I want to wish our EHM partners and friends a blessed Thanksgiving. The journey with you throughout the year has been a delight. I am so honored to have you beside us.
As I have been in final preparations for 2013 and gearing up for 2014, I am reminded of God’s continued grace and love He bestows on us. He is an intentional God looking to reveal His heart to His people all the time, yet how many times do we not perceive it? What causes a heart to not recognize? I believe the number one reason is our focus.
It is very easy to get caught up in the details of circumstances around us that we lose perspective of what is truly important, or perhaps, we focus on what we do not have. In either case, our viewpoint is skewed.
God desires for us to remember that He is the God who will meet all our needs.
I’m reminded of the Scriptures speaking of Jesus feeding the 5,000. Matthew 14:15-21 “As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.’ Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’ ‘We have here only fives loaves for bread and two fish, they answered. ‘Bring them here to me,’ he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to the heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, beside women and children.”
Here are some points I want us to draw upon. The first is this – we must be imitators of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He desires for us to emulate His heart. When Jesus had received from the disciples the bread and fish, He looked up to heaven and gave thanks. God desires for us to have a grateful heart.
I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” God desires for us to give thanks in all circumstances. I think we would all resolve to say it is much easier to give thanks to God in times of joy and pleasure versus in times of difficulty, yet God doesn’t want us to lose hope. There are times in our lives when we cannot explain the “whys” of life. We need to rest securely in knowing He is for us and the plan He has for our life is to bring us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
The second point God desires for us to realize is He is a detail-oriented God. He demonstrated His character through His actions when He ordered the disciples to direct the crowds to sit down and when He instructed them to bring Him the fish and bread. God desires for you to realize that He is not only involved in the very details of your life, but that you are so precious and important to Him.
Matthew 6:26-27 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Just as He had met the needs of the disciples and those sitting on the grass, God wants you to know He will meet your every need.
He doesn’t want us fretting or worrying. When we start to fret and worry, it zaps us of our joy and peace. He wants us to stay focused on Him trusting He will work out all the details.
Lastly, God desires for us to bring to Him all that we have and all that we are, even the parts we think are unusable, unlovable, and untouchable. He wants us to bring Him our fears, insecurities and doubts. God desires to break those fallacies off of us. He longs to mold and transform our hearts so that we will become fully satisfied with Him.
Our fullness of being satisfied with Him is not only for us but also for those around us. He is the God of Abundance. He is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). God demonstrated His power when there were 12 basketfuls of food left over after everyone had eaten. Now mind you, there were 5,000 men plus the women and children. In simple calculation, we can estimate Jesus fed around 10,000 people with just 5 loaves and two small fish. When I ponder this thought, it not only reassures His character to me, but also reinforces His intentions of providing for me.
The heart of God is for you to realize how important you are to Him. He wants you not to get distracted by circumstances but to rest in Him. Remember, if He took care of the details of the birds, He will take care of your needs too.
Be blessed this Thanksgiving. Be intentional in showing your love and gratitude towards God, your loved one, and friends.