Preview of readings for Thanksgiving, 2015

Joel 2:21-27

Thanksgiving is a great time to step back and ask ourselves from whence our blessings flow and to where our lives are going.  The answer to both questions ought to be the same source: God himself.  Joel says “Do not fear” not because all was well in his world but because of who God is.  All is not well in our world either but God is the same today as he was in Joel’s day.  God has never failed to bless his people.  Think about this.  In this is great cause for Thanksgiving even as our country is mired in debt and unsure of it’s place in an increasingly dangerous world.

Psalm 126

“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.”  God is all about great reversals.  “May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.”  This is why the most important consideration for any of us is our relationship with him.  If we get this right blessings will surely flow beyond what we could ask or imagine.

Matthew 6:25-33

This passage speaks for itself.  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear … But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Heather and I tested this literally when we went to Siberia as missionaries 20 years ago.   These words of Jesus were validated in our lives over and over and over.  What’s worrying you today?  What if you simply gave that to God and moved forward into his mercy, grace and generosity?

1 Timothy 2:1-7

Prayer is the most powerful tool in the Christian’s arsenal.  If we as Christians want to have a redemptive impact on our country we need to stop complaining about the lack of Merry Christmas on our Starbucks cups and start to pray consistently for our leaders.  We need to pray for President Obama, for our Senators and Congressman, for our governors, for our local leaders.  It’s so easy to disdain them.  Mark Twain said, “Suppose I was an idiot and a Congressman, but I repeat myself.”  Yet if we don’t pray for our leaders, we are even greater idiots.  And on the flip side, if we will commit to praying, we take hold of the lever of power that can move the affairs of nations.

Your Turn

What are you most thankful for?  What is your greatest present concern for your country (whether America or another)?  How do these readings lead you to respond to this concern?

Happy Thanksgiving to my readers in the U.S. and around the world.  I am profoundly grateful for you today.

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