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WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29 2021 - THE THANKSGIVING GLOW!

WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2021

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, where the Bible says,   

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 

WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2021

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, where the Bible says,   

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 THE THANKSGIVING GLOW!

The week of Thanksgiving is behind us. I pray it was a blessing. Thanksgiving week also provides an opportunity to orient one’s life toward ongoing thanksgiving, not just to have some turkey, to root for your favorite football team, and to take some time off. It’s an opportunity for you to assess your life in regard to the things that last, the things that ultimately matter – faith (Church), family, and friends.

So, how are you living out the reality of last week’s Thanksgiving celebration? Did you celebrate the “blow-out” version of Thanksgiving where you eat yourself into a stupor and fall asleep watching your third football game? That way comes and goes, and leaves us no better off after the celebration. Or did you celebrate the “blow-up” version of Thanksgiving where you decided to make the family gathering a time to air your grievances? If so, you may have felt good for a moment, but that way of telling the truth to others often contradicts the manner in which we are called to live out our relationship with the God who gives us undeserved forgiveness and reconciliation as a gift. Or, did you live the “look-up” version of Thanksgiving which sees this day as an opportunity to orient our whole life toward the God who makes all of life worth living, both now and forever?

In our reading, Paul is offering us the power of a “look-up” life of thanksgiving by faith in Christ. It’s looks to the providence of God for all things. It looks to the grace of God in all things. It looks to wisdom of the Word of God to guide all things. For those who believe in Jesus, your lives are secure in His Name because of what He has done for you. Because of that certain reality, one can “rejoice always, pray continually, [and] give thanks in all circumstances.” What a way to live! That’s living daily in a “Thanksgiving glow.”

So, here’s a way to begin to put that “glow” to work in your lives. Martin Luther was a man who literally reformed the Christian Church because he rediscovered the grace of God in Jesus Christ, and the power and joy of a faith that trusts in Him alone. Because of that faith, Luther practiced the power of thanksgiving and “thanks-living” every day. Note the daily Morning and Evening Prayers that Luther encouraged us all to pray. Ready?

HE SAYS TO BEGIN YOUR DAY THIS WAY:

 

In the morning, when you rise you shall make the sign of the holy cross, and you shall say:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, you shall say the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. Then you may say this prayer:

I THANK YOU, MY HEAVENLY FATHER, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray You to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.

 And then you should go with joy to your work…

LUTHER ENCOURAGES US TO CLOSE EACH DAY IN THE SAME SPIRIT AS FOLLOWS:

“In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall make the sign of the holy cross, and you shall say: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, you shall say the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. Then you may say this prayer:

I THANK YOU, MY HEAVENLY FATHER, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray You to forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.

And then lie down in peace, and sleep.

That thankful attitude permeated Luther’s life because Jesus, the one who lived, died, and rose again for him, was with him always. That kind of love creates a real, enduring thanksgiving. And a “Thanksgiving glow,” rooted in faith in Jesus, empowers a thankful life now and forever. May that blessing be yours today and always!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for Your constant love, Your certain Word, and Your enduring promises. May they be my focus each and every day amidst the trials and tribulations of this world. Give me the power of a “thanksgiving life” because of all that Jesus has done for me. AMEN.

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