As always, it was an immense privilege to be able to share with God’s people at my church this weekend. I share below a recording of the message which I hope you enjoy.
Here is the text from Luke 3 for your reference:
The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with[a] water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[b] the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.
19 But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of his marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, 20 Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.
21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Luke 3:15-22 NIV
John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire Luke3:16 #NIV #Bible
For my final best of the year series of posts, I want to share one from the UK Christian bloggers.
Over the last year, a group of UK-based bloggers have been getting together regularly to pray and swap stories. It’s been a tremendous encouragement. I want to publicly thank each and everyone of them today.
If you are looking for something to read or watch, do check out their blogs. There is some wonderful material there and you will not be disappointed.
Hi! My name is Andy Brown, you may remember me from such blogs as andy-brown.org…! It has indeed been some time since my last proper post, although I have tried to share some older material and some great posts from friends and fellow bloggers. Life has gotten rather busy and my writing has suffered. I…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2022/06/18/uk-christian-bloggers/
On Tuesday, I wrote a post entitled Anything, which looked at the awesome power of prayer. Yesterday, I shared a post called – A Fig Tree – which picked up that theme, and was written by the excellent blogger Bruce Cooper. Some comments on these posts highlighted to me that many do not fully understand…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2022/06/23/poor-little-fig-tree/
Over the season of Lent, I have been fasting. It has not always gone according to plan, I hasten to add, but it has been an enriching experience in many ways. This Sunday, why not give it a try yourself? Be sure to do it sensibly and wisely if you have never done it before.…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2022/04/10/fasting-sunday-suggestion/
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!2 Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!3 Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2021/05/25/thankful-christians-psalm-100-5/
Today brings you to a group post produced by UK Christian Bloggers on the subject of thanksgiving. When we think of thanksgiving we automatically think of the annual holiday celebrations that take place in the USA, which remembers the first Thanksgiving in 1621 by the early pilgrims. It was a harvest thanksgiving thanking God for His provisions for their community. The fact that Thanksgiving is originally men thanking the Almighty should be a universal theme, practiced by people of all countries and races. So here today are some British thoughts on thanking our God.
Wherever you travel in the world, learning to say “thank you” in the native language is one of the most important words to learn. I’ve been to the Spanish Island of Lanzarote this week and my Spanish is very limited but I soon learnt that a “Gracias” goes a long way. People really appreciated it. In some languages I have discovered that there are in fact many different words to express thanks and also different types of thanks depending on the situation. We may only learn one expression of thanks in a language but a grateful heart to God and others can and does express itself in many different ways. Some ways we don’t all understand or recognise but God does. It’s not just the words of thanks that we speak with our mouths but the language of our hearts. A grateful heart.Thanksgiving is a varied language of love which I believe is only fully awakened by a true revelation of who and how good God is.The eyes of our hearts are opened and we are taught a new language which expresses itself in us and through our actions. God is a good, good God and a good Father who has given us, in and through Jesus everything for true life. The knowledge and truth of who God is transforms us by the power of the Holy Spirit.My words may sometimes be inadequate but I hope my heart sings thank you Lord.
I was working away on a video that needed editing, although this wasn’t one destined to be used by our own ministry, but another ministry that I regularly help out. And the computer I was using was a direct gift from an anonymous supporter of our ministry – the BerryBunch.family. God is good; that one gift blesses many!
‘Feeling’ thankful is a great feeling, but ‘being’ thankful is much more sustaining and requires action – because we should always be in a perpetual state of expecting to be thankful at the goodness of God!
It’s really easy to think of being thankful in relation to what we get from something/someone. Ultimately, though, our thankfulness is more than just being glad of something happening, or not. Because the sort of thankfulness we should be experiencing needs to be rooted in our actions, and our demeanour towards life and, more importantly, towards God.
Lord I’m grateful for your promises and all you’ve done for me. You’re the way the truth the life and through your son you’ve set us free. From my lips I utter praise and I will share my testimony; the name of Jesus shall be raised as I pray for rest for many. Lord I’m grateful for your kindness and the love that you’ve shown. I thank you for my family and a place I can call home, I thank you for your comfort in those times I feel alone. You gave a heart of flesh and removed my heart of stone, Lord I’m grateful for the cross and my future that’s secured. I pray that multitudes will come to know You precious Lord, I give you all my praise and pray you open heavens door. Pour your Holy Spirit out upon the world and save us all, Amen.
Gratitude is an attitude. This is something I tell my children often! It is one thing to say the words, but quite another to demonstrate thanksgiving with words and actions. For example, I give my daughter a gift and she says, “Thank you.” But then tosses it aside without opening it, then I know for sure she is not grateful for it.
Colossians 3:17 says: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
It is easy to do things with a grumbling attitude. We do it, whatever it may be, making sure those around us know we aren’t joyful about it. That is not how we ought to conduct ourselves. Instead, we are to do all things as if God had asked us to do them Himself – and to do so “giving thanks.”
The command to “give thanks” is an ongoing one – not “give” but “giving…” We thank God, and keep on thanking Him. We give and keep on giving, heaping gratitude on gratitude. There is no shortage of things to thank the Lord for, and the well of thankfulness should never run dry.
Thanksgiving may be only a single day, but let the Christian live a life of thanksgiving.
When I reflect on the history of traditions I am saddened by how over time men have changed them; sadly Thanksgiving is no different in this respect. It primarily was God fearing men and women thanking the Almighty for His many provisions and blessings. Sadly nowadays such a celebration of our God is frowned upon and maybe even mocked in this woke world; it would be deemed offensive to many. As children of His Kingdom we are called to heed and live out His Word; we have a choice to either be mocked by men or be judged by God – I personally prefer the temporary discomfort in this world so I can praise God in Heaven! Thus each Thanksgiving my Father God is the only focus of all my thanks; be it in speech, song or in prayer. After all such festivals are great opportunities to share His Good News of Salvation!
Lord God, we pause to give You thanks and praise this Thanksgiving. Lord God, even in the midst of the darkness and chaos that surrounds us, may Your people never cease to marvel at the blessings that You have given to us. Lord God, remind us that we are to bless others, because You have blessed us. Thank You and praise You Lord for our salvation that we have by grace, through faith, in Christ alone. Lord God, may we feast and crave Your Word more than our Thanksgiving meal and leftovers. Thank You Lord that in Christ filled, yet wired to long and desire You more. Thank You Holy Trinity for the gift of community. Praise You Lord for those whom You allow to journey with us. Lord God, thank You for this reader. May this reader grow closer to You this Thanksgiving. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.