11-19; Proverbs 13:1-25; Psalms 1:1-2; Joshua 1:8; Romans 15:4; Isaiah 12:4.
A WORD FROM THE LORD WEBSITE: www.AWFTL.org.
WEBSITE LINK TO DR. BEACH’S DAILY DEVOTIONAL – “Is Your Faith Yours, or Is Your Faith a Faith Derivative of the Faith of Others?”: https://awordfromthelord.org/devotional/
DONATE TO AWFTL: https://mygiving.secure.force.com/GXDonateNow?id=a0Ui000000DglsqEABAll Sermons by Archbishop Foley Beach