Monday, January 6, 2020

New Year's Thankfulness-Challenge

I don't make New Year's Resolutions
but I do review and renew resolves!

Yesterday our Sunday School lesson was about Stephen, the first martyr
For the One, Jesus, who gave His life for us, he gave his....
It got me to examining how I am giving mine!
When 'rocks' are hurled, how do I respond?
Is my life a living sacrifice?

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, 
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--
this is your true and proper worship.

Nobody is entitled to a thing we have or hold
Therefore none are excused to squander mercy’s moment-gold
This day that grace has granted plants within all we profess
A most sacred occasion to examine thankfulness

A book, invisible to we, vexed by the wishful eye
Is filled with man’s responses from the heart that cannot lie
Then pray above all else we crave a heart of tenderness
And take an honest, open look at our thankfulness

For no one is entitled to a single grace we host
This grace, it is a gift from God and ought to fill our boast
(oh, what is more despicable than greed or selfishness)
Lord, work in us a miracle of humble thankfulness

For we are not entitled to one. Single. Cent. we earn
Naked we came into this world, naked we will return
Then teach us on our way to You how to find happiness
Not through 'wealth' we accumulate but by true thankfulness

This state of mass confusion that the world is in today
Is filled with man’s profuse excuses as Self has its say
For we are cursed and blessed with cares common to humanness
And sometimes so contrary to our would-be thankfulness

Where no one is entitled to what is too oft ignored
The One who grants the hope we ought to be striving toward
Because all that we have and hold to cheer this mortal beast
Are but the crumbs that fall from tables laden with a Feast

Then, lest we shift our gaze from things above to things below
Lord, fill our hearts with praise to Thee, from whom all blessings flow
And help us to trust you enough to take pillows of ‘yes’
And sacrifice them on an altar of love’s thankfulness

How do we offer up ourselves as living sacrifice
How do we prove that we are not bought with a dollar's price
How do we ever start to gain a heart of tenderness
First by turning to Jesus, then by learning thankfulness

© Janet Martin

 Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not [c]fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And [d]desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the [e]mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.
As a partridge that [f]broods but does not hatch,
So is he who gets riches, but not by right;
It will leave him in the midst of his days,
And at his end he will be a fool.”

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