“If Paul is free, he converts the world; chain him to a jailor and he converts the guard; put him in prison and he writes the Bible; if you kill him, you do him a favor as he goes to be with Jesus. Now how do you defeat a guy like that?” — Billy Bland, Memphis School of Preaching Lectures
From Glad Tidings of Good Things – Jacksonville, AL
“…for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” (Acts 9:15-16)
Is it possible to know a word but not know what it really means? Sure it is. In school I learned that “supercalisragilisticexpialidocious” was actually a word, but until I started writing this article all it meant to me was “write-off.” But how about when it comes to words that are little more common? How about a word that we have heard or used so much this week? Take the word “thanksgiving” for instance. Is it possible that we can use a word that so many ears recognize without truly understanding the meaning it is meant to have? Has thanksgiving become a misunderstood word taken for granted? Despite the fact that thanksgiving is a word that we say and hear so much this time of the year the true essence of the word describes what our words sound like to God.
The word thanksgiving means, “gratitude, grateful language to God as an act of worship; thankfulness.” Thanksgiving Day is not meant to be a day that bottles up our recognition of God into one meal. It is meant to make us slow down and show some emotion. Thanksgiving is something that God enjoys, desires and deserves. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” It has to do with how we feel about our blessings. We cannot trust our emotions to lead us to salvation (Proverbs 3:5; Jeremiah 10:23; 17:9 & 1 John 5:13) but that does not change the fact that salvation and all the other recognized blessings of life will lead a person to certain emotions (Acts 8:26-39; Philippians 4:4 & 1 Timothy 6:7-9). (more…)