Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
12 February 2023
“The bird was lying on the floor, its wings broken. Sometimes we feel like the bird, unable to fly because of worries, anxieties, illness, etc. We need the Holy Spirit who enables us to come close to the Lord and to receive what He has for us – the fruit of His Spirit – gentleness, kindness, patience, and above all His perfect peace and joy.”
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thess. 5:18
Matthew Henry, the well-known Bible Commentator, when robbed of his wallet, meditated accordingly: “Let me be thankful, first, because he never robbed me before; second, because although he took my purse, he did not take my life; third, because although he took all I possessed, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.” A lack of thanksgiving in the human heart followed on quickly from the fall,
For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.Romans 1:21
I can remember a time when I was feeling angry with people, circumstances, even with God Himself; then I heard the Lord say these words to me, “Thank Me!” At the time this was the last thing I wanted to do. ‘Grr … Err … Umm; What for I thought?’; I couldn’t think of anything as this anger was clouding everything, then through gritted teeth I started thanking the Lord for the basic things of life – the air I breathe, the water I drink, the food I eat, I did it grudgingly at first, but then a breakthrough, everything started to change within me and that resentful, grumbling spirit was replaced by a genuine spirit of thanksgiving.
“When you have truly thanked the Lord for every blessing sent, little time will then remain for murmur or lament”
I heard it said, “Thanksgiving is a good thing; thanks-living is better.” This it seems is what the apostle Paul is exhorting all Christians to do! “Give thanks in all circumstances.” Note the context of this,
Live in peace with each other … be patient with everyone … always strive to do what is good for each other … Rejoice always … … pray continually … Do not quench the Spirit.
‘Do not quench the Spirit’ is the key to all this. To have faith in God that He is always in control and to be always led by His Spirit! When there seems to be trouble all around us, God, our Father in heaven, knows all about it and He has a higher purpose in allowing it to happen. Jesus when faced with 4,000 hungry men (+ 4,000 women? + 8,000 children?) with only seven loaves and a few small fish, first gave thanks to His Father in heaven, and then multiplied the bread and fish out to everyone! There were even seven basketfuls of leftovers! (Matthew 15:29-39).
Jesus set in motion the highest act of thanksgiving, the Eucharist (‘thanksgiving’), the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, as He broke the bread and poured out the wine, with thanksgiving just prior to giving us the greatest gift of all, that of Himself dying on the cross for our sins, that we might be forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life, through faith in Him. So every time we take the Lord’s Supper we do it in remembrance of Him with thanksgiving. Truly we have so much to be thankful for, Amen.
Quote of the week
“A single grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer”
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Verse of the week
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?Romans 8:31-32
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your Son who died in our place; thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit who helps us to follow Jesus; Thank You for all Your kindnesses, Your love, Your mercy, Your patience, Your grace, Your salvation from beginning to end. Thank You for all Your promises, for those that You have already fulfilled, for those You are fulfilling and for those You will fulfil. Thank You that You raised Your Son up and He is now seated at Your right hand, in Majesty with all power, authority and dominion! Thank You that You provide for our daily needs, water, food, air, health, homes and families. Thank You for the hope of heaven and that Jesus Christ is coming soon. Thank You that one day we will all be in Your immediate presence, in Paradise, knowing eternal bliss; Thank You Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen!