Thursday, 12 November 2020
Title: Overflow with Thankfulness!
By: Cecilia Tan 陈俊芳

Psalm 100:4
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!”

The word “thank” and its variations occur some 143 times in the Bible, with thanks usually directed to God. The Book of Psalms itself contains many specific commands to offer thanksgiving to God. Psalm 100:4 is just one of many distinct commands to express gratitude to God for all that is going on in our lives.

Why does God want us to be thankful? Simply because gratitude keeps us in a right relationship with Him. When we are thankful, we acknowledge His presence in our lives and our total dependence on Him for all we have and all that we are. We give Him the honour due to Him.

Thankfulness pleases God. King David declares in Psalm 69:30-31, “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs.”

What should we be thankful for? Our list of temporal earthly blessings is endless… The roof over our heads, the clothes we wear, the food on our tables, the family that is with us through thick and thin, the friends that spark joy in our lives and give us memories to treasure, our healthy bodies, our careers and sources of income, our talents and abilities… the wonders of creation, sunshine, rain, the morning song of the birds, flowers to delight our eyes, even tiny blessings in our busy lives such as finding a parking bay when we are out running many errands!

What about spiritual blessings? In these times of global turmoil triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are daily being reminded not only of the brevity and uncertainty of life but also of the certainty of death! If by God’s grace we do not succumb to the virus, we will still have to leave earth one day sooner or later!

Nevertheless, we are thankful for the blessed assurance of an eternal existence in God’s presence where abundant joy awaits us. This is so as we have received the Gift of our Lord Jesus Christ, described by Apostle Paul as the “Indescribable Gift” in 2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”

Apart from this Gift, we are all hopeless, lost and sitting in the darkness, awaiting eternal condemnation. For those of us who have received this Gift, we enjoy true peace – peace with God and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, the peace that only Jesus can give. And we know that when we depart this troubled world, the eternal home that awaits us in heaven is the best home we can ever have, better than anything this world has to offer!

Our spiritual blessings must surely include the gift of the Holy Spirit who indwells us and gives us victory over sin and God’s Word, the Bible. It tells us about God, who He is, what He has done and what He will do in the future. All man’s philosophy is darkness, but God has given us a light for our paths and a lamp for our feet, that we may be guided in ways that please God.

Our temporal blessings are only beneficial to us for our temporary earthly existence. Our spiritual blessings are the richest and most enduring of all blessings as they last forever!

Are there dangers posed by thanklessness? When we are not thankful, we are likely to credit ourselves for our achievements, forgetting the command of Moses in Deuteronomy 8:18 to “remember the Lord your God for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” Swollen-headed with pride, we may even declare “my power and the strength of my hands has produced this wealth for me” .(Deuteronomy 8:17) We begin to forget where our blessings come from, and eventually may even cut ties with the Giver of these blessings!

Thanklessness greatly displeases God. Luke’s Gospel records the miraculous healing of 10 lepers by Jesus. Only one came back to thank Jesus. Can you imagine the hurt in Jesus’ voice when He asked, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:17-18) Jesus affirmed the one who returned to thank Him but was saddened and displeased with the ingratitude of the nine.

Thankfulness is a mega health booster. Many studies done on gratitude have produced undisputable evidence that gratitude benefits our bodies, minds and souls. A thankful attitude makes people happier, improves their relationships and they enjoy better physical and emotional health. You are more likely to see a winning smile on the faces of the thankful than on the thankless. (Though of course the smiles 😊are now hidden behind their masks as the new normal requires us to wear masks in public spaces. 😷)

Realising that we have so much to thank God for, and weighing the many benefits of being thankful, we would be wise to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and OVERFLOW WITH THANKFULNESS!

Prayer:

Our Heavenly Father, we live in unprecedented times, being bombarded daily with Covid-19 statistics that provoke fear and hopelessness. Nevertheless, we are thankful that You are our refuge, strength and fortress, our ever-present help in times of trouble. Rather than dwell on what we have lost under the new normal, help us to be thankful and rejoice over countless blessings that we are still able to enjoy. For indeed, Your steadfast love and mercies never come to an end but are new every morning! We thank You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期四, 2020年11月12日
标题:满溢的感恩心怀
作者:陈俊芳姐妹
翻译:薛秀合姐妹

【诗篇100:4】
“当称谢进入他的门;当赞美进入他的院。当感谢他,称颂他的名!”

“感谢” 一词及其变体在圣经中出现了大约143次,通常指的是向上帝表示感谢。诗篇本身包含着许多向上帝献上感谢的具体命令。诗篇100:4只是对我们生命中发生的一切事情向上帝表达感谢的许多命令之一。

为什么上帝要我们感恩呢?仅仅因为感恩使我们与祂保持良好的关系。当我们感恩的时候,我们承认祂存在于我们的生活中,以及我们为自己并所拥有的一切完全倚靠祂。我们将尊荣归于祂。

感恩可取悦上帝。大卫王在诗篇69:30-31中宣告:“我要以诗歌赞美神的名,以感谢称他为大!这便叫耶和华喜悦,胜似献牛,或是献有角有蹄的公牛。”

我们应该为什么而感恩呢?我们短暂在现世的祝福是无穷无尽的……我们头顶上的屋顶、我们所穿的衣服、我们餐桌上的食物、与我们同甘共苦的家人、在我们生活中点燃欢乐并给我们珍贵回忆的朋友、我们健康的身体、我们的职业和收入来源、我们的天赋和才能……一切奇妙的创造,阳光、雨水,鸟儿的晨鸣声、令人赏心悦目的花朵,甚至是我们忙碌生活里的小祝福,例如当我们外出办事时找到一个停车位!

那么关于属灵的祝福呢?在由新冠肺炎疫情所引发的全球动荡时期,我们每天都在被提醒的,不仅是生命的短暂和不确定性,而且也是死亡的必然性!如果我们靠着上帝的恩典没有受到这病毒的感染,我们迟早一天也将会离开地球!

尽管如此,我们依然为着有上帝同在的永生的有福确据而感恩,在那里有丰盛的喜乐等待着我们。这是因为我们领受了我们的主耶稣基督的恩赐,使徒保罗在哥林多后书9:15中将其描述为 “说不尽的恩赐”:“感谢神,因他有说不尽的恩赐!”

在这份恩赐以外,我们都是绝望的,迷失并坐在黑暗中,等候着永恒的刑罚。对于我们这些已经接受了这份恩赐的人,我们享受着真正的平安-与上帝和好的平安及从上帝而来出人意外的平安,这超越一切理解的平安,只有耶稣才能给予。我们也知道,当我们离开这个动荡的世界时,在天堂等待我们的永恒家园是我们前所未曾拥有过的最好的家园,比这个世界所能提供的任何东西都要好!

我们的属灵祝福必须包括圣灵的恩赐,圣灵住在我们里面,使我们战胜罪恶并赐予我们神的道-圣经。圣灵告诉我们关于上帝的事情,上帝是谁、祂曾作了什么以及祂将来会作的事。人类的所有哲学都是黑暗的,但是上帝给了我们在道路上的光和在脚前的灯,好让我们可以按上帝喜悦的方式被引导。

我们现世的祝福只会对我们在世上短暂的生命有益。我们的属灵祝福是最丰富且是一切祝福中最持久的,因为它们永远长存!

忘恩负义会带来危险吗?当我们不感恩时,我们很可能会把我们的成就归功于自己,忘了摩西在申命记8:18中的命令 “你要记念耶和华─你的神,因为得货财的力量是他给你的。” * 我们甚至会骄傲地宣称:“这货财是我力量、我能力得来的。”*(申命记8:17)。我们开始忘记我们的祝福从何而来,最终甚至可能与这些祝福的赐予者断开联系!

不知感恩会使上帝非常不悦。路加福音记录了耶稣行神迹治愈了10位麻风病人。只有一个人回来感谢耶稣。当耶稣问:“洁净了的不是十个人么?那九个在那里呢?除了这外族人,再没有别人回来归荣耀与神么?”(路加福音17:17-18)您能否想象得到耶稣声调中的伤痛?耶稣肯定了那一位回来感谢祂的人,但对那九个人的忘恩负义感到难过和不满。

感恩是巨大的健康助推器。许多关于感恩的研究提供了无可争议的证据,感恩能使我们的身体、思想和心灵受益。感恩的态度使人们更加快乐,改善他们的人际关系,并且他们会享受到更好的身心健康。与不感恩的人相比,您更可能在感恩的脸上看到胜利的笑容。(当然,现在的笑容😊已经隐藏在他们的口罩背后了,因为新的常态要求我们在公共场所戴口罩😷。)

意识到我们有许多要感谢上帝的事情,并权衡感恩所带来的诸多好处,因此,我们明智的做法,就是培养一个感恩的态度与满溢的感恩心怀!

祷告
我们的天父,我们生活在前所未有的时代,每天都遭到新冠肺炎统计数据的轰击,并激起了恐惧和绝望。然而,因祢是我们的避难所,是我们的力量,是我们在堡垒,是我们患难中随时的帮助,我们感谢祢。帮助我们感恩,为我们仍可享受到的无数祝福而感到欢乐,而不是纠结于新常态下失去的东西。诚然,祢坚定的爱与怜悯永远不会终止,而每个早晨都是新的!我们奉耶稣的名感谢祢。阿门

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