“Thanksgiving Eve” - May The Light of The Lord Shine Upon You - Purity 896
Purity 896 11/23/2022 Purity 896 Podcast
Purity 896 on YouTube:
Today’s photo of light of the sun reflecting off the windows of a house on to the waters of the Champlain Canal comes to us from my beloved wife, TammyLyn Clark, who captured the beauty of this reflection while out for an impromptu stroll at Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville back on November 11th.
Well, it’s the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, so “Happy Friday” to the vast majority of us that will have the day off tomorrow to gather with family and friends to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, watch football, feast on mass quantities of food, and, oh yeah, to GIVE THANKS….
I point this out because sometimes in the preparation for the holiday we forget what its original purpose of the Thanksgiving holiday is. Anyone referring to tomorrow as “Turkey Day”, I’m talking to you!
And since we are pointing things out, I would also point out that our “Thanks”, just like our “Faith” has to have an object. And whether you have “Great Faith” or “little faith” in the Lord, you should recognize that ultimately whatever “Thanks” we would like to give tomorrow should eventually be humbly left before the throne of grace.
I know, you may be truly thankful for the food, for your family, for you job, for your friends, for the day off, for your health, for football, for the universe, and for the host that put together your holiday feast but above and beyond all these things is the Lord God Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth and the author of all life, and the sovereign King who shapes its history. So ultimately, while we should express our appreciation for all of these other things that the Lord made possible, we should only give our “Thanks” to God.
So really Thanksgiving, in essence should be one of worshiping the Lord, a true holiday, in the sense of a “holy-day”. But you know what’s great about “worshiping the Lord”. It doesn’t have to be weird. We don’t have to put on special out fits or go to a designated site with holy relics or trappings to worship God. We can give thanks to the Lord, praise His Holy Name, and worship Him in the most mundane trappings and the humblest clothes. That includes your living room Lazy Boy with your feet up as you enjoy the company of many or just by yourself. Our “Thanks”, our worship, to the Lord only requires our hearts and minds set on Him. You can meditate upon, worship, or give thanks to the Lord for hours or just a few moments but He is to be the object of them all.
I like to point out the obvious in this day and age because our holidays have increasingly become secular celebrations of general good tidings and well wishes that increasing fail to honor the Lord. This is even more expressed in the anticipation of tomorrows holiday and how it will play out this evening.
As solemn or relaxed as our Thanksgiving gathering may be tomorrow, for many the “true celebration” of Thanksgiving will be tonight as scores of people will be returning home and will be gathering with friends to catch up over mass quantities of alcohol or drugs before having to suffer through another forced family event. The restrictive duty of honoring father and mother or gathering with family close and not so close can cause us to really want to kick loose and the night before Thanksgiving can be one of the wildest nights of partying of the year. Or at least it used to be in my pre Christ, pre-recovery experience.
Add to the contemplation of another repressive family gathering, the fact that many will be taking to the skies, the highways and byways to travel a considerable distance to arrive at their Thanksgiving destination, and its no wonder people may want to blow off some steam tonight.
So it is my prayer that the Lord protect all of us and that we allow Him to guide us in His ways and peace tonight. There is nothing wrong with meeting with friends this evening, but the emphasis should be placed on the joy of the gathering and the safety of ourselves and those we love; And let’s keep it real, in not doing anything that will cause us guilt, shame, pain, or regrets. I wish I could say that hangovers were the only pain I experienced from Thanksgiving Eve’s of old so I speak from experience and what may seem like a good idea tonight may not look so good in the light of day on Thanksgiving morning. Road rage, drunk drivers, shameful liaisons, and old vendettas reignited into verbal and physical altercations are all possible scenarios tonight, so let’s be careful out there.
I am thankful to God for keeping me safe thus far and for leading me into a life that is guided by His light rather than my darkness. So let me encourage you to either start or to continue to keep walking and talking with God. His way is the best way to live and placing your faith in Jesus Christ really is the only way to live, so put your trust in Him and follow Him to where He wants to take you. When you walk in His light, it shines in your life.
The light reflected off of that house in today’s photo is shining as bright as the sun itself. I had to look twice to realize that this wasn’t just a sunset photo. My wife captured a scene highlighting a reflection of the sun on the waters of Chaplain Canal off of a reflection of the sun on the windows of a house. The sun is not even in this photo, just its reflection. So just like today’s photo, let’s allow the Lord’s light in us shine for all the world to see this Thanksgiving by expressing wisdom, peace, and love.
All these shining reflections, made me think of the Old Testament Prayer of Blessing in
Numbers 6:22-26 (NKJV) where
22 … the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
23 "Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, 'This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:
24 "The LORD bless you and keep you;
25 The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you;
26 The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace." '
And so it is my prayer that all who read or hear this message, have the Lord shine His face upon you and your families this Thanksgiving, and that you receive His grace and peace. God bless you and keep you, Amen.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verses is:
Colossians 1:20-22 (NLT2)
20 and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions.
22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.
Today’s verses teach us that Christ reconciles us to God, no matter how far away we once were from God. We who because of our evil thoughts and actions were once His enemies, have been brought into His presence and have been made holy and blameless because of Jesus.
I would say a parallel to these verses or a nice conclusion would be my life verse:
Romans 8:1 (NKJV) which says:
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus because we have been reconciled to the Father, because all our sins have been forgiven, and we have been made holy and blameless. We can walk in the Spirit because when we put our faith in Christ we were reconciled to God, and He gave us anew life and the indwelling Holy Spirit to keep us forever in His presence.
That’s good news. And even though the holiday is tomorrow, we should be “Thanksgiving” to the Lord every single day, from here to eternity, for what He has done for us through Jesus Christ.
This is life changing spectacular news that never gets old. So if you get a few minutes of quiet time with a family member or friend who doesn’t know the Truth of Jesus or hasn’t fully realized who they are in Christ, take the time to tell them and to encourage them to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior or to claim the wonders of their new life by making the decision to follow Him, in Spirit and in truth.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
The Sermon on the Mount
The Community of Disciples Is Set Apart
“ ‘Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!’
¶ “Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes” (Matt. 7:24–29).
We have heard the Sermon on the Mount; perhaps we have understood it. But who has heard it correctly? Jesus answers this question last. Jesus does not permit his listeners to simply walk away, making whatever they like of his discourse, extracting what seems to them to be useful in their lives, testing how this teaching compares to “reality.” Jesus does not deliver his word up to his listeners, so that it is misused in their rummaging hands. Instead, he gives it to them in a way that it alone retains power over them. From the human point of view there are countless possibilities of understanding and interpreting the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus knows only one possibility: simply go and obey. Do not interpret or apply, but do it and obey. That is the only way Jesus’ word is really heard. But again, doing something is not to be understood as an ideal possibility; instead, we are simply to begin acting.
This word, which I accept as valid for myself; this word, which arises from “I have known you,” which immediately draws me into acting, into obedience, is the rock on which I can build a house. This word of Jesus coming from eternity can only be answered by simply doing it. Jesus has spoken; the word is his; our part is to obey. The word of Jesus keeps its honor, its strength, and power among us only by our acting on it. Then a storm can sweep over the house, but it cannot tear apart the unity with Jesus created by his word.
The only thing which exists besides action is inaction. There is no such thing as intending to act and not doing it. Those who treat the word of Jesus any other way except by acting on it assert that Jesus is wrong; they say no to the Sermon on the Mount; they do not do his word. All our questions, complications, and interpretations are inaction. The rich young man and the scribe in Luke 10 are examples. I can insist on my faith and my fundamental recognition of this word as much as I want; Jesus calls it inaction. The word that I do not want to do is no rock for me on which I can build a house. I have no unity with Jesus. He has never known me. Hence, when the storm comes, I will lose the word quickly and I will learn that in truth I never really had faith. I did not have the word of Christ. Instead, I had a word I wrested away from him and made my own by reflecting on it, but not doing it. Then my house falls down with a great fall, because it does not rest on the word of Christ.
“And the crowds were astonished …” What had happened? The Son of God had spoken. He took the judgment of the world into his hands. And his disciples stood beside him.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts
(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com.
These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247
Email me at email@example.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.
My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship