Time keeps on moving, moving, moving… into the future! Maybe somebody should write a song to that…. Oh, skip it. Somebody already did!
I thought of that as I pondered that in a few short days, we will be celebrating once again, Thanksgiving. Where did all the time go? It’s moving so fast. Somehow Thanksgiving snuck up on me and I have to start thinking of something to be thankful for. I wonder if we have anything to be thankful for? That’s why I’m going to try to address the concept of thanksgiving in each of my messages this week.
Let’s start with this one that I found in the book of Daniel this morning. Daniel was praying and in his prayer he spoke to God and said,
“Act out of who You are, not out of what we are.” Daniel 9:17 MSG
Aren’t there just times you wished you could come of with powerful stuff like that? I mean, that’s really powerful. Of course Daniel knows that God is constant, He never changes. So, it’s not as if He is going to change His character because of something we do, or don’t do. It’s not that He’s going to start pouting because we didn’t do it the way He wanted it done. He always remains the same, unlike us.
We’re pretty fickle, you know. We have good days and bad days. Somedays the sun is shining and other days were in the gloominess of the storm. Someday’s we’re strong and sure, other days we’re victims and defeated. Someday’s we’re happy as a Lark… other days we’re grumpy and stingy.
Generally there are way too many circumstances in life that determine what kind of day we’re going to have or how we’ll react to other people. Cross me and you’re out! Look at me the wrong way, and we’re done. Disagree with me and we’re finished!
But God never acts like that. His consistency never wavers according to our failure. His love never runs dry because of our disobedience. His grace never falters because our sin was so enormous. His forgiveness never is withheld because we didn’t deserve it. We don’t deserve it – but in His mercy He freely gives it, because that is who He is!
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Don’t wait until Thanksgiving Day to be thankful. Today, in your own way, thank God for who He is and that He treats out of His character, not out of yours.
Help me to respond to life today knowing full well that You never change and Your mercy, grace and love are as available today as they have been every day of life. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen
We all have them. Some are good, some not so good, others downright devastating. Some are very noticeable, others we try to hide. Do you know what I’m referring to? I’m talking about habits. You know, those things we do on a continual basis, like a routine.
Some good habits are: brushing your teeth, eating healthy food, getting exercise. As Christians we should include reading our Bible, having prayer time, sharing our faith. Those are all good habits.
Some not so good habit would include: chewing your fingernails, picking your nose, talking with food in your mouth, coughing without covering your mouth. It’s not as if these are detrimental, but not good manners or etiquette.
And then we have the really bad habits: drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, money. We all know people who have become overcome by these habits and lost their way. These things became permanent fixtures, controllers, in their lives and they can’t break them in and by themselves.
Well, can I tell you God has a habit too and He’s not going to apologize for it either. We generally don’t think of habits as being good – maybe because the bad ones far outweigh the good ones and are so damaging to our lives. But God’s habit is always beneficial to us. God has made it a habit to forgive us. Listen to what the Psalm writer wrote…
“If You, GOD, kept records of wrongdoings, who could stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is Your habit, and that’s why You’re worshipped.” Psalm 130:3-4 MSG
Now so you know, that doesn’t give us liberty to just go out and sin all the more because we know that God’s habitual grace will cover all our sins. Yes, His love, grace and forgiveness are immeasurable… no length, no width or no depth. Yes, His unconditional love is who He is and He can’t change that. Yes, He has a permanent case of forgiveness, because He looks at You through the cross of His Son, Jesus. He’s not looking at Your sin – He’s looking at You through Jesus and when He does, He can’t help Himself. He loves you. He showers grace on you. Even if you don’t think you deserve it.
God’s habit of forgiving you isn’t based on anything you did to deserve it. It’s not like you stopped doing a bad habit so then God changed His mind about you and decided to offer you pardon. No, it’s not only what He does, it’s who He is! He’s always ready to forgive and offer you a brand new start.
Here my word of encouragement for you today: Like me, you’re probably in need of some forgiveness today. Why not spend a moment with God and allow Him to once again assure you of His habitual love, grace and forgiveness.
Thank You for loving us so much that You gave Your Son, Jesus, to die for us. Thank You for no limits on Your habitual grace. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen