THANKSGIVING

THE LOVE BETWEEN THE FATHER AND THE SON

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 4.55.27 PM…FATHER, before the foundations of the earth, You chose creatures to make Your own and wrote their names in Your book (Eph 1:4) (Rev 17:8). And throughout time You have been drawing them to Your Son for salvation (John 6:37).

We belonged to You first, then You gave us to JESUS (John 17:9). And then JESUS gave us back to You:

“Now…they know and understand that all You[(FATHER] have given Me [JESUS] belongs to You [is really and truly Yours]” (John 17:7 AMP, brackets mine).

“Jesus…promised to work for us in such a way that the very love that the Father has for the Son would be the experience of our own hearts….The love the Father has for the Son is nothing but infinitely joyful admiration and fellowship….” John Piper (ref#94, p38-39).

FATHER, because I’m steeped in sin, my old nature, that cannot be regenerated, feels Your wrath and therefore thinks that You hate me and concludes JESUS came to save me from You. But You, Yourself love me (John 16:27). I am precious in Your eyes and honored and You love me (Isa 43:4). You demonstrate Your own love toward me by the coming of JESUS (Rom 5:8).

FATHER, You love me even as You love JESUS (John 17:23). I’m thrilled that the love You have bestowed upon JESUS, can be in me (John 17:26). Thank You.

THANKSGIVING

GOD’S WORD IN NATURE-CHANGING

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 3.17.40 PM…FATHER, I thank You for Your Scriptures. And I thank You for providing the SPIRIT who guides me as I read.

I can easily fall back into reading with the mind of my flesh, using my natural “sense and reasons without the Holy Spirit…” (Rom 8:6 AMP). But by reading this way I’m only looking for information to help me. Without the SPIRIT to help, Your Word is external. It does not change me inside. It only gives me advice to act independently of You.

“God’s word,…is still living; it is instinct with energy; it is keener than any two-edged sword: that can but pierce flesh, but this finds its way to the dividing line between the animal life and the immortal spirit: it pierces the deepest recesses of our nature; it analyses the very emotions and purposes of the inmost heart” Arthur S. Way (ref#38, p229, [Heb 4:12]).

I praise You that Your Word “is a sifter of the reflections and conceptions of the heart” Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p519, [Heb 4:12]). Its energy seeks to get into and stay with me. It has the ability to stir me and work in me to a degree that I can’t get away from it (ref#28, p83).

All thanks to You, FATHER, that Your Scriptures are able to instruct, reproof, and train me in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16). Thank You that Your Word will never pass away (Matt 24:35). The HOLY SPIRIT brings life to me through the Word which grants life to me both now and forever (Rom 8:6). Thank You. AMEN!

THANKSGIVING

PSALM 86

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 3.00.54 PMI will praise You, O LORD my GOD,

with my whole heart (Ps 86:12).

For You incline Your ear and answer me

in my distress (Ps 86:1).

 

I ask You to preserve my life

since I am dedicated to You,

since I trust in You, my GOD,

save Your servant (Ps 86:2).

 

You are merciful and gracious to me,

O LORD;

make Your servant to rejoice

for I lift myself up to You (Ps 86:3-4);

 

Teach me that I may walk

and live in Your truth;

direct my heart to reverently fear

and honor Your name (Ps 86:11).

 

You, O LORD, are good

and ready to forgive my trespasses;

I call and You send my sins away—

gone completely and forever (Ps 86:5).

 

Great is Your mercy

and loving-kindness toward me;

You deliver me

from the depths of affliction (Ps 86:13).

 

You are great and work wonders!

You alone are GOD (Ps 86:10).

You are abundant in mercy and loving-kindness,

and I will glorify Your name forevermore (Ps 86:5,12).

THANKSGIVING

PRESERVATION OF THE SAINTS

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.06.03 PM…FATHER, when You bless me You bless me forever. It is You, LORD, who makes me continue forever before You (1 Chron 17:27).

“The preservation of the saints means that all who have been elected by the Father, atoned for by Christ, and regenerated by the Holy Spirit will be saved…, and that not one of them will fall away totally or finally” R. C. Sproul (ref#71, p46).

King David conspired to murder an innocent man, yet You caused him to continue desiring You to the end of his life. You even called him “a man after Your own heart” (Acts 13:22). It is not my control of my sin or my submitting to Your commands that will keep me to the end, but Your hand alone.

What You start, You will finish. You began a good work in me and will continue to complete it until the day of CHRIST JESUS (Phil 1:6). I may sin severely and fall into a great length and depth of backsliding but You will keep me from falling completely away. My disobedience will keep me from joy, but it will not keep me from continuing on eternally with You.

FATHER, You alone preserve me. I cannot rely on myself to keep myself. I am “too weak; too changeable; too ready to be led astray; too much disposed to yield to temptation” Barnes’ Notes (ref#16, [Phil 1:6]).

But, lest I willingly slip into apathy because of Your goodness, prick me about You holding me responsible for every careless word from my mouth (Matt 12:36). I must be responsible before You for You are not mocked (Gal 6:7).

THANKSGIVING

COVENANT OF REDEMPTION

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 2.49.19 PM“Theologians speak of…a covenant that is not between God and man, but is among the members of the Trinity. This covenant they call the ‘covenant of redemption.’ It is an agreement among the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…On the part of the Father, this ‘covenant of redemption’ included an agreement to give to the Son a people whom he would redeem for his own possession…” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p518).

The Son agreed to “pay blood for blood, suffering for suffering, agony for agony, and death for death on behalf of His people” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, February 27th PM). “When Christ died, he secured for his people not only new hearts but new security. He will not let them turn from him. He will keep them….The blood of the covenant guarantees it” John Piper (ref#92, p47) (John 6:37).

“…the Holy Spirit in the covenant of redemption…agreed to do the will of the Father and fill and empower Christ to carry out his ministry on earth…and to apply the benefits of Christ’s redemptive work to his people after Christ returned to heaven….” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p519).

TRIUNE GOD, I am blessed to possess the understanding of Your “covenant of redemption.” There are not enough words to express my gratitude. Day by day in my personal life I observe Your efforts in fulfilling Your goal decided upon before You set the foundations of the earth.

THANKSGIVING

MY DEFAULT

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 2.45.48 PM…FATHER, I can do nothing worthwhile—that, You have to do. But I can always praise and worship You. In fact, You have formed me to express honor to You (Isa 43:21). Whether I’m overwhelmed with difficult circumstances or come face to face with Your great acts, when I think of You, my heart defaults to praising and worshiping You.

You grant to me my heart’s desire and fulfill all my plans (Ps 20:4). Therefore, I will set up my banner by Your name, for You fulfill all my petitions (Ps 20:5).

O soul, be not downcast, for with a little reflection I can say, “You, GOD, are my refuge and my fortress. I abide under Your shadow—in the secret place of You, the Most High” (Ps 91:1,2).

I will declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness every night (Ps 92:2). For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the work of Your hands (Ps 92:4).

FATHER, I ask You allow me to bear fruit continually—even to old age; refresh me and make me flourish so I may declare Your uprightness (Ps 92:14,15). I have set my love on You (Ps 91:14); honor me with a life able to see Your salvation (Ps 91:16). Because Your work makes me glad, (Ps 92:4) I will sing praises to Your name, O MOST HIGH (Ps 92:1).

THANKSGIVING

MUTUAL INTERCHANGE OF KIND SERVICES

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 12.28.49 PM…FATHER, I thank You that I can see Your greatness and love in every flower I look at. But, by that relationship I only comprehend the distance between us—Your power and my inabilities.

But, with the riches of Your grace You have recovered me from a state of enmity to a state of mutual communion and fellowship. You have done this by uniting me together in a covenant of peace ratified by the blood of JESUS. By Your giving and my receiving we can fellowship with each other. Your covenant-giving and my affections toward You binds our wills together (ref#35, p94).

Out of Your vast ocean of love You continually pour out extravagant gifts. You offer such things as a wilderness with entire fields of flowers that bloom without any eye seeing. And You give extravagant gifts to me personally. These gifts make me long to continue to taste Your sweetness and excellencies looking to experience the fullness of Your provided salvation (ref #35, p94). Your kind service to me is Your gifts, my kind service to You is my offerings of praise.

 

“How precious…are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How great is the sum of them!

If I should count them,

they would be more in number than the sand;…” (Ps 139:17-18 NKJV).

 

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” (Ps 139:14 ESV).

“…I will celebrate your kindness…” (Ps 101:1 CEV).

“…Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Ps 139:14 ESV).

“I have seen your power and your glory…”  (Ps 63:2 CEV).