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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

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but rather thanksgiving.

Ephesians 4b

There comes a time in life to change. To switch from one thing to another. Sometime adjustments are forced on you. Other times, you choose to change.

All my life, I grew up using a gas stove. I just assumed that this was the way it was done. There was a gas stove in the house I grew up in. In both my grandmother’s houses. In my one and only apartment. In our first house. I didn’t even think about it.

And then we moved to Delaware. We had a house built, so I couldn’t walk through it before we moved in. Can you imagine my surprise when we walked through the house just before the closing to see an electric stove? “What’s that thing doing there?” was my immediate response. But it was too late.

I never really adjusted to an electric stove. It took a long time to heat up, and then it took a long time to cool down. It was easier to burn things on an electric stove (or, at least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.)

Our next move to Connecticut had a gas stove, so all was right with the world again. That is until we moved to Arizona and the dreaded, hated electric stove reared its ugly head.

When we moved to Florida, the electric stove seemed less of a menace because I knew its days were numbered. Part of the plan was to renovate the kitchen, that would give me the opportunity to throw out the electric stove once-and-for-all.

Then came the glorious day when we started the kitchen renovation. But that glory was soon followed by the depths of despair. There were gas pipes in the neighborhood, but not on our street. When I asked about the price to extend the pipes to our house, I was given the earth-shattering quote of $62,000.

Plan B immediately sprang into action. We installed a bottled gas solution that brought life-giving power to our new gas stove. Once again, balance was restored to in the universe.

Funny thing about stoves: when it comes to cooking, they are either electric or gas. There’s no in between. No middle ground. No compromise. It’s one or the other.

The same thing is true for us. We are commanded to switch from any sexual immorality, impurity, greed, obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking and move to thanksgiving. We are to turn in the old, depraved behavior and change it out for the new.

There is no middle ground. No compromise. We are one way or the other. We are to abandon the one for the other. Turn our backs on the old and reach out to the new.

And what replaces these six sinful, slimy lifestyles? Thanksgiving. This one mindset and lifestyle bulldozes all these other things to the side of the road. Thanksgiving is so overwhelmingly powerful, it’s the nuclear option when it comes to temptation and sin.

But what is thanksgiving? Is it more than a turkey? More than football? It’s oh so much more. Thanksgiving says that God is gracious and is reaching out to us. And that his person, power, and purposes are in control of whatever is happening in life.

Thanksgiving doesn’t blindly say that everything that happens in life is good. But that our gracious, great, and good God will use it for his glory and our good.

And when we come to that place of thanksgiving, God changes everything. God opens our hearts for him to fill them with his joy. His joy doesn’t come from what’s happening in life, but from who’s in charge.

Imagine living a life full of nothing but thanksgiving. Just think about the revolutionary changes that would take place.

  • God is for you, not against you – Romans 8:31.

  • You are surrounded by God – Psalm 139:5

  • You are covered by God’s protection. – Psalm 91:4

  • Nothing can separate you from God’s love – Romans 8:38,39

Do you want to do God’s will? Do you want to know God’s will for you and your life? It can be summed up by giving thanks in all circumstances[1].

When “life happens” do you turn it into thanksgiving? Or complaining? It’s time to start a new day. Turn to God and turn to thanksgiving. You’ll be glad you did.

Noodling Questions

  • How easily and quickly do you turn toward thanksgiving?

  • What are the things that distract you from thanksgiving?

  • How can you help someone else in their thanksgiving?

[1] 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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