Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jesus is praying for us,let us be thankful.

"Christ has pledged Himself to be our substitute and surety, and He neglects no one. There is an inexhaustible fund of perfect obedience accruing from His obedience.In heaven His merits, His self-denial and self-sacrifice, are treasured as incense to be offered up with the prayers of His people. As the sinner's humble prayers ascend to the throne of God, Christ mingles with them the merits of His own life of perfect obedience. Our prayers are made fragrant by this incense. Christ has pledged Himself to intercede in our behalf, and the Father always hears the Son." (Sons and Daughters of 22)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lessons from a Leper

  • Thus tenth leper, the Samaritan, became arguably the Bible's "Alumnus of the Year" at Thank U. He turned back to say, "Thank you." He has been teaching us about gratitude ever since.
Jesus had passed through Galilee into Samaria, making His way toward Jerusalem and the Cross (Luke 17). Coming to a small village, He encountered a group of lepers-nine Jews and a Samaritan-who, keeping their distance, tried to call Him. Their cry must have been pitiful, for leprosy damages the vocal chords and makes clear speech impossible.
"Go, show yourselves to the priests," Jesus said. He didn't heal them on the spot but gave them an assignment to go to the priests in Jerusalem who were designated as the only ones who could pronounce them cured. The ten started off by faith. As they walked along, they noticed their skin was clearing up. They were being healed. That's when the Samaritan stopped and said, "I'm going back to thank Him."
The Thanksgiving Leper
We don't know why this leper had a different attitude than the others. This leper had undoubtedly learned the secret of recognizing that every good and perfect gift comes from above. It's a life-attitude: "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (I Thessalonians 5:18).
Thankful people see blessings amidst burdens. They realize the sun-indifferent to clouds-keeps shining and sooner or later breaks through. They see life through the eyeglasses of God's promises, which magnify blessings and keep trials in perspective. They are conscientious about sending thank you notes, returning favors to friends, saying grace before meals, and singing praises at church.
The Thanksgiving Lord
Have you noticed there were two thankful people in this story? The leper and his Lord. Jesus was thankful for thankfulness. Being the God-Man, He both receives and renders thanksgiving. One of His prayers, recorded in Matthew 11:25-26, begins: "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth…."
When feeding the multitudes, He gave thanks for the bread and fish. Before instituting the Last Supper in the Upper Room, He paused to give thanks. At the tomb of Lazarus, He prayed, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me" (John 11:41).
Thankfulness is simply an element of Christlikeness. When we're thankful, we're modeling the Master.
The Thanksgiving Lecture
But the Lord's response to this leper is two-fold. While appreciating the thanksgiving of the one man, He noted the ingratitude of the nine. "Were there not ten cleansed?" He asked. "But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?" (Luke 17:17-18).
I strongly suspect that the numbers are still about the same. One in ten is truly grateful. We must consciously watch ourselves that we don't fall into the ninety percent who never pause to regularly say, "Thank you," to our God. Thanksgiving, after all, is a command, and Jesus always notes disobedience.
Thanksgiving, remember, is therapeutic. It lifts the soul. If you want to enroll in Thanksgiving University where the Master Teacher tutors us in Gratitude 101, begin intentionally thanking God and others for the blessings surrounding you.
Some Christians keep a thanksgiving list in their notebooks. Others use a little spot on their appointment logs to jot down an item every day for which they're thankful. Each day hymnist Frances Havergal noted on a calendar something-often a little thing-for which she thanked God.
Others don't use pen and paper, but they deliberatelybegin their prayer time every morning with praise and thanksgiving.
When did you last thank God for modern medicine, instant communication, controlled climates, accessible food, and indoor plumbing? Have you thanked Him for the person who sits near you in church? Have you thanked Him for specific promises in the Bible, such as Romans 8:28 and Proverbs 3:5-6? When did you last praise Him for the sun, moon, and stars?
You might even want to compose or choose a poem or hymn of thanksgiving to God and offer it as your own prayer.
This article was excerpted from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah's devotional magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-947-1993 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-947-1993 end_of_the_skype_highlighting for your complimentary copy of Turning Points.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One out of every seven people in the world is hungry.

More than 1 billion children, women, and men in the world today are hungry!

promo "Once, I was the poorest person in the area," says Gorette. "Even my neighbors were ashamed of my home and wanted nothing to do with me. We had no food. We had nothing."
ADRA began a food-for-work project in the Eastern Province of Rwanda in 2003. The area was experiencing a long drought, and the people were experiencing severe hunger. Few were growing any food, and there were no trees in the area. By providing bags of rice to those who worked, ADRA motivated individuals to build a drainage system of canals and bridges throughout the marshlands, reclaiming 148 acres. Creating a cooperative with 560 original members, ADRA provided agriculture training, seeds, tools, and fertilizer.
"When ADRA started working here, we were all poor," says James, the cooperative president. "We had little knowledge about growing food or working together. No one trusted anyone. So the concept of a cooperative was like speaking another language to us. A few of us were so desperate, and knowing how ADRA had helped us immediately after the genocide, we decided to take the risk and join the co-op."
Every $1 donated becomes $7! Donations for ADRA's food programs that are funded through this matching opportunity are worth seven times their original value. Your gift will go much further today!
"ADRA gave us a strong foundation," says Joy, a founding co-op member. "The work has been hard, but the benefits are huge! My family has all we can eat, and we have income from selling through the co-op. We will not stop. We continue to work and to learn. Now the big leaders in health and caring for the environment in this area are members of our co-op-all because ADRA chose to come and help us."
While we stopped actively working in this project in 2009, today the co-op has 2,000 members and farms 1,380 acres. They enjoy two rice harvests a year and grow numerous fruits and vegetables. Now brokers come to the co-op to purchase their harvests. And every co-op family has all they can possibly eat, they have savings in the bank, and every member has a cell phone.
And what became of Gorette, the poorest woman in the area? "Today, I have fixed up my home, and we all sleep on mattresses-what a luxury!" she exclaims. "I have more than one pot to cook in, and I have bought goats and cows from selling the extras from my harvest. Even the government has awarded their congratulations and a certificate on our amazing economic growth. But the best benefit is the knowledge. There is no means to ever express our thanks to ADRA. You have changed our lives, our community, and the future for coming generations."
Right now, when you give to ADRA, every one dollar equals seven! Your gift will be matched by other resources from other organizations. You can be the change the hungry need!
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