Importance of Giving Thanks
Thanksgiving was just under a week ago and I am still feeling all the wonderful feelings of the holiday! You know: the joy of spending time with family mixed with the stress of spending time with family, the joy of getting to over eat without being judged for it, the thrill of carrying around a food baby, but most importantly the authentic atmosphere of thankfulness. I am reminded during this holiday season every year that being thankful is something I lack far too often. Not to say that outside of this specific time of year I have nothing to be thankful for, just that I fail miserably at taking time to be thankful unless I am reminded to do so by a national holiday. This lack of everyday thankfulness tends to lead me to be ungrateful for the blessings I have in my life. Hopefully you do not struggle with this mentality as well, but if you do here is some encouragement I have found in the Word that might help you too!
God is the provider in times of need, comforter in times of loss and loneliness, and shows us unconditional love though we are undeserving of it. By giving thanks to Him regularly we will consistently be reminded of all the He does for us. Not a single day goes by that He does not give us a reason to be thankful. He is deserving of our thanks always and it is His will for us to exalt Him in all circumstances. Take time to bring praise to God for what He has done, is doing, and will do because it will change your outlook on life in an amazing way!
I have been thinking a lot lately about the different parables that Jesus told as a means of relaying truth and application in one cohesive relatable story. Jesus would use parables to teach those around Him important lessons in a format that they would understand and relate to. He would take potential life circumstances and coat them in truths that anyone could understand and incorporate into their daily mannerisms. Every parable that Jesus taught can be taken as a lesson for believers to grow and broaden their understanding of what we should be doing daily.
What are some things that we as believers struggle with daily? Finding purpose, staying the course in difficult times, feeling accepted, understanding what to do with the talents we have been given, etc. The list could go on and on. Through the teachings of Jesus we can find answers and solutions to these things that burden us day in and day out. Mark 4:11-12 says “And He said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.”” When Jesus was asked about the parables He told, His responded by telling us that as believers they show us the “secrets of the kingdom of God”! How irresponsible would it be of us to not learn from these secrets to strengthen our relationship with the God that created us?! I hope that you will take time to look into all the parables that Jesus taught, but for now lets just look at a few together.
There is real world application to be learned from every parable that Jesus told. We can grow as individuals when we take time to read them and open our hearts to what lesson God wants to learn. Throughout that growth we will then have stories of personal parables that we can use to help, encourage, and inform others!