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Thankful Hearts . . .

Thankful Hearts . . .
"Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20 (NKJV)
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year.  The Bible encourages each of us to give thanks always for all things.  That includes my family (I'm thankful for 69 years of marriage, two children, two grandchildren, and five great grandchildren). My thankful heart praises God for food, clothing, shelter, friends, my church, friends, and all blessings which come my way through Christ.  Did I mention food? 
Thank God "for all things."  I find it hard to be thankful for hurricanes, earthquakes, famines, pestilences, tornadoes, and other destructive forces.  I find it hard to be thankful for four cancer surgeries or any kind of health issue.  But lessons are taught even in difficult circumstances.  Regardless of pain, I have learned to trust in Jesus . . . through it all.  Regardless of what happens, Jesus said He would never leave or forsake us.  We must hold on to God's unchanging hands!
Ephesians 5:19-21 emphasizes the immediate consequences of obeying the command to be filled with the Spirit.  How?  Through singing, giving thanks, and humbly submitting to others.  Singing psalms (Old Testament psalms put to music), hymns (doctrinal truths sung from the heart), spiritual songs (songs of personal testimony), and making melody (literally means to pluck a stringed instrument).  The Lord Himself is the source and object of the believer's song-filled heart.  Do you remember when the Temple was dedicated, the singing so honored God that His glory came down (See 2 Chronicles 5:12, 14)?
My heart sings "Jesus Saves!"  I am so thankful for the transforming power of God through the new birth.  My heart thanks Him for the forgiveness of sins through His blood.  I'm thankful for the Holy Spirit who lives within me and all believers.  Thank you Jesus for adopting me into your family, so I can sing, "I'm so glad I am a part of the family of God . . . I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!  Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod; for I'm a part of the family, the family of God."(William J. and Gloria Gaither, 1936).  From my thankful heart to yours . . . Happy Thanksgiving!
Charles Foxworth
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Education (Ret.)--Louisiana Tech University -- Ruston, Louisiana
Supply Minister for Concord/Union Baptist Association -- Ruston, Louisiana 
eThoughts Team -- Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. XIII, No. 11-99G -- Archived 
Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher
Scripture is taken from THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.  All Rights Reserved. 
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