Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 October 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:18.

1 Thessalonians 5:18.         In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

HAPPY  THANSKGIVING  CANADA !

And once again we are gathered here to celebrate God’s Day, Sunday, the day He rested from His labours, after creating the world and all therein in the previous six. And on this Thanksgiving Sunday in our blessed country of Canada, we must remember that gathering in the Lord’s name is not simply a suggestion, but our bounden duty, as the author of Hebrews tells us: ‘Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb. 10:25) 

And the scholars explain it thus. ‘The admonition “Not forsaking the assembling,” involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition. The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col. 3:12-16). It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor. 12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’ 

And do I ever like that last line. The body of Christ is one that thrives on total interaction, and we gather not just for spiritual enlightenment but to exhort, to uplift each other in whatever aspect we might need it. So, having seen the many benefits of assembling, (smile) let’s get to giving thanks and praise on this Thanksgiving Sunday by opening with a most appropriate song. It’s fairly new, in comparison to some of our other hymns, and was written by one Johnson Oatman, Jr (1856-1922) an American ordained minster, a very prolific songwriter. 

And the song is one we all know and LOVE, titled ‘Count Your Blessings.’ I chose it for today because I figured that we can never truly give thanks until we are fully aware of what we’re giving thanks for, and counting our blessings reminds us of all that we have to be thankful for. So, let’s open our harmonious voices, sending up sacrificial praise, in a rollicking rendition of ‘Count Your Blessings. 

Singing: ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.) Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly, And you will be singing as the days go by. [Refrain] 

When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings, money cannot buy Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. [Refrain] So, amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. [Refrain] 2’ 

That was indeed a rollicking rendition my people! Heaven surely knows that we are sincerely grateful for the many blessings they have poured down on us. And what does ‘Count Your Blessings’ really mean eh? I have a note here, don’t remember where I got it from, (smile) but it defines counting your blessings as ‘to be grateful for the good things in your life, often to stop yourself becoming too unhappy about the bad things.’ And that’s all it is really: being thankful for the breath we breathe, for our friends and families, for our jobs, health, food, clothing and shelter, plus the ability and joy of sharing what we have with others. 

Oh my friends, so much of our world right now is in such bad shape, they have nothing at all, that we should be awfully glad and thankful for whatever little we have. As one quote so rightly advises: ‘If you always find yourself numbering your troubles, you will never find time for counting your blessings. There is no use becoming frustrated in your difficulties while you have all opportunities hiding in them for a turnover.’ And that’s the gospel truth; there are always opportunities in our troubles to begin again, to turn over a new leaf, to find something useful, some blessing in those same troubles. 

The problem though is that we pay more attention to our troubles than our blessings, when the fact is if we write both our blessings and troubles on a sheet of paper, we’ll most likely find that we have way more blessings than troubles. And it’s not like the scriptures doesn’t continually tell us to give thanks, to be grateful for all we have. So, let’s look at a couple of them. 

And this advice from Bruh Paul the Thessalonians as he exhorts the brethren to good works, is one of the most all-encompassing, but very problematic to many of us. He says first of all: ‘Rejoice evermore.’ Then ‘Pray without ceasing.’ And finally: ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) 

Now those are certainly tough scriptures to continually enact, but with proper understanding and God’s help, we can certainly do them. It’s simply keeping a good attitude regardless of our circumstances, while being in touch with the Lord throughout the day talking to Him about whatever is going on with us and giving Him thanks through Christ for all His help, because that’s what He desires of us. Please remember that the Lord created us so that He could have good fellowship with us, that we should do His will and in so doing, glorify Him. So those three things that Bruh Paul asks of us, is what we were really created for. 

And here is some more advice from Bruh Paul, this time to the Colossians, on the topic of Christian virtues. He writes: ‘And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness (the crowning grace of Christian virtues). And let the peace of God (harmony) rule in your hearts, to the which ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col. 3:14-17) 

Right there we have the basic virtues of our Christian faith, beginning with LOVE, the crowning glory, and ending with thanks, sincere appreciation for it all. Now, let’s go home this Thanksgiving Sunday with this beautiful and most useful recommendation from the website http://www.godtube. It says: ‘God truly gives us so many blessings each and every single day. Some may even be so small that we might overlook them. The classic hymn ‘Count Your Blessings’ truly reminds us to stop and give thanks for all God has done in our lives. This is definitely a pause we all need to take. Amen.’  

So please my fellow saints, let’s pause today and count our many blessings, then give God our grateful and sincere thanks for them nuh. It will go so much better with us. Much LOVE!

…to God the Father be all the thanks and the glory…through Jesus Christ…the Son… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8       

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