Happy New Year everyone! 2015, new start, new season, new beginning for some and even new challenges. But have you ever ask this question every time the year starts? How do I start? With all your faith goals, things to do and need to accomplish, how will you start? Where and how do I start?
You can start with this one simple thing: Be Thankful. Let’s have a thankful heart as we start this year 2015. We usually hear, read and do our thanksgiving messages during the end of the year but I believe that as we start this year, this is the way to open our year 2015, to open it with a thankful heart.
Here are the reasons why:
1.Thankfulness is God’s will for all of us. 1Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Many of you want to visit different places, countries and travel destinations this 2015. You have written it on your faith goals. Who would not want to spend their summer in the beautiful beaches of Boracay and Palawan? Perhaps spend a month or two in Paris? How about just hang around and be a kid again with Mickey Mouse and friends at Disneyland?
Nothing wrong to be in those places, actually my wife and I have set of places and countries we are believing God for. God’s desire for us is to also enjoy His creation.
But for this year 2015, if there is ONE PLACE and that is the best place to be this 2015 is to be in the center of God’s will. Yep, that’s the best place! Not here and there (though it’s good). Being in the center of God’s will means security no matter what happen, it means provision as we continue to live His purpose and will, and it means we are living our original design to please and worship Him.
How do we start getting there? Start by having a Thankful Heart!
Being thankful is putting yourself in the center of God’s will
Whenever we thank God, we are not changing who He is. Thanking God is not for us to receive another blessing from Him. Thanking God is not a conditional requirement for us to obtain more of His blessings. God is not like that. Whether you thank Him or not, He has prepared His blessings and favor for you. But whenever we thank God, it changes us. It’s not changing Him. Instead, it changes our hearts, it changes our perspective, it’s changing who we are! From a person who doesn’t know to thank God, to a person who genuinely thank Him for everything.
2.Thankfulness is your step towards Miracles. Luke 17:15-16 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
There is a story in the bible about the 10 lepers whom Jesus has healed from their sickness. After the 10 received their healing, only ONE came back to thank Jesus and that one person was a Samaritan (There is a tension between Jews and Samaritans. Samaritans are half Jews and Jews hated and despised them for that, and Jesus was a Jew. Yes Jews despised Samaritans but Jesus is different, He loved and cared for them.)
From the surface, we obviously see that the miracle was the healing itself. But guess what? There is another miracle behind the miracle. The miracle was not just the healing. The miracle was encountering Jesus. His faith made him well. Going back to Jesus because of his gratefulness lets him encounter more of whom really Jesus is.
The Samaritan encountering Jesus Christ means he encountered the grace of God. That His grace and love is not just for the Jews but for everybody. Same grace applies to us now, because of Jesus Christ dying at the cross for us more than 2,000 years ago, we are recipient of His grace. Our Salvation is not something we can earn or we even deserve but we freely receive it by faith through His grace. Perhaps, the greatest miracle one can witness is a life being saved and changed by Jesus.
Most of you had a great 2014, something we can really be grateful for. For most, if not all of us experienced God’s provision, blessings and favor for the past year. I want you to know that God is not yet done, He is just starting. This year we can expect more of His miracles and breakthroughs. We can expect and declare that 2015 is the year of breakthroughs for us. Healing for our loved ones, family members getting saved, provision for our family, getting out of debt, new cars, acquiring properties, business growth and expansion, promotion and many more. How do we start? We need to prepare. How do we prepare? Start to prepare by having a Thankful Heart. Start thanking God for the past blessings and miracles and start thanking Him today for the future miracles and breakthroughs.
3.Thankfulness is your worship to Him Psalm 69:30 (ESV) I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
A grateful person sees everyday as a gift. Thankful people focus less on what they lack and more on the privileges they have. Worshiping Him through our thankfulness starts when we magnify Him. We magnify God not because He is small but we need to magnify Him because we all have the tendency to forget. Sometimes, we forget that He is bigger than our problems. We need to be reminded that no matter how serious our circumstances are, He is still much powerful and bigger than those. Nothing compared to the greatness of our God. This year, let’s start magnifying Him through our thanksgiving.
Join me as I thank God for what He has done last year and what He will start doing this year 2015. Thank you for reading and I pray for a thankful and blessed 2015 for you and your family.