Jeff Patton talks about “eucharistia,” that essential attribute of thankfulness for God’s graciousness that is a vital part of true worship. So do we know what God has done for us and will do in the future? Do we appreciate all of His gifts, and have we expressed our thanks to Him? Remember the saying,”Feeling gratitude and not expressing is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” In our lives are we like the one leper who was healed and turned back to give God thanks, or are we like the 9 who took God’s blessings for granted? How do we express our gratitude to God daily for all that He provides?
The prophets Obadiah and Ezekiel make clear statements that God holds nations and individuals responsible for their actions. God looks for those who will “stand in the gap” and make a difference, those who will be the “salt” of the earth and a light in the world. On Monday, June 30, 2014, Leo Melamed, 82, a Jewish lawyer and the head of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, made a journey back to Japan to honor Chiune Sugihara, who over a period of roughly a month issued visas that allowed 6,000 Jews to escape war-torn Lithuania and the advancing Nazis. Can one person make a difference, like Dorcas in the book of Acts? Is there the power of one? God says godly love is expressed in the service of individuals who put loyalty to God first, and are willing to lay down their lives for others.
God is offering you eternal life, but we must “continually believe.” It is much more than a mere verbal confession that we “believe in Christ.” If we really have belief, faith, God’s divine persuasion, it requires action. So what is the will of God for your life, what does He prefer, and how do we walk with Him? Let the scriptures make God’s will clear to you, so you can live in God’s light, practice truth, and do the works God expects of those who love Him .
Our gratitude to God, whether formal worship as the congregation of God, or living with a thankful heart for all of God’s blessings, is important to God. Are we among the meek, who express their appreciation to God, and who will inherit the promises? Do we have this dynamic relationship with God that will lead to eternal life? Are we living in a spirit of thanksgiving, listening to what we have heard from God, and submitting to God in obedience.
What is the will of God? The apostles, Peter, Paul, and James, all wrote of the importance of knowing and acting in harmony with the will of God that we might inherit the awesome promises God offers. They also warned of the spiritual danger of adherence to cultural norms that are contrary to God’s will. A close examination of David and Christ give a greater grasp of God’s will in regards to the Sabbath commandment. As religious groups adopt non-scriptural practices like gay marriage, it is important to be grounded in the biblical standards of living and have a solid understanding of God’s will for us.
We are almost 2000 years from that eventful Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples of Christ. In celebrating Pentecost today, we call to remembrance all the lessons of this Holy Day. Are our hearts open to God’s work in our lives so we are not worshiping in vain? Do we accept the divine authority of scripture, avoiding lawlessness and living obedient lives through the power of God’s Spirit.
“So all Israel shall be saved!” This is a promise from God. If today is only one day of salvation and all Israel has not yet been saved, is there another day of salvation? The apostle Paul wrote about the resurrection of all, but each one in their own order. The scriptures reveal that there will be a future resurrection to judgment, when God will judge the nations. So what does this resurrection portend for those who have not yet had a chance to walk with God?