They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4:3-5 (NIV).
“Received with thanksgiving:” those are powerful words. They can make all the difference in the world.
Next week is Thanksgiving and that means we’re coming up on the time of the year when we’ll reflect on 2018 and talk about what we’ve done (and unconsciously avoid those not done). May I submit to you that an attitude of thanksgiving for all things, ESPECIALLY the bad things, makes everything ok? No, I’m not Pollyanna. This year, just in my own family circle, we’ve known death, terrible illness, separation, extreme financial difficulties, loneliness, encounters with Satan, and more. Let’s just assume you’re in a similar situation (because you probably are).
Give thanks. Thank God for them. Thank God for the bad things and the good things, too.
Winter is coming and I just detest cold weather. But I’m thankful for it. Yesterday was a REALLY EARLY morning, seeing me wake up at 3 to leave the house by 4 to catch a 6:30 flight at Love Field. I’m thankful for that because it means I have a good job. Every payday there always seems to be more in bills than there is in paycheck…you guessed it: I’m thankful because the life my wife and I lead is one of family and friends and faith and love.
God gives us EVERYTHING on this planet and more. He did it (and does it) out of love, out of wanting to provide for His children who He created to be “very good.” Who am I (or you) to put conditions on it? Who are we to put rules and regulations all over something that God gave to us freely?
In the book of Acts, the Apostle Peter learns in a dream that every food is “clean” and a gift from God. All through his life, Peter had observed Jewish laws about what to and not to eat. It makes sense that the early church, an offshoot of Judaism, would start to adopt some of the Jewish traditions. But God switched things up, telling Peter that all foods were clean. In an even larger sense, God was telling Peter that all PEOPLE were clean, all people were worthy of His blessing and should hear the Gospel of Christ. Give thanks for EVERYTHING, good and not good, clean and unclean. It’s all from God. Even the bad things He allows are used for His good purposes.
How could someone not be thankful for that?
Thanking Jesus as the start to all we are is the start of making things better.
For further reading: Acts 10, 1 Timothy 4:6
Lord, thank You. Just thank You.