Thanking God for God

There are many reasons to be thankful for and the scripture teaches us that “in everything, give thanks.” This message hit home quite profoundly, when our six year old beloved firstborn son, Reuben, brought home a thanksgiving exercise that he had done at his school. His first grade teacher had asked the students to write three reasons as to why they should be thankful for and he penned down the following three (see image). sibling (Ittai) because he will play with me and he will be a good brother when he grows up.
2. the World because the world is our home.
3. my Mom and Dad because they love me very very very much. my God because he saved us from dieing and from sin.

Reuben reminded me that we ought to be thankful for our brothers (and sisters). Jesus called his disciples his brothers after he was resurrected (Matthew 28:10), bringing about the adoption of sons by God – many sons into glory (Hebrews 2:10). Reuben also reminded me that we should be thankful for this world and tend to it, while it is our home until we inherit the place that Jesus has gone ahead to prepare for us in his Father’s (God’s) house (John 14:2-3). Furthermore, Reuben reminded me that we ought to honor our father and mother, as we are commanded to and be thankful to them, but most of all, we should thankful to Jesus (God) for his salvation, for whoever believes in Jesus is saved from die-ing and from sin (2 Timothy 1:9-10).

Points to ponder:
Are we thankful to God for our neighbors (loving them as brothers and sisters)?
Are we thankful to God for the world in which we are placed as his ambassadors until we inherit his joy in the place that is being prepared for us?
Are we thankful to God for our parents?
Above all, are we thankful to God for Jesus, who has saved us by his death, so that we need not die?
Have you thanked God for God?

2 Timothy 1:9-10 (KJV)
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

I’d rather sit and PRAY than play

God speaks in various ways and once again he uses our six year old beloved son, Reuben to remind me of some truths that I should never forget.

After we had finished our shopping at the local Costco store, we came out of the store, only to be greeted by a torrential downpour of rain. Not having an umbrella with us, I suggested to Reuben that we wait patiently until the rain subsided before heading for our car and sang to him the song – “Rain, rain go away. Come again another day. Little Reuben wants to play. Rain, rain go away.” However, Reuben was more keen on getting to the car and going home. He expressed that waiting outside the store till the rain stopped would be a waste of time. Recognizing that if we stepped into the rain, we would be drenched completely in a couple of seconds, I told Reuben – “Why don’t you just sit down here and play until the rain stops?“, showing him my phone on which are a few games. To this Reuben quipped, “I’d rather sit down and PRAY for the rain to stop.” and sure enough he prayed. Needless to say, within a matter of minutes, the downpour lessened in its fury, and we were able to head to our car and go home.

From the mouth of babes indeed, God reminds us of some invaluable truths that we tend to forget. First, in everything, by PRAYer and petition, we ought to present our requests before God (Philippians 4:6). Second, God is in control of all things, and even the elements (winds and waves of rain) need to obey him (Matthew 8:27). Third, what may seem impossible for man is possible with God (Luke 18:27) by prayer which changes us or the situation we are in.

Points to ponder:
Instead of focusing on spending time and playing on the things that amuse us, are we recognizing and taking the time to spend time in prayer which amuses God. From my son, I learned that I’d rather sit and pray than play, and from the Word of God, I learn that I should not worry about anything, but rather by prayer and supplication, make known all my requests to God and thank him for what he has done. Have you made known all your requests to God with thankfulness? Are you going to take time to sit and pray? God is in control and what may seem impossible for you is not hard for the Lord God to accomplish, if it is in his will for you. Nevertheless, pray without ceasing and you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything you can understand.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

God [Jesus] is yet to come [again]

When I asked our beloved 6 year old son, Reuben, to make a sentence using the word “yet”, for his school homework, he responded “God (referring to Jesus) is yet to come.” It dawned on me later that from the words of a 6 year old, we were reminded of a certain and sure promise that is yet to be fulfilled.

Jesus promised that “I am going to prepare a place for you and I will come again and receive you, so that you may be where I am also.” (John 14:3) and we can take him at his word, for he is a promise keeping God (Deuteronomy 7:9).

Points to ponder:
God [Jesus] is yet to come [again] and when he comes, he wants to receive you and me. The question that remains is if we will be ready to be received by him. Those who have received him and believed in his name, he gave them the power to be called the children of God (John 1:12) and so when he returns, will you find him to be your father receiving you to take you home? In other words, have you received Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior, for God is yet to come! Jesus can receive only those who have received him now.

John 14:3 (KJV)
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

2 Peter 3:9 (KJV)
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Give Thanks – Why and For What?

This thanksgiving season, some of us, take time to reminisce on the reasons as to why we ought to be thankful, while many are caught in the flurry of the season with sales-buster shopping, cooking turkeys and partying with friends, all of which, in and of themselves are okay as long as they don’t become the focus of the season. I was wondering today as to the reasons why I should be thankful and also pondering on what I should be thankful for.

The answer to the ‘Why’ question as to the reason that we should be thankful is pretty straightforward according to the Bible. The Bible tells us that in everything (all circumstances of life), we must give thanks for this is the will of God concerning us (1 Thessalonians 5:18). It also counsels us, that it is a good thing to sing thanks unto the Lord and sing praises to the name of the Most High God (Psalm 92:1).

But what must we be thankful for?
To answer this question, follow along the conversation, that I had with our beloved 5 year old son, Reuben, last afternoon.
Me: Reuben, what are you thankful for?
Reuben: My family and friends, my toys, my brother (to be born in March 2012), my video games.
Me: Who are you missing?
Reuben: Mama’s mama (Gaagi), Gamma (my mom), Mama’s dada (Gaaga), your dada (my dad)
Me:  Who are you missing that should come first?
Reuben: God
Me: God, who?
Reuben: God, Jesus Christ!
Me: Why should you be thankful to Jesus Christ?
Reuben: Because he made us and he did all those things for us.
Me: What things?
Reuben: He made us from dust; He died for us on the Cross; He rose again for us; and that is all I can think of!

Interestingly, what our son, told and taught me as to “What we should be thankful for?” is very scriptural and Biblical. The Bible tells us we must give thanks at the remembrance of God’s holiness (Psalm 30:4). In other words, a remembrance of God’s holiness and purity, brings to mind our own unholiness and impurity (sinfulness) and highlights that our souls were on its way to the grave, because the sting of sin is death (1 Corinthians 15:56), but God has kept us alive,  so that we should not go down to the pit (Psalm 30:3) and given us victory through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57)

So what must we be thankful for?
We must be thankful for Jesus Christ; for the love of God; a love so great that while we were still sinners, Christ died in our stead to keep us alive and from going down to the pit (hell). We must be thankful because He made us (in his own image) and He died for us and rose again to reign, and that is all we should think of!

Psalm 30:3-4 (KJV)
O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

1 Corinthians 15:56-57 (KJV)
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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

Psalm 92:1 (KJV)

Lord of the law

When my 3 year old son, Reuben, was repeating Psalm 1, when he came to the part – but his delight is in the law of the Lord, he instead said, but his delight is in the Lord of the law.

When I reminisced over what he had said, I could not help but wonder on God’s amazing revelation through children; Our delight should not merely be on the law of the Lord, but even more so, be in the Lord (of the law)!

Luke 24:44 states that all things which are written in the law of Moses, in the prophets and in psalms, concerning Jesus must be fulfilled.
Matthew 5:17 records the sayings of Jesus, that He indeed came to fulfill the law (and the prophets) and not to destroy (abolish) it.
How did Jesus fulfill the law, when He is the Lord of the law, the one who gave it for the benefit of man in the first place.
Romans 13:10 states that LOVE is the fulfillment of the law.

Jesus’ willingness to die in our place, by being tortured, tormented and painfully crucified on a cross on calvary is LOVE not only PERSONIFIED but EPITOMIZED.

It was this love that fulfilled all the law ever written for man. Let our delight be on the law of the LORD and in the LORD of the law.