HOW DO WE TRULY CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING?
Celebrating thanksgiving, with ill will, discouragement, feelings of being mistreated, anger, etc is not truly much of a CELEBRATION, nor is it honoring to God. How can we correct such errors this THANKSGIVING DAY?
1. Learn contentment...
Philippians 4:11 (KJV)
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
It is hard to be content, when our desires and passions are on the carnal things. But when we put our eyes on the Lord, look at what is of eternal value, we find a contentment and peace that passes all understanding.
Philippians 4:4-7 (KJV)
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
2. Learn to be thankful...
Our troubles are far outnumbered by our blessings. Yet, many seldom count their blessings, and often count their troubles.
Psalm 100:4-5 (KJV)
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
3. Learn to trust in God...
If God could save you, can't He also deliver you from the snares of the devils?
Job showed trust in God, despite his troubles. Peter had to reach up out of the waves, and hold onto the outstretched arm of the Lord. Paul and Silas sang in prison, rejoiced though death could have been tomorrow's sentence.
Psalm 18:1-3 (KJV)
I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
Psalm 20:6-7 (KJV)
Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
Psalm 34:22 (KJV)
The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.
Psalm 37:2-6 (KJV)
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
THE MURMURING, CRITICAL TONGUE NEEDS TO BE JUDGED.
Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV)
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
When a mot
her loves their child, it is hard for them to see wrong they do. I have watched trials, where horrible criminals are sentenced to well deserved punishment, and there, close by, is a mother weeping, unable to see the horrible crimes of the child.
Then, when someone is not liked, like Elijah was not liked by Jezebel and Ahab, like Joseph was not liked by his brothers, like Abel was not liked by Cain, it was hard for the one to see any good in the other, they could do no right.
Jesus went about loving, healing, encouraging, feeding the hungry, raising the dead, and they hated Him. He told us that they would hate us too. So, should we be surprised when criticism, judgmentalism, is shown to us, and words critical of us are spoken profusely?
Many can find the splinter in your eye, and never notice the log in their own.
The Bible does say 'by their fruits shall ye know them.' and it also says:
John 7:24 (KJV)
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
So, we are to notice failures and sins, but we are to be careful not to be just judgmental, looking to create wrong, when we cannot find real wrong. All of us are imperfect. All of us have sinned and failed God. That should temper our observation of others failures.
John 8:7 (KJV)
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
What God hates is the objector, faultfinder, criticizer, antagonist, accuser. Some have a habit of jumping to conclusions, and decide someone is wrong with little evidence. False conclusions can be made based on a misunderstanding. On one false word many false conclusions can be made.
Aaron and Miriam said of Moses, 'Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses?' Moses never said God did, Moses never claimed to be exclusive. In fact, Moses begged God for help. Moses did not want to be alone in receiving revelation. And yet, how easy it was for some to falsely accuse Moses of this charge, when in actuality, the opposite was true.
You will find that the devil's tactics have not changed. The devil likes to charge God's children with some things that the opposite is true. The devil gets gleeful at how many stumble and fall into believing that stupid charge. The critical words that some choose to murmur can hurt and yet, we need to recognize them for their source, the devil.
They charged Jesus with saying one should not pay tribute to Caesar, so that the Romans would consider Jesus horrible. When in actuality, Jesus had said 'render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. It is so easy for many to believe charges made, no matter how foolish they are.
I have always told people to prove all I say by the Word, and I always try to back up what I say by the Word. I always tell people that I am not anyone's Lord, and they need to talk directly to Jesus, and I have refused to give or try to give 'words' to people who ask, for they need to speak directly to the Lord. I always am open to questions and try to discuss any objections with any who have objections. Still, someone says that I want worship, am demanding of agreement, etc. Some then, without question believe that charge.
It is laughable at how easily people can believe charges that are baseless and stupid.
Criticism, false accusations, are common in this world. We need to remember that God knows the truth, and any who go to God with criticisms they hear, will hear the Lord defend the truth.
The criticizers are usually seeking vengeance for some real or imagined wrong. The pharisees even sought false witnesses to get Jesus charged with crimes that would bring His death. Their motive was that people would rather listen to Jesus than them.
Those who criticized Moses were swallowed up into the earth in one occasion. God is antagonized by the critical spirit on many today.
Many a child has turned away for Christ due to hearing criticism of the pastor, of the Sunday School teachers, during every Sunday dinner. The pastor that the parents oft criticized may have been the one to win that child to Jesus. The feeling engendered by a critical parent may have taken the child they love, from respect enough of the pastor to trust his words.
I remember one woman, who every Sunday had the same prayer request, 'Pray for my husband, that he would get saved'. Finally, after many months, he came to church. A few Sundays later, he accepted Jesus. Several weeks later, the wife got mad at someone in the church, and she quit coming. The husband kept coming, but every day his wife criticized the church, the pastor, etc and finally, he quit coming, went back into sin. A short time later, the wife got over her 'criticisms' and came back to church. And every Sunday she had the same prayer request, 'pray for my husband, that he get saved'. Her criticisms did not hurt the pastor, nor the others she criticized. Her criticisms hurt the husband for whom she prayed.
Constructive criticism has its place, but most criticism is destructive.
We must give account of ourselves to God. We preach the Word, we speak rhema for God, but we are not to be 'lords' of others, and others do not answer to us.
James 1:26 (KJV)
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
The criticisms of us by others will be judged by God. Many will fall into believing the false charges against us. Like the crowd before Pilate yelling
'crucify Him' about Jesus, they believed the false witnesses, they believed charges that were stupid and senseless about a PERFECT Person. Likewise, many will believe the stupid charges against you.
The critical, murmuring tongue does much damage, but it damages the criticizer more than the one criticized. It damaged those making and believing false charges more than the One Who was crucified due to the false charges.
So, why not this thanksgiving, set the day aside for THANKSGIVING instead???