Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
Get all the Soul Foods online @:http://www.olivebranchministries.us
Take Time to Be Thankful!
This week we are celebrating a great American tradition - Thanksgiving Day. You may spend time with family and friends eating a large meal, visiting, or watching football. However did you ever stop and think what we have to be really thankful for, - God’s Love.
The most important thing we can be thankful for, is that God loved us enough to send His Son to die for us.
Lamentations 3:21-23. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.
Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
1Chronicles 16:34. Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
Psalms 100:5. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.
Have you stopped lately and taken the time to thank your Heavenly Father for His faithfulness and mercy toward you? God will never leave you or forsake you, no matter what you are going through.
Today in our society we are busier than ever. We are often attacked from all sides. We need to know who the enemy is and it is not God. God is good, as the verse above tells us and His mercy toward us is everlasting.
Jeremiah 29:11. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
God only has thought and plans of peace for you, not evil or bad. When we go through bad things, God doesn't do them to us, the author of these things is Satan, not God.
James 1:2-3. My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."
James 1:13. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God''; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
When we go through things God is not tempting us to loose faith or doubt Him Satan does that. God will however, use whatever trial or temptation you are going through to produce one of the most wonderful fruits of the spirit, patience. Learning how to wait on God in your trial, learning how to wait on others to change, or for your situation to change. Learning how to be faithful, even in the most awful time you are now going through.
Psalms 101:1. I will sing of mercy and justice; To You, O Lord, I will sing praises.
Psalms 59:16-17. But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble. To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; For God is my defense, The God of my mercy.
You may feel so overwhelmed with what you are going through that you may have forgotten all that Father God has done for you in the past. You may not have set aside time to fellowship with your Heavenly Father, to get into His Word and remind yourself of His promises for you.
Psalms 62:1-2. Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.
When was the last time you stopped and looked back over the past few days, weeks, months at all the wonderful things God has done for you?
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
It is time to get your eyes off your situation and look towards God. Take the time right now to stop and remember, and thank God for all He has done for you!
Let's look into God's Word for some examples of God's goodness and mercy toward you.
The first thing that comes to mind:
He sent His only son, Jesus to die for you:
John 3:16. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
God is a good God, the Psalmist tells us of His other mercies.
Psalms 103:1-10,17-18. Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. …. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children, To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
What are some of the wonderful benefits you just read?
1. God forgives your sins.
2. He heals all your diseases.
3. He redeems your life from destruction.
4. He crowns you with lovingkindness.
5. He satisfies your needs and renews your strength.
6. He executes righteousness and judgement for you against oppression.
7. He makes His ways know to you!
8. He gives you His grace and mercy in times of trouble.
9. He does not deal with you according to your sins but sees you through the
Blood of Jesus!
10. He knows who you are -since the beginning of time!
His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting!
If you have not accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, I pray now that you will open your heart to the light of God's love and make that decision now, and earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "…and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37), So I know You won’t cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "… with the heart one believes to righteousness…" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.
The following is a prayer of Thanksgiving, I urge you to prayer this when you are overwhelmed with your situation and need to remember The Goodness of God!
Father, I stop right now, to spend time with you. I stop to take the time to give thanks for all the wonderful things and answered prayers you have given me.
Thank you, Father, for your Son, Jesus who died for me.
Thank you for forgiving my sins, for healing me, for redeeming my life from destruction.
Thank you for crowning me with Your loving kindness and tender mercies.
Thank you for caring for me at all times.
Thank you for showing me your ways and helping me walk with you.
Thank you for the Blood of Jesus that covers all my sins!
Thank you, Lord, for your everlasting mercy!
I will praise you all of my days! In Jesus name, Amen.