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Let’s Talk about Thankfulness

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: [2] For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.

2 Timothy 3:1-2, New King James Version

What’s the reason people are so unthankful in the last days? If we’ll stop and look around, it’s not like there isn’t enough to be thankful for. Notwithstanding recessions, most people—especially in America—live in relative prosperity. But as is common in times of prosperity, it’s easy to forget the Lord. We can see a clear example of this in the Old Testament.

Thus the children of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hands of all their enemies on every side.

Judges 8:34, NKJV

[They] forgot His works and His wonders that He had shown them. [12] Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.

Psalm 78:11-12, NKJV, brackets mine

It’s hard to be thankful for something you don’t remember. It takes effort to remember. That’s why Scripture says to “forget not all His benefits” (Ps. 103:2, NKJV, emphasis mine). Even if we have a lot to be thankful for, and even if we’re getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving—one of America’s biggest holidays—it’s easy to lose sight that all good things come from God.

Here is a verse that goes along with that idea:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

James 1:17, NKJV

This is awesome! God never changes. That means He will always give us
good things!

But if we are not ones who forget what God has done, something else we should watch out for is pride. If we’re focused on self, that will get in the way of acknowledging and thanking God. Check this verse out:

What do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

1 Corinthians 4:7b, NKJV

Thankfulness takes humbling oneself. Second Timothy 3 says that humility in the last days will be in short supply. In times past, I never would have said it was a pride issue when I didn’t feel like thanking God. My position was one where I thought God hadn’t been good enough to me. I’d offer up half-hearted praise. But for me, holding back my thankfulness was pride. I’m learning to “give unto the Lord the glory due to His name” (Ps. 29:2, NKJV). That means doing it when I feel like it and when I don’t.

Finally, fear can keep us from being thankful. Have you ever thought you would look silly to others if you really expressed thanks to God? If so, that’s the fear of man. Ask yourself: “What’s so funny about being thankful for all the wonderful things God has done in my life?” Think about the
following verse: 

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.

Psalm 33:1, NKJV

I like that. Praise is beautiful! I also like this verse:

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.

Psalm 92:1a, King James Version

Praise is good! There’s an old hymn called “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow.” Here are the lyrics:

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him, all creatures here below;

Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

It’s a simple song, really. But today, perhaps more than ever, these are words that ought to be on our lips and spring from our hearts.

This Thanksgiving, remember what God has done in your life. Humble yourself and thank Him. It’s a beautiful thing!

How do you plan to be thankful this holiday season? We’d love to hear about your holiday traditions.

Written by David Moore II

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The Importance of One

“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? . . . [14] Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

Matthew 18:12 and 14, New King James Version, emphasis mine

When Jesus walked the earth, He often preached the Gospel of the kingdom to crowds, and most of us probably know of present-day evangelists and disciples of Christ who do the same. But crowds are only important because they are made up of many “ones.” In the Father’s eyes, the value of each individual is beyond calculation.

You can see this truth on more than one occasion in the Scriptures. Jesus took time to go after the “one” as He was directed by the Father: the woman at the well, the Gadarene demoniac, the man at the pool of Bethesda.

Imagine the ripple effect created by His reaching out to one. What was the fruit of His obedience?

Most of us know what happened with the woman at the well. Because Jesus took the time to speak with her one-on-one and meet her need for living water, she spread the news about Him throughout her entire town. Many who heard her testimony believed on Jesus, and many more came to believe He was the Christ after hearing Him for themselves (John 4:39-42).

What about the Gadarene demoniac? After Jesus delivered him, he wanted to remain with Him, but Jesus told him to go home and tell about everything God had done for him. So, he went his way and “proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him” (Luke 8:39, NKJV). It’s interesting to note that when Jesus returned to the Gadarene area, the people“ran throughout that whole surrounding region” (Mark 6:55, NKJV) to bring the sick to be healed. They were eager to hear and be healed by Jesus, and this former demoniac’s witness “throughout the whole city” probably played a big part in that.

And then there’s the lame man at the pool of Bethesda who was healed. Scripture doesn’t share much about the fruit from that encounter. Maybe the former lame man went back to the pool regularly to encourage everyone there to seek out Jesus. Based on these previous examples, we can guess that others ended up getting healed. Maybe entire families and towns were impacted by Jesus’s obedience during that encounter. We can only imagine the impact created by Jesus going after this “one.”

Now through December 1, on the Gospel Truth broadcasts, Andrew will be focusing on the fruit of discipleship. Be sure to tune in and hear about how present-day disciples in Kenya and the Congo are “seeking the one” and bringing forth fruit.

On November 15, Andrew shares how Charis graduate Dottie Haymond, a West Virginia country girl now living in Kenya, went after one newborn and rescued the child from certain death. This disciple is taking in “throwaways” and impacting the next generation in Kenya with the love and Word of God.

On November 30, Andrew interviews Mike and Pat Heiser, Charis Bible College graduates also living in Kenya, who have rescued eighteen little “ones” off the street, many trapped in prostitution. These disciples have also graduated nearly 1,000 students from their twenty-six Bible colleges, with more than 200 churches being pastored by their alumni.

On December 1, listen in as Julie Mapatano shares how the Lord led her to start Redeeming Love Ministries in her home country of Congo. She is transforming her nation with God’s love by providing orphaned children with healthy food, proper medical care, sound schooling, and the Word of God.

What difference does “one” make? Tune in to Andrew’s broadcasts on the fruit of discipleship and find out. Never underestimate the impact of reaching out and investing in one!

Written by Sylvia F. Wells

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The Recent Shooting in Texas: A Response

Amidst the tragedy of the shooting this last Sunday in Sutherland Springs, Texas, there has been much finger pointing. People want to know who is to blame and how to prevent tragedies like this. Although some good may still come out of this, I think most people’s analyses are missing the mark.

This act was pure evil. Plain and simple. It was sin inspired directly by the devil. Jesus is the only antidote for sin, and the power of God is the only thing that will stop the devil.

Psalm 36:1 says, “ The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes .” Those who fear the Lord don’t commit acts of evil like this.

Our society has thrown God out the window. Many of the politicians and movie stars who have decried this act are actually contributing to the culture that brought this to pass. They have opposed God in the values they promote and have created this godless culture that has been crammed down
our throats.

Guns are not the problem. Guns don’t kill people any more than forks make people fat. Before prayer was taken out of schools in the U.S., before all types of sin were promoted and even celebrated, before Christians were vilified and marginalized, we still had guns, but we didn’t have all this senseless violence.

Yet, in the past, even among those who didn’t actively worship the Lord, there used to be an acknowledgement of God’s existence. There was even a fear of having to stand before Him someday and give an account of our actions. That fear restrained sin (Prov. 16:6). But now people have committed mass murders and then followed up with suicide, thinking they are escaping judgment, when the truth is, they are ushered into a Christless eternity and now await damnation.

God didn’t “let” this happen. We let this happen. Adam and Eve chose sin, and we, their descendants, have confirmed and amplified their decision billions of times over. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the changed hearts it produces, and the fear or reverence it creates, even in unbelievers, is the only solution for this crisis.

The fault for this current godless culture lies with the church. We have not been the salt and light that Jesus commanded us to be (Matt. 5:13-14). Those who don’t speak out against the moral issues of our day are like soldiers who have abandoned their posts in battle. They may justify these things in any number of ways, but the bottom line is, Christians have been AWOL: Absolute Wusses On Love. It’s love to tell a person the truth (Lev. 19:17). Paul told us to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15), but we must still tell people the truth. It’s only the truth we know that sets us free (John 8:32). Most Christians love themselves too much to take a stand and run the possible rejection that might come their way. That’s self-love, not the love that Jesus modeled for us.

There will be many proposals and adjustments that come as a result of this tragedy, but none of them will actually cure the problem. The only cure is for us who believe to once again become the salt and light God called us to be.

I encourage you to talk to your family, friends, and coworkers about the Lord. That person next to you might be the very person Satan is trying to turn into the next mass murderer. And take a stand on social issues by getting involved in the political process. There are many ways to do that, so pray about what direction you should take. But every one of us needs to renew our efforts.

I join my prayers with you for the wounded and the families of those who lost love ones. I also pray for all who have been traumatized by this and are now living in fear of what might come next. The perfect love we have received in Jesus casts out our fear (1 John 4:18). I pray, too, that the Lord will give us new opportunities to share that love and faith with those who
are struggling.

Together we can turn this nation back to God. Certainly we can’t do it without God, but He can’t do it without us (Eph. 3:20). I know He is willing, and I pray all of us are also willing. Let’s take a stand for truth and against ungodliness. Let’s do this!

Andrew Wommack