This is Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving. The day you’re supposed to pack out the shopping centers and spend most of your Christmas money. The day the stores are supposed to be giving us crazy bargains in sales for the holiday. But is it really anything but a huge marketing tool, where they mark up the prices so they can mark them down just for you? I’ll let you decide.
And there are those who want us to boycott Black Friday as a protest. Is there anyone who will really not shop today because they’re protesting? We Americans typically do what we want to do whenever we want. So, I suspect most of us will treat this Black Friday like every other Black Friday. We either play the game or we don’t.
Maybe its like that with Christianity. We either follow the rules or we don’t. Those who don’t follow the rules get discouraged with the faith real early, because they don’t see it working. Those who follow the rules find themselves growing, because they see it working. Go deeper with Jesus and it will be a prosperous day for each of us.
I will give thanks to the Lord because
of His righteousness,
and will sing praise to the name
of the Lord Most High. ( Psalm 7:17)
We might be thankful because of our families, our jobs, or our church. You might be thankful for material blessings or good health. We might even be patriotic and thank God for our great country or our freedoms. There are many reasons to be thankful. But, when was the last time you thought to be thankful because of God’s righteousness?
God’s blessings are manifest in your life because of His grace. Grace comes your way because God, in His goodness, sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the price for your sin. God’s gift is forgiveness of offenses through His Son, Jesus. That is His righteousness placed upon your miserable life. Thank God for His righteousness.
One of the few nice things about getting older is that you have more memories (except what I’ve forgotten). I can recall listening to the Roy Rogers show on radio. I know what its like to hear a double sonic boom that rattled the windows in our house. I remember when no one locked their house at night and car keys were stored in the ash tray or visor…when you could listen to the neighbors’ phone calls on the party line…when small towns had train depots and bus stations…and when we said a prayer at the beginning of every day at school.
But times change, for better or naught. And we press on into the future, whether we want to or not. This is my grand-children’s generation. And they can’t recall what I can. I can sit around recalling the good ole days, or I can make the most of the present. Because I’m now making memories for the next generation, I want to make every moment count.
What do you want people saying about you 50 years from now? Go to work on that project.
Today is a break-in-the-weather day before things freeze back up again. I plan on getting the reflectors up in my drive while the ground is wet. I waited too long one year and couldn’t get them in the ground. When the wind blows the snow we can’t find where our drive is. Those reflectors make great guideposts to guide where we should be going.
The Bible sets such markers in our lives. If we get these basic principles down in our lives, we’re not distracted when the winds of adversity blow in the winter seasons of our lives.
Better establish your guides while you can…winter’s coming.
How many minutes this past week have you spent in fervent prayer? Not seconds, minutes? Jesus said that if we asked, we would receive. If we seek, we will find. If we knock, the door will be opened. Do we believe that promise? If we believe that, then we probably know why we’ve not received, found or had it opened.
The burden of prayer is upon you, not God. If you pray appropriately, you will get answers. But people who focus on doing rather than praying, usually already have their reward.
I want to challenge you to get connected to God. And pray with faith (confidence) and see your prayers become reality. You haven’t been serious with God in a while. Its time to get back to what you really believe. Pray today.
Last night we did our first ever Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner at New Hope. It was a joint venture between the 153 Student Ministries (Youth), New Hope Kids’ Club, and the Mid-Week Adult Bible Fellowship. Together, we packed out the sanctuary, seating and feeding about 180 people (which is our maximum amount of space). Special thanks to all those who helped children through the food line, brought food items, helped maintain order, and helped to remove tables and chairs after the night was over.
I met several parents of bus kids (one of our main goals), and interacted with teens and kids in the Scavenger Hunt. I appreciate Ayron Reeves for creating the idea, and all those who stepped up to fill in cracks and make it a pleasant evening.
I’m expecting the night impacted many lives enough that their own Thanksgiving Feast next Thursday will be a little different…a little more special…a little more family oriented…and a little more thanks-oriented. Way to go, New Hope!
Some years ago I was working in our garden. I came across an old Mercury dime, about 1911, as I recall. I was extremely excited to find that dime, so I put it in my pocket and continued working in the garden.
At the end of the day, I reached in my pocket to show Anita my find. It was gone. After some search, I realized I had a small hole in that pocket. That dime is today somewhere buried in the yard where the garden used to be. Easy come, easy go.
Lost and found is a major theme in the Bible. Jesus told a parable about a woman who lost a coin in her house. She searched diligently until she found it, and then called in her neighbors to celebrate finding the lost coin. But what if the lost coin was lost again. Would there be any more celebrating?
Such is the case with a lost soul who finds Jesus and becomes whole again. Then, because of the cares of this world, that soul walks away from his/her faith back into the same old life they had been delivered from. No one celebrates that. There is no party or fatted calf. There is just loss.
Let’s pray for backslid believers to be revived. Then we can all celebrate together.