Tis The Season

  Thanksgiving has come and gone.  Christmas is upon us, and New Year's Day is within sight.  This is the time of the year that we all reflect on things we are thankful for and make resolutions and start anew.  This week, I want to remind each of you about these things.  It is easy to find things that we are thankful for, such as Christmas bonuses, new vehicles, and the latest and greatest in gadgetry.  It is also easy to make resolutions about losing weight, finding the right job, and quitting a bad habit.  How many of us are giving thanks for the right things?  How many of us make resolutions that have meaning to them? 

     1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

     Did you catch it?  It said every thing. Not just the things that make life easier or are obvious.  I know it is easy to do, but we miss a plethora of things in our life to give thanks for.  Each and every one of us needs to take a moment to consider all of the little things God has given us. 

     Be thankful for family.  To some, this can be hard.  All families can fight, argue, and pick with each other.  With that being said, we need to cherish the fact that we have family around during this time of the year.  To us, these holidays are all about fellowship.  Yet, to others, it is just another reminder that they are alone.  I know from experience that there are elders right here in Shelby County that live alone and do not see their families at all.  They would do anything for the warm embrace of loved ones such as the ones we have. 

     Thank God for food and shelter.  These two things are too often overlooked and taken for granted.  Once again, I can tell you from experience that there are many families right here in Shelby County that do not have a place to call home.  They are renting rooms, staying with friends, or sleeping on the streets.  We have food in our pantries that we will never eat and eventually throw away.  Some families are going without supper tonight.  They will not get to join family and partake in the feast like we all have. 

     Be thankful for the health you have.  Sure, none of us are at our peak conditions, but are you giving thanks for what health you have?  I always tell people to thank God because He didn't forget to wake you up this morning.  Each day we wake up is another day we can give thanks and praises to our Heavenly Father.  Don't take your health for granted, though.  There are too many people that are enduring serious health issues.  Many will not get to bring in the New Year at home because they are stuck in a hospital.  As we pray for those people, we need to give thanks for our health.

     Thank the Lord for His favor.  This includes the obvious and not so obvious alike.  We need to be thankful for every single blessing that God gives us.  Getting good grades, earning the promotion, being able to afford a new house or car, etc.  God gives, and He can take away.  With every breath you take, give God thanks.

     Now let us talk a little about resolutions.  Every year it's the same old goals and resolutions.  We try our best to improve ourselves in many problematic areas in our lives, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  We can all use a few adjustments in one or more areas.  How often, though, do we resolve to become a better Christian?  Do we make resolutions to be closer to God, be more giving, or to reflect Christ better in all we do?  For most of us, the answers are the same: No. 

     2 Thessalonians 1:11 says, "Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power."

     As Christians, this should always be our resolution.  We need to resolve to be counted worthy of His calling and purpose in order to be who He created us to be. 

     Consider 2016 a fresh start.  Just as when we were saved, the old is gone and we are new.  Let's use this New Year to get back to the basics of Christianity.  

     Resolve to reflect Jesus in all we do.  Resolve to walk closer than ever with God.  Resolve to forgive.  Resolve to bless others.  Resolve to walk by faith, not by sight. 


Merry Christmas and God Bless you.

East Texas Press

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