November 2013: Happy Thanksliving!

Happy Thanksliving!

          The next three sentences are fundamental, true statements about humans:  1.  the three basic human needs are food, clothing, and shelter.  2.  In the Bible, God promises to supply all our needs, not necessarily our wants.  3.  But, sometimes our needs and our wants are one and the same.  We all need to learn to clearly distinguish between our needs and our wants!  On what basis does God promise to supply all our needs?  Why does God do that for us?  What motivates Him?  Is He really interested in furnishing all our needs?  How does He supply all our needs?

          God’s eternal love for all of us motivates Him.  God “proved” his love for us by sending Jesus to die on our behalf and become the “channel” through which God supplies all our needs.

          In its distilled essence, God’s amazing salvation through Jesus has rescued humanity from a fiery afterlife.  But God’s salvation for us encompasses so much more—so very much more!—than merely rescuing us from death and its aftermath.  Our salvation also includes eternal LIFE with God, true biblical success and prosperity, having all our genuine needs met, whole-person healing and health, a deepening relationship with God, connectedness with all other believers in Jesus pastward, now, and futureward, inner strength for daily living, freedom from addictions and from our past . . . and so much more!  Part of God’s entire salvation “package” for you is to meet your authentic needs through Jesus.

Your Attitudes

          For your whole-person, full-package-deal salvation, how thank-full are you?  What are you thank-full for?  How do  you  show   your thank-fullness?  To whom are you thank-full?  Thank-fullness is an attitude.  We are not born with attitudes.  They are learned . . . and can be unlearned and replaced with new attitudes.  Instead of attitudes of complaining, moaning, and ungratefulness, how about learning to replace such attitudes with thank-fullness?  You weren’t born with those negative attitudes; you learned them, and they can be unlearned and replaced with new, positive, thank-full attitudes.  Yes, it takes hard work to change some of our negative attitudes, but it can be done with the inner power of God’s Spirit who lives permanently inside you in your human spirit, never to leave you or forsake you.

Annual Thanksgiving

          If you don’t live here in USAmerica, I think you probably know we have an annual nationwide holiday every November named “Thanksgiving Day.”  It was originally established as a day to thank God for all the blessings we enjoy in this nation.  However, as years have passed, for the most part it isn’t a day of thanksgiving to God anymore—for many people.  For some it’s just a day off work, or “turkey day,” or a day to watch football.  For many of us in USAmerica, it’s a day far removed from its original intent.

          The Bible is replete with admonitions for us to thank God . . . for an innumerable number of things:  simply for who He is, for what He’s done for us through Jesus, for untold blessings He has lavished on us.  Yes, there are numerous reasons to thank God!  But why set aside only one day a year to be thank-full to God?  Why not thank Him every day, not just one day a year?

                    “Always be thanking God for everything through Jesus.” –The Bible

                    “It is God’s will for you that you give thanks to Him during everything that  happens to you.” –the Bible

          Can you believe that?  God wants you to be thank-full during everything and for everything.  For God to ask that of any human is absolutely illogical and unreasonable . . . unless we can begin to see everything from God’s eternal vantage point and infinite perspective!  If we can’t see God’s ways and works among humans through his “eyes,” it’s complete nonsense to thank God during and for everything.  How do we learn to perceive everything from God’s vantage point and perspective?  I’m glad you asked.  The answer?  I keep writing it over and over and over and over and over: from the Bible!

          The Bible is God’s written revelation of Himself and of his plans and purposes for our lives.  Without the Bible, little of anything that occurs among humankind makes any sense at all.  But with the Bible, we can begin to see through God’s eyes enough of his plans and purposes for us so that we can at least begin to get a brief glimpse of what He’s doing throughout all the ages of time and in the eternal state of being where He “dwells.”  The Bible teaches God is working out absolutely everything for our ultimate good.  Through the Bible we can see God working “behind the scenes” bringing everything to a conclusion that honors and respects all humanity whom He created.

          If we can begin to get a glimpse of what He’s doing in our lives, then—and only then! Can we possibly thank Him during and for everything.  Otherwise, for God to ask that of us is utter foolishness.  So . . . are you able to thank God during and for everything in your life—this very day, this very moment, as you’re reading this issue of The Traveler?

Joy! 

          Much of a realistic attitude of thank-fullness comes from an authentic sense of joy.  Don’t confuse joy and happiness.  Happiness (or unhappiness) comes from our responses to happenings in our lives.  Joy is altogether different from happiness, and comes from a different source altogether.  Living inside you in his unbodied form is a Person named the Holy Spirit.  He is Jesus in his unbodied other form. 

When you invited Jesus to take up permanent residence in your life, He came into your life in his unbodied form of Holy Spirit.  He’s inside you right now!  And always will be.  He promises He will never leave us nor forsake us . . . never, never, never, never, never!  Part of the character and nature of Jesus living inside you is what is called the “fruit of the Holy Spirit.”  That fruit is sort of in the form of a 9-fold “cluster” of fruit.

                   “The fruit of Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, faith, humility, and moderation.”           –The Bible

          Joy doesn’t depend on happenings in our lives.  It’s almost like an “inner force” that arises up out of our spirits into our minds, thoughts, and attitudes . . . if we ask Holy Spirit inside us to manifest it or “give” joy to us.  Unless we ask Holy Spirit to “give” us his inner joy, it just sort of lays there inside us waiting to be “released” into our minds, thoughts, and attitudes.

          It’s a supernatural, inner fruit that we can’t conjure up ourselves; we can’t grit our teeth and make ourselves joy-full.  No, we have to ask Holy Spirit to bring it forth into our daily lives.  It doesn’t just happen without our asking Him to give it to us.  Once we begin to experience his supernatural joy, then we begin to find many things in our day-to-day world about which we can be realistically thank-full.  God’s supernatural joy and our real-life, honest-to-life thank-fullness go hand in hand.  Without his joy, it’s hard to find things in our lives for which to be thank-full.  The Bible calls that supernatural joy “joy unspeakable,” and asks us to maintain a lifestyle of God-like joy . . . in spite of what’s happening or not happening in our lives.  Again, we can’t have that type of joy in our lives without asking for it.  And we can’t maintain attitudes of genuine thank-fullness without being able to see life from God’s perspective as revealed in the Bible.

Self-Centered, Self-Absorbed

          Boiled down to it’s bare essentials, we sin when we live self-centered and self-absorbed lives instead of God-centered lives.  We all struggle with sin in our lives.  Jesus came to transform our lives—transforming us from focusing on our self to focusing on God.  It’s a lifelong process of transformation.  He transforms us by transforming our thoughts so we think more and more of God’s thoughts and attitudes and fewer of our own sin-full thoughts.  

When we live self-absorbed and self-centered lives instead of God-filled lives we generally have little to be thankful for.  After all, who have we to thank?  What do we have to be thankful for?  If my life is focused on my self, do I thank my self?  That seems sort of self-centered, doesn’t it?  But . . . when our lives become more and more God-centered, thinking more and more of his thoughts and having more and more godly attitudes, then we find much to be thank-full for.

         We simply see more and more people and God-events in our lives for which we can be thank-full.  We begin to live beyond our self and more for others.  We begin to give more to God and to other people.  We begin to thank God more for Himself.  We begin to thank God for other people in our lives.  We begin to thank God for furnishing us our basic needs .  . . and sometimes our wants.  

We begin to see the hand of God working more and more behind the scenes in our lives.  We begin to see Him orchestrating our lives into meaningful and complete lives with purpose and positive reasons for living.  We begin to see God’s vision for our lives, and begin to cooperate with Him in co-creating our meaningful and positive futures.  We begin to share the Good News about Jesus with others, wanting them to experience all the good we experience from the good heart of the good God.

          Yes, having a vital relationship with the one true and living God helps make us thank-full during all things and for all things we experience in this mortal life.

          We pray for you to have a thank-full life—a thanksliving life rather than merely having a thanksgiving day each year!

Thank-Full! 

          In summary:  Who are you thank-full to?  Why are you thank-full?  Who are you thank-fully sharing Good News about Jesus with?  What are you thank-full for?  Who are you thank-fully helping to fulfill their destiny with God?  When are you thank-full?  Who are you thank-fully helping grown and expand their lives beyond their own limitations?  Where are you thank-full?  Who do you thank-fully pray for?  How do you thank-fully help others.  I know, I know . . . I didn’t use proper grammar in those few questions above, but for today and all the remaining days of your mortal journey . . . Happy Thanksliving!

                    “Hallelujah, praise and thank God in his holy house of worship.  Thank Him under the open skies.  Thank Him for his acts of power.  Thank Him for his abundant and magnificent greatness.  Praise and thank Him with music, singing, and dancing.  Let every living being praise and thank God.  Hail and thanksgiving to the King of kings!”                                                                                                                –paraphrased from Psalm 150

To think About This Month

                    My attitude of gratitude will determine my “altitude” in life!

Bill Boylan
Life Enrichment Services, Inc.
leservices38@yahoo.com
Revised and Updated November 2020

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