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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)

I thought this a perfect scripture for a day in which we typically gorge ourselves to the point of pain! But there's another reason for this particular verse. Two reasons in fact: peace and joy.

It's been a few years since I've done a Thanksgiving post, I suppose mostly because it seems like everyone does them. I admit to being a bit of a non-conformist in that regard.

My Year of Joy, Peace and Power

At the beginning of each year I spend time seeking the Lord and His heart for me concerning the year ahead. This year I felt the Lord wanted me to learn to walk in more joy, peace and power.  I suppose the Lord knew this would be a challenging year for me, full of things like tremendous job stress and significant financial pressure, among other challenges. He knew I would need to be have my mind set on the joy, peace and power that only He can provide in such circumstances.

Thanks and Peace

I've been learning something interesting about peace lately. I'm learning how often the Bible links peace with thanksgiving. I'm convinced there is a relationship between the two.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Col 3:15-17
Get that? We are CALLED to peace. How do  you find peace? Be thankful, have gratitude in your heart, give thanks in all things.  And this scripture passage seems to indicate that speaking your thanks out loud (psalms, hymns and spiritual songs) is one of the keys. Don't just think thanks, speak it (or even better, sing it).

There's more:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7
Do you have anxiety? Want peace instead? Pray with thanksgiving (not with fear or dread, but thanksgiving) in your heart. It's a guard for your heart and your mind. What does a prayer with thanks sound like?  "Lord, I thank you that your are good and that all your thoughts toward me are good. Let your goodness fill my life, and let your supernatural peace rule my heart."

Thanks and Joy

Just as thanks and peace are linked in the Bible, so too are thanks and joy.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thes 5:16-18
Want to know God's will for your life?  It's joy and thanks, flanking your prayers.

So hear is my Thanksgiving prayer for you and  yours this year:
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
Col1:9-12 (NKJ)
And I'll add this prayer to it:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

May this day be more than a day of feasting and family, may it be filled with an abundance of thankfulness that brings you deep and abiding joy and peace!

photo credit: yelo34 / 123rf



Anonymous said...

Gratitude is a huge key! I knew you had that non-conformist in you! Me too (like that's a surprise).

Hope you and your Mrs. had a great thanksgiving.

Also, I like the linking of joy and peace and power. You could almost say, joy + peace = power.

Beth Templeton said...

Love this Scott. I'll share this on our Hope at Home wall too. May our homes and lives be filled with JOY, PEACE and POWER in THANKSGIVING!

Kate Aldrich said...

Awesome thoughts! Goes right along with what God is speaking to me heart as of late! Thanks always for your wisdom, Scott!

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