Thanksgiving is a Key Discipline for Christians!

Body of Christ, let’s remember that physically we are in the world but spiritually we are in the Kingdom of God.  Thanksgiving is a gigantic part of the Kingdom lifestyle.

Gratitude is a feeling but thanksgiving is an action. Thanksgiving is expressing to God the gratitude that is in our hearts. We express it to God through prayer, song, and bringing sacrificial gifts to Him. When we fail to express thanksgiving to God, we take God’s favor, grace, mercy, and blessings for granted.

Let’s remember to continually express the gratitude that is in our hearts to God for…

  • the body and blood of Jesus when we celebrate Communion
  • daily blessings (soteria, Greek word for salvation includes forgiveness of sin, healing, deliverance, guidance, provision, protection, and preservation)
  • the possibility of having the abundant life
  • grace, mercy, favor, and help
  • the Word of God
  • the local church
  • our spiritual gifts and the opportunity to serve Him and man
  • the privilege of prayer 24/7
  • the fact we will live eternally with God the Father and Jesus
  • the empowerment and leading of the Holy Spirit
  • the love and support of family and friends
  • all things and in all things

The season that the world calls “the Christmas holidays” begins the day after Thanksgiving. Let’s remember God commands us to overflow with thanksgiving to Him and that Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas.  As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let’s give thanksgiving to God for salvation, the greatest gift the world could ever receive made available through God’s Son Jesus!

It’s Time for your Spiritual Checkup – Part 7

The last diagnosis I want to teach you is being a mature Christian.  Just as a child desires to be a grownup; likewise, every Christian should have a goal of being a mature Christian.

A baby and a carnal Christian’s lives exemplify the Greek term “kata sarka” which means abnormal, out of harmony with their new identity.  As they grew spiritually, they put off the old man (practicing sin) and put on the new man (practicing righteousness).  In addition to Jesus being their Savior, He is now their Lord.  They are led by the Holy Spirit and have grown into a mature Christian. Now their lives exemplify the Greek term “kata pneuma”, normal and in harmony with their new identity. 

Mature Christians are “souled out” to God and have a vibrant, intimate relationship with Him.  They pray without ceasing as commanded in 1 Thessalonians 5:15 and have become prayer warriors.  Hebrews 5:14 says, “solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Because of a steady diet of the solid food of the Bible, they are able to operate in discernment.  In obedience to Joshua 1:8, they meditate and do God’s Word day and night resulting in a prosperous and successful life. 

Mature Christians are active church members.  They attend Christian Education classes, prayer meetings, and are cheerful givers and willing servants in the House of the Lord.  They know what God has anointed them to do and use their spiritual gifts to serve in God’s Kingdom.  They are “nevertheless Christians” and are working to fulfill God’s unique purpose for their life.  Mature Christians are living to hear God say to them one day “well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”

Mature Christians exude forgiveness and love for God and all people in their walk.  They exhibit an uncompromised lifestyle and are consistent faithful witnesses that glorify God.   Keep doing what you are doing so others will be inspired to continue to grow to spiritual maturity also. 

This concludes the It’s Time for your Spiritual Checkup series!  Its purpose was to help you truthfully reflect and examine yourself.  If you self-diagnosed yourself as a baby, carnal, or a maturing Christian, follow the treatment plans and prescriptions given for each diagnosis. As people get older in the natural, people may say “you look like your father or mother.”  It is my prayer that all Christians will grow into a mature Christian that resembles God, our spiritual Father.  God is willing and able to help all Christians grow as they seek, discover, and fulfill His unique purpose for their lives!

It’s Time for your Spiritual Checkup – Part 2

As part of an annual physical examination, your doctor will administer various tests to help diagnose your physical condition.  In the books of the Bible that Apostle John wrote, he gives eight tests to help us diagnose our current spiritual condition. There are no wrong answers. Think about your lifestyle and give your honest answers!

Belief tes– 1 John 5:1 “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…”  Do you believe Jesus is God’s Son who died on the cross for your sins?

Sin test – 1 John 3:9 “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God”.  Do you live a sinful lifestyle?

Obedience test – 1 John 2: “The man who says, I know Him, but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. Do you obey God consistently?

Holy Spirit test – 1 John 4:13 “We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us of his Spirit”.  Is the Holy Spirit operating in your life consistently?

Love test – 1 John 3:14-15 “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.  Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him”.  Is there anyone you hate?

Answered Prayer test – 1 John 3:22 “and receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him.  Is God answering your prayers?

Love of the World test – 1 John 2:15-16 – “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.” Who do you love–this world and its things or God and all people?

Persecution test – John 15:19 “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”  Does the world hate you because you are a Christian or does it love you because your lifestyle resembles its?

STAY TUNED! IN THE NEXT POST, YOU WILL DIAGNOSE YOUR SPIRITUAL CONDITION!