Commentary by the Fiery Evangelist
I saw a man the other day laying on the sidewalk with a booze bottle still in hand. He was shaggy and unclean. His clothing was filthy. He barely even looked like a human being. Obviously, he was homeless. Obviously he had no home, no job, no family. No one who cared. And what about you? Are you thankful that you have a home? A family? People who care about you?
I met a young man earlier this week who was severely disabled. His left arm is permanently bent and his hand is like a claw. His left leg is shorter than his right leg and instead of walking straight he walks side to side. And when he walks and wherever he goes people stare at him. And some whisper about him while others outright mock him. Yet, this young man is a human being! This young man despite all of his disabilities is entitled to respect and compassion. Do you know what struck me most about this young man? It wasn’t his disabilities. It was his THANKFULNESS! He was thankful God had given him life, a good home, a family and friends who cared about him! Would you be such if you had his disabilities? Would you be thankful? Would you truly do what God wants us to do as outlined in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, which says, “….and give thanks for WHATEVER happens!”
I met a young woman the other day. She’d been a prostitute and meth addict at one time. She looked far beyond her age and I was shocked when she told me her age! She had a child with some severe deformities most likely caused from her drug use in the past when she was pregnant. She started telling me about her life and in so doing she began to cry. This woman has a sad story. No….no…..this woman had a nightmare for her early life! A nightmare of drugs, beatings, prostitution, and a baby deformed! And then at the end of her life story she told me she was THANKFUL for it all! Not just some of it. Not just for the good things. But for ALL of it good and bad! Are you thankful for everything in your life? Are you thankful for BOTH the good and the bad? Ephesians 5:20 tells us, “Always give thanks to God the Father for EVERYTHING!”. Are you thankful for EVERYTHING?
Finally, I met a young man today that was obviously mentally disabled. He told me about how when he was a teenager he gave up because he’d had enough of his life. He told me that he’d had enough of people being mean to him, laughing at him, mocking him, and playing him “for a fool.” He prayed, he said, his last prayer. That prayer was for God to help him find his brother! Do you know what happened a few days later? HIS BROTHER CAME TO THE PLACE WHERE HE LIVED!! That’s amazing! That’s a miracle! That’s GOD IN ACTION!
His brother took him out of the place he was living and moved him into his house. His brother took him under his wing in brotherly love and that had a MAJOR impact on this young mentally disabled man! I couldn’t believe what he told me about his life before God brought his brother to him. His brother took him in and began to teach him how to do things. His brother owned a restaurant and he put him to work with him. He started out as a dishwasher and today he’s the ASSISTANT CHEF!! Can you believe it? His brother taught him how to drive and how to manage money! His brother taught him how to fish and hunt! His brother taught him how to do things for himself! Today this young man if mostly independent and he’s very proud of his brother and of himself! But, he’s also very thankful to God because shortly after his “last prayer” his brother came to him and there is no doubt in my mind that God led his brother right to him!! Oh, and there’s something else…..this young man is THANKFUL for EVERYTHING! He’s even thankful for the mockery and snickers that he endured for all those years growing up! Are you? Are you thankful for God’s MIRACLES in YOUR life? Colossians 2:7 tells us, “Be STRONG in the faith, just as you were taught, and ALWAYS BE THANKFUL.” Are you? Are you always thankful for EVERYTHING? Even for those people who have taunted you, mocked you, snickered at you, betrayed you, or worse?
All of these people have two things in common. They all had horrible lives but they overcame! They are all THANKFUL for EVERYTHING! These people are conquerors! These people all have a true faith in God and they not only know it or think about it, THEY LIVE IT! They are all shining examples of God’s miracles!
Something you need to know about miracles. SELDOM does God do something on par with the parting of the Red Sea! Most of the time the miracles are little. But all those little miracles add up to one BIG miracle! All of these people I just mentioned are living MIRACLES!! God’s work in their lives wasn’t on the order of the parting of the Red Sea. His work was little by little and all of that little work added up to one BIG work. THEM! And I thank God for all of these people!
Today is Thanksgiving. Sadly, all I’ve heard today is the boob tube constantly talking about “black Friday.” All I’ve heard today is commercial after commercial appealing to us as if we are nothing more than consumer machines! These commercials don’t even speak to you as if you are a HUMAN BEING because as far as the Corporate Materialists are concerned YOU’RE NOT! I haven’t heard one word today come from the boob tube giving thanks or asking viewers to give thanks!! Not one word!! Hey how about this? How about no one engage in “black Friday” and how about come Christmas instead of turning it into one big GREED DAY we buy each other NOTHING! Instead, we give thanks to God and treat each other with LOVE? How about we rediscover the TRUE meaning of Christmas which has been hijacked by the money priests and priestesses and turned into nothing but an opportunity for them to satisfy THEIR own GREED!! That’s right! You got it! BOYCOTT BLACK FRIDAY! You don’t need their CRAP anyway because NONE of their CRAP they are trying to sell you is going to make you HAPPY!
Thankfulness. For ALL THINGS good and bad. Thankfulness ALWAYS. And Love?
You know it’s easy for us to be thankful for the people and things in our lives that we care about, like, and love. But, it’s mostly a different story when it comes to things and people in our lives that we don’t care about, like, or love! But the Bible says we MUST be thankful for BOTH! For EVERYTHING good or bad, liked and unliked, loved and unloved! That’s no easy task! But we MUST do it!
Are you thankful for those people who you don’t really like or the ones who really don’t like you? Are you thankful for your shortcomings and less than desirable life circumstances? Are you thankful for that parent who wasn’t so kind to you when you were growing up? What about that two-timing spouse or lover you once had? Are you thankful for not having enough money? Not living in a mansion? Are you thankful for EVERYTHING or just SOME things? Are you thankful for EVERYONE or just SOME people? God wants us to be thankful for everything and when you think about these things I just mentioned you realize it is HARD!
When it comes to people in your life that you are not thankful for that’s sometimes even HARDER than the things in your life! But, realize, not only are we suppose to be thankful for everything good and bad but we are also supposed to FORGIVE! That’s right! We MUST FORGIVE all of those people in our lives who have back-stabbed us! Betrayed us! Lied about us! Caused trouble for us! Hated us! Fought with us! And all of those people who have done worse than any of these to us! If we aren’t thankful for everything and if we don’t forgive others then it should be no mystery as to why we don’t see God working in our lives because we are NOT doing what He wants us to do!
Some people seem to think that being a Christian is easy but it’s not! God demands a lot of us. The truth is that it is hard being a Christian especially in today’s egocentric, greed ridden, hate-filled, materialistic world! I often think that God today is putting Christians through the fire! He’s separating the gold from the rot! Are you part of the gold or the rot? You’ll have to answer that for yourself because I can’t answer it for you and neither can anyone else.
So, let’s us be THANKFUL for EVERYTHING on this Thanksgiving day. Good and bad! Let us forgive and let us love! These are the things God wants us to do. These are the things he DEMANDS of those who follow Him! It’s not easy. God isn’t a wish-granter! God is not weak! God does not want YOU to be weak either! Did you hear what I just said? GOD DOES NOT WANT YOU TO BE WEAK EITHER!!! God wants us to be STRONG and one of the ways we get strong is by doing what God wants. By being loving, forgiving, and being THANKFUL for all things good or bad. This is how God fashions you into a rock! This is how He makes you part of the GOLD! Following Jesus Christ means being DIFFERENT! It means not conforming to the materialism and gross egotism in the world today. It means not directly or indirectly paying homage to the GREED demons in this world! It means being different. Being set apart. It means being IN the world, but not OF the world because we truly know ourselves to belong to God!!
I want to say one last thing. I want YOU to know that I am THANKFUL FOR YOU! I’m thankful for you because you’ve taken the time to read my rant here. Whether you like me or not, whether you agree with me or not, it doesn’t matter because I am STILL THANKFUL FOR YOU reading this message!
I ask God to bless each and every one of you no matter who you are. No matter what you’ve done or not done! I ask God to guide your path towards Him so that you might become a NEW CREATION by being BORN AGAIN and watch the old things be set aside and the dawning of new things in YOU and in YOUR life and the lives of ALL of those around you.