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Let’s Give Thanks

Enter into his grates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with Praise, be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Psalm 100:4

There is so much to be grateful for and so much to thank God for.  Every day is a gift from God and my heart is filled with overwhelming thankfulness.  Giving thanks to God will positively impact our lives. When I reflect on His blessings it gives me great joy and peace.  As Christians we should develop an attitude of being thankful. Giving thanks to God keeps our hearts in a right relationship with Him and saves us from a host of harmful emotions and attitudes that will rob us of the peace God wants us to experience.  Giving thanks to God for His mercy and kindness is a blessing and a privilege. It shifts our attitude and makes us more aware of God’s activity in our lives. It humbles us and allows us to see just how great our God truly is! Here are 19 glorious reasons to give thanks to our Lord every day.

  1. Give Thanks to the Lord because He’s given us the greatest gift.
  2. Give Thanks to the Lord for the undeserved Gift of Salvation
  3. Give Thanks to the Lord for His precious word
  4. Give Thanks to the Lord for His Mercy, Love, and Faithfulness
  5. Give Thanks to the Lord that nothing will ever separate us from Him
  6. Give Thanks to the Lord that someday we will see Him face to face
  7. Give Thanks to the Lord for making us like Christ
  8. Give Thanks to the Lord that He’ll fulfill His plans for us
  9. Give Thanks to the Lord for His abundant goodness
  10. Give Thanks to the Lord for His daily provision
  11. Give Thanks to the Lord for His constant protection
  12. Give Thanks to the Lord for His constant guidance
  13. Give Thanks to the Lord that He hears our prayers
  14. Give Thanks to the Lord for our families and friends
  15. Give Thanks to the Lord for every good gift
  16. Give Thanks to the Lord for health and strength
  17. Give Thanks to the Lord that He causes all things to work for our good
  18. Give Thanks to the Lord for His promises to our children
  19. We should Give Thanks to the Lord because it honors Him

When you think of what the Lord has done for you, reflect on the lyrics to this song:

Give thanks with a grateful heart

Give thanks to the Holy One

Give thanks because He’s given

Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say I am strong

Let the poor say I am rich

Because of what the Lord has done for us

Give thanks

Submitted By Sis. Lisa Ridley

It’s A Trap

“Please don’t fall into that trap.”

     Disagreements. Disputes. Arguments. Contention. Revenge.  Someone does us wrong and then we feel like we have the right to get back at them. Toward the end of the latest Star Wars movie saga, Rey confronts the wicked Palpatine on the planet Exegol. It is a trap where Palpatine tries to appeal to Rey’s emotions of anger, hatred, and revenge because those emotions are the essence of the dark side. Those were the emotions that King David felt when cruel Nabal insulted him but Nabal’s wise wife, Abigail, was able to persuade David to not fall into that trap (1 Samuel 25:31 ERV). According to Dictionary.com, a trap is a plan, scheme, or trick devised to deceive to attain a goal or gain an advantage by catching a person unawares. Satan is the master trickster who can set the most deceptive traps. The interesting thing about a trap is not the device or the method used but the motivation of the one who sets the trap. Where does that motivation come from? One of the best insights into this question comes from Apostle James; “They come from the selfish desires that make war inside you. You want things, but you do not get them. So, you kill and are jealous of others. But you still cannot get what you want. So, you argue and fight. You do not get what you want because you do not ask God. Or when you ask, you do not receive anything, because the reason you ask is wrong. You only want to use it for your own pleasure” (James 4:1-4 ERV). Apostle Paul also tells us that this deceitful attitude can even be found in the church; “It’s true that some here preach Christ because with me out of the way, they think they’ll step right into the spotlight” (Philippians 1:16 MSG). We do not need to blame the devil for our self-centered desires. It was not Satan’s fault that Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Even Jesus Himself knew that people have a problem, “But Jesus did not trust them, because he knew how all people think” (John 2:24 ERV).

     Satan may set the traps, but our own selfishness is what makes us vulnerable to falling into the traps. Our problem is the same problem that Adam and Eve had, “…the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]” (1 John 2:16 AMPC). We want things that do not belong to us. We want what we should not have. Scientists claim that our problem is psychological because of the dopamine chemicals that are generated by the neurotransmitters in our brain. Even unbelievers are now trying to use Biblical principles to take on this problem. According to an article written by Nellie Bowles titled “How to Feel Nothing Now, in Order to Feel More Later”, the cosmopolitan elites and those in tune with the latest fads claim that dopamine fasting is the best solution to control desires because it is basically a fast of everything, “‘Do not eat. Do not look at any screens. Do not listen to music. Do not exercise. Do not touch other bodies for any reason, especially not for sex. No work. No eye contact. No talking more than absolutely necessary. A photographer could take a picture, but there should be no flash.” With dopamine fasting the number of things to not do is potentially endless.

     Unfortunately for the so-called free-spirited folks, it’s not just a natural problem; “Bodily fitness has a certain value, but spiritual fitness is essential both for this present life and for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8 J.B. PHILLIPS). Apostle Paul tells us that we actually have a serious spiritual problem, “The law made us want to do sinful things. And those sinful desires controlled our bodies, so that what we did only brought us spiritual death” (Romans 7:5 ERV). The moment that God said to Adam, “you must not” was the moment that Adam was in trouble (Romans 7:7-11 ERV). As soon as we see someone else get something that we want or do something that we think we should be doing then our problem exposes itself. We have secret side meetings and back-room discussions to devise counter plans to try and get things to go the way we want them to go. In Daniel 6, King Darius chose governors to rule in his kingdom and he put supervisors in positions to keep the governors from cheating. Daniel proved himself to be better than anyone else because of his good character and great ability so the king planned to make Daniel supervisor over the whole kingdom. The other men became very jealous and immediately began having side meetings and backroom discussions to devise a plan to set a trap for Daniel. They tried to find reasons to accuse Daniel of wrongdoing. Resentment because of people’s success and advantages causes people to malign other people. People watch others closely to try to find anything wrong that they can use to bring them down. This is human nature and why the Lord tells His children to pay particular attention to these traps.

     To counteract sinful traps we must do what is right in God’s eyes, “When you do good, you stop ignorant people from saying foolish things about you” (1 Peter 2:15 ERV).  Sometimes what hurts most is what people say about us. The Holy Bible says that the tongue is one of the smallest members of the body, but it is like a fire that can cause a world of evil. The tongue spreads evil through the entire body and negatively influences the lives of many (James 3:5-6). The tongue can be a wild, restless, uncontrollable evil full of deadly poison that is the source of gossip and rumors with accusations that taste good to the human soul; “People love to hear gossip. It is like tasty food on its way to the stomach” (Proverbs 26:22 ERV). Selfish desire is the motivating spirit behind deceit but combined with the fiery tongue, a self-centered attitude can be destructive. Selfish attitudes are a trap for unsuspecting believers but unfortunately, it is prevalent today. The consequences have been destructive as we’ve seen politicians verbally rip each other to shreds or watch students trash and destroy institutions or witnessed new converts leave churches because they feel like they left a hurtful world just to be hurt by people in the church. Selfish desires make war inside the body.

     The Apostle James writes about the roots of selfish resentment, rancor, and hatred that causes trouble and bitter torment that contaminates people (Hebrews 12:15 KJV). Daniel’s enemies could not find anything wrong with him. He was obeying the Biblical principles like 1 Peter 2:15. To fight this battle we have to be careful, disciplined, sober-minded, and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8 ERV). We must live such good lives so that others see us and give glory to God. We must remember that God shares His glory with no one. Just ask King Herod, “And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost” (Acts 12:23 KJV). God does not like when people take credit for His work. Just ask King Nebuchadnezzar, While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee” (Daniel 4:31 KJV). God’s reputation is with His people, and He does not like when His name is smeared, and His reputation ruined. This is the reason why King David’s adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah were so wicked. David’s disobedience gave God’s enemies an opportunity to speak irreverently, slanderously, and abusively about God (2 Samuel 12:14).

     What should our response be when a trap is set for us? The proper response is to stand firm in our faith (1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV). The apostle Paul teaches us in Romans 12 to wish good for those who treat us badly. God asks us to bless those that hurt us and not curse them. We saw a demonstration of this Biblical principle when a young man hugged a Dallas police officer after she was convicted of killing his brother. In spite of what she had done to his brother, the young man told her in the courtroom that he wanted the best for her. If someone does us wrong, we should not try to pay them back by hurting them. Our response to evil determines whether we fall into the devil’s trap or escape from it. We must try to do what is right under every circumstance and do the best that we can to live in peace with everyone. The Lord tells us not to avenge people who do us wrong (1 Peter 3:9 ERV). God has put people in place to protect us from the wicked and in turn He asks us to live holy and let Him be our Avenger; “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19 KJV).

     God is our Superhero, and He will protect us from our enemies. He will punish those who harm us. What the Lord wants us to do is to defeat wickedness with love and kindness. If our enemies are hungry, we should give them something to eat. If our enemies are thirsty, we should give them something to drink. In doing these things we will make them feel ashamed for their wicked attitudes and behavior towards us. A Godly lifestyle keeps us from falling into Satan’s traps and prevents our enemies from defeating us. Scriptures says that when we surprise those that treat us badly with goodness, then we won’t let evil get the best of us but instead we will get the best of evil by doing good and bring evil to shame (Romans 12:20). On the other hand, an ungodly response to those who dislike us will result in us finding ourselves ensnared in the enemy’s traps. To defeat the traps, we must strive to respond Godly even to those who say bad things to us (Luke 6:28 MSG).

     We defeat evil by doing what is right. Not only did Daniel stand firm in his faith but he made sure that it was no secret (Daniel 6:10 ERV). When we stand for Jesus then who can stand against us? (Romans 8:31). We do not need to be ashamed to stand for the Lord (Mark 8:38). The enemy succeeded in putting Daniel in the lion’s den but what they did not count on is God being the final Judge. There is no better justice than to see God defeat our enemies with their own traps. Obedience results in victory! When Daniel’s testimony was done the king changed the laws of the land to honor God. God tells us to be watchful so as not to fall into Satan’s traps (1 Peter 5:8 KJV). Stand on God’s Word because His Word is alive, working, and sharper than the sharpest sword. It cuts to the center of our joints and our bones so deep that it impacts where the soul and the spirit are joined. It judges our thoughts and feelings in our hearts. There is no escaping the Lord’s examination of attitudes and motives and there is no trap that can be set that will withstand God’s Word. Jesus Christ is God’s Word in the flesh (Revelation 19:13 KJV).  Jesus Christ is our way of escape from the traps of life.

“There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it”

1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV.


Submitted by Trustee Stanley Ridley

Jesus is Lord

A lord is defined as someone who has authority, control, or power over others.

  1. A lord is someone who exercises authority from property rights which means they own what they are lord over. A lord is also a person who is a leader or has great influence over people. A person becomes a lord by two methods.
  2. They receive the title lord by virtue of being heir to it or they receive the title lord by life peerage, given rank and dignity from a person with the same legal status.
  3. “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God” – Philippians 2:6 KJV.

A man is given the title ‘Lord’ by someone who is equal to him in abilities, qualifications, and background. In God’s kingdom, the one that is highest with God is first lowest with man. One must first learn submission before they can obtain ‘Lordship’ in God’s kingdom; “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” – Hebrews 5:8 KJV. There is only one man that has ever lived that can meet all of these criteria. The Prophet Isaiah said there was nothing special or impressive about the way He looked and there was nothing that we could see that would cause us to like Him. He suffered like no other. He was totally innocent, but people still hated, rejected, despised, and mocked Him. People made fun of Him and even His friends left Him. He is the one who suffered pain and sickness for our sake. He is the one who people called names and took His stick and kept hitting Him on the head with it (Matthew 27:30). We treated Him like someone of no importance and like someone we did not even want to look at but turn away from in disgust (Isaiah 53:2-3). People spit in His face, beat Him with their fists, and slapped Him with the palms of their hands (Matthew 26:67). Many were shocked when they saw Him because He was beaten so badly that he no longer looked like a human (Isaiah 52:14). He is the only one that could trade places with us and hang on a tree as a curse (Deuteronomy 21:22-23). He is the only one that could deliver us from eternal damnation and give us the gift of eternal life (Galatians 3:13). He is the only man whose name is called The Word of God (Revelation 19:13). He was there when God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26 KJV). His name is called The Word of God because He was there with God the Father in the beginning and all things were made by Him (John 1:1-3).

He is the only human being to have died and rise up from the grave with all power in His hands (Matthew 28:18). God the Father gave Him a name above all other names (Philippians 2:9). He is the personification of love. He is the demonstrator of true humility. He is the embodiment of obedience. He is the ultimate example of flesh walking around the earth with power, grace, and mercy; “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 KJV). He is God in the flesh, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30 KJV).

He is the only one to have earned LORDSHIP of all things and there is no other name like his name, the LORD JESUS CHRIST.

Submitted By Trustee Stanley Ridley