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The Greatest Reason to be Thankful

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
Keynote Speaker, CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

Thankful every day

Just how thankful are we? — Really! This is the season of Thanksgiving. But is it all about the food, family, and football? Do you actually give thanks on Thanksgiving? Stop for a moment and think about the last time you felt thankful. When was the last time you felt thankful to God? What does God hear from you the most: a long wish list, complaints, or thankfulness? In Romans 1:21, Paul tells us that one can know God, but not honor him or give thanks to him and as a result they became futile in their thinking and foolish in their hearts.

Why is it that out of 365 days in a year we have one day set aside to give thanks? We should be thankful every day. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says we are to give thanks in all circumstances. God does not just bless on Thanksgiving Day, but he pours out his blessings on us every day – so we should be thankful every day – in all circumstances. Psalm 34:1 says “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

The Psalmist wrote: “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Perhaps we need to follow Philippians 2:5, which says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” It was Christ Who, knowing exactly what lay ahead, gave thanks on the very night in which He was betrayed.

To be truly thankful requires us to recognize that what you have you could not produce yourself – it was a gift. It requires humility and acknowledgment of both the gift and its source.

The Source of our Thankfulness?

The Bible clearly instructs Christians to fix our eyes on the Heavenly Father, the true source of every good thing in our lives. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus is the source and perfecter of our faith. He is the One who graciously gives us “good things” of all kinds, and our natural response should be thank Him specifically and continually. Psalm 86:12 says, “I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.” James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

Apart from anything that God does, God is simply great in character and power.  Isaiah 6:3 says, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” God is “holy,” that is, in a higher and different class than us; God is so awesome that it is beyond us to even fathom it. Psalm 145:3 says, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.”

The Cause of our Thankfulness

Psalm 92:1-2 says, “It is a good thing to give thanks to the LORD, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And your faithfulness every night.” Here we have cause to give God thank because of his lovingkindness and faithfulness. From 1 Corinthians 1:4, we find we can be thankful for the grace given to us in Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 15:57 says we have victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The greatest reason we have to be thankful should be the price that Jesus paid for us when he died on a cross in our place so that we could have eternal life. John 3:16 says, “For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Without Jesus dying on the cross for us, redeeming us, and forgiving our sins, we would be hopeless, lost, and bound for hell. But because of his faithful love to us, he endured the cross despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).

The Result of our Thankfulness

When we are thankful, our focus moves off selfish desires and off the pain of current circumstances. Expressing thankfulness helps us remember that God is in control. Thankfulness, then, is not only appropriate; it is actually healthy and beneficial to us. It reminds us of the bigger picture, that we belong to God, and that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3). Truly, we have an abundant life (John 10:10), and gratefulness is fitting.

However, a mere attitude of thankfulness is not enough. When we truly acknowledge all that God has done for us, the result should be an outpouring of thankfulness that leads us to praise him, which leads us to worship him. In Deuteronomy 10:12, Moses said, “what does the Lord your God ask of you except to fear the Lord your God by walking in all His ways, to love Him, and to worship the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul? And in 1 Samuel 12:24, it says, “Above all, fear the Lord and worship Him faithfully with all your heart; consider the great things He has done for you.”

The result of our thankfulness is worship.

This year, as we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, remember the greatest reason you have to be thankful is Jesus — the who saved you, redeemed you and forgave you….and allow your thanksgiving to become an act of worship.

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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

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Job 1:6-7. Satan – A Real Enemy

Jun 24 Job 1 6-7 HCSB

Years ago, there was a commercial for senior adults about a medical alert system. In the commercial, an old lady has fallen and she presses the button her medical alert system and says, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Do you ever feel as a Christian that you’ve fallen and you can’t get up? Wouldn’t it be great if we had a button we could push and get God to say “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”?

Satan is often pictured as a man in a red suit with a pitchfork and tail, but that’s not who he is. The transliteration of the Hebrew word “Satan” means “adversary” or “accuser.” He is also known as the Devil. But he wasn’t always the devil. In fact, when first created, he was an angel in heaven, whose name was Lucifer. But Lucifer started a rebellion in Heaven and one-third of the angels sided with him. His followers are now known as demons.

In Isaiah 14:12-15, he is described as a shining star that has fallen from the heavens and a destroyer of nations. Out of pride he decided that being an angel wasn’t good enough. He was so enamored with his own beauty, intelligence, power, and position that decided the honor and glory that belonged to God alone should be his. We often say that Adam and Even were the first sinners, but Satan’s pride was the actual beginning of sin.

In the Bible, Satan appears first at the Garden of Eden where he takes on the form of a serpent and tempts Eve to eat the fruit God commanded her not to eat. From that moment until the resurrection of Christ, Satan worked to thwart God’s plan of redemption. From the resurrection to today, Satan knows he is doomed to Hell that God created for him and his demons, but he plans on taking as many people with him as he can. For this reason, Satan is a real enemy, our adversary and he roams the earth looking for whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). In the book of Job, we find him doing just that.

In the opening of the book of Job, we are given a scene from Heaven. We find that the “Sons of God” come to present themselves to God. These “Sons of God” are angels surrounding the throne who serve as God’s messengers. But we also see that Satan tagged along with them, most likely as an uninvited guest. The Lord asks him where he came from and he replied, “from going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” From this we know that Satan has the ability to not only move back and forth across the earth, but he can also travel between earth and heaven. It wasn’t that God didn’t already know. God is omniscient and therefore it is impossible to do anything without God knowing about it. Just as in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve sinned, God called out to them and asked where they were but He already knew exactly where they were.

So why would Satan crash in on the scene in heaven? Revelation 12:10 tells us that Satan is our accuser and he accuses us before God day and night, relentlessly. And this is what we find him doing in the book of Job. Satan roamed the earth, looking for his next target to accuse before God and he found him in a righteous man named Job. So as the angels come to God, Satan arrives and stands before God accusing Job and saying that the only reason Job is so faithful is because God had blessed him abundantly. He tells God that if God allows Satan to test Job, that Job would eventually turn his back on God and curse Him. But God already knows that Job will remain faithful and God allows Satan to test Job.

Satan still goes before the throne of God and brings every accusation he can against us. For every sin, he proudly stands before God, wagging his finger and saying, “Did you see what she (or he) did? Did you hear what they said?” Then Jesus steps in and says, “Father, she’s your child. I paid the price for her sin and she has believed in me. I’ve washed her sins away with my own blood.”

accuserOur accuser wants us to remember every sin and he wants us to know just how unworthy we are and that we do not deserve a place in God’s family. He wants to sow doubts in our minds and forget Christ’s love for us. Satan wants us to focus on our sin. God wants us to focus on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Satan wants us to focus on our sin. God wants us to focus on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.  — click to tweet

Satan already knows his fate. Revelation 20:10 tell us that he will be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur and tormented day and night for all eternity. The one-third of the angels that rebelled with him will face the same fate. But in the mean time, while he still roams the earth, he will do all he can to make us live defeated lives. Lives of doubt. Lives of insecurity. Lives of fear. Anything he can do to divide families and churches, he will do. Anything he can do to keep us from telling others about God, he will do. Anything he can do to make us feel shamed and guilty, he will do. Because the more Christians live defeated, doubtful, insecure, fearful, shamed, guilty, and divided, the less the witness of Christ is spread and the more of God’s created people Satan will take to hell with him.

The more Christians live defeated, doubtful, insecure, fearful, shamed, guilty, and divided, the less the witness of Christ is spread and the more of God’s people Satan will take to hell with him. — click to tweet

Yes, Satan is real and he is a very real enemy. And you can count on the fact that the more of a witness you are for Christ, the more he will attack you. This is why Paul gave us Ephesians 6:10-18:

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world power of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.

We do have an alert system to which we can get God directly – it’s called prayer. The good thing is we don’t even have to wait until we’ve fallen to use it. Jesus taught us in the Lord’s prayer that we can pray for us to not be led into temptation. We can pray when we feel the temptation and ask God to strengthen us to withstand it. But when we do fall, we can pray and say, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! Please forgive me.” God stands ready to forgive. Ready to strengthen. Ready to empower us to withstand all the wiles of the devil. Of Job, God said, “there is none like him on the earth a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8). Even after he was tested the Bible tells us in Job 2:10, “In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” If we were tested like Job was, would we be found as faithful?

We have an alert system to which we can get God directly – it’s called prayer and we don’t have to wait until we’ve fallen to use it. God stands ready to forgive. Ready to strengthen. Ready to empower us to withstand all the wiles of the devil. — click to tweet


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Cover_m God, Love and Marshmallow Wars: This book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel


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Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.

Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.

With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities.

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