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Tortoise Sitting On a Bamboo Branch 

Almost one million people leave this earth every week. Every day 142,857 people embrace death. And every hour 5,952 say good bye to their loved ones forever. Every minute 99 people leave their loved ones weeping, and every two seconds 3 people leave this mortal world. While you are reading this article, think for a while about how many homes are mourning.

This is the reality and the instability of human life.

It is written in the word of God;

Life is like a vapor, James 4:14

It is like a thought, Psalm 90:9

It is like sleep, and grass, Psalm 90:5

It is like a shadow, and a flower, Job 14:2

It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  (Lamentations 3:22 KJV+)

According to one survey;

Ø  If you woke up healthy and happy this morning, then you are blessed more than the tens of thousands of people who will be pushed into the mouth of death this week.

Ø  If you have never experienced war, prison, torture or famine then you are better off than twenty million people.

Ø  If you worship in a church without the fear of a police raid, arrest, torture or death then you are more blessed than three hundred million people of the world.

Ø  If the Holy Bible is easily available to you then you are more blessed than one third of people in the world who do not have a Holy Bible.

Ø  If you have edible goods in your home, clothes to wear, a roof for shelter and a place to sleep then you are richer than 75% of people of this world.

Ø  If you have money in your purse or bank then you are numbered among the 8% richest people of the world.

Ø  If your family is knitted together in love, where everybody is cared for then you are more blessed than those countless people of the world whose family life has been shattered.

Always give thanks to the Lord for your blessedness. What is thanksgiving? It is the action of expressing our thanks, giving thanks for all goodness. Giving thanks for all the kindness of God toward us. Thanksgiving is the spring of all Christian virtues.

If this is the case then we also have to think about this: “Unthankfulness” is the source of all our major failures. Not giving thanks is a sin. For a genuine Christian, every day must be a day of thanksgiving.

A very famous author had a picture in his office of a tortoise sitting on a bamboo branch.

Somebody asked the author, “Why have you put this picture in your office?”

He replied, “Whenever I write a book and it becomes very famous, and I feel so proud, then I look closely at this picture of the tortoise sitting on the branch. I remember that he did not sit here by himself. Somebody has helped him to sit here.”

The English words think and thank have the same source. We have to think and give thanks. We have to remember that we have reached here by the help and grace of God. This is the foundation or source of thanksgiving. God is the provider of every blessing.

(1)   Thanksgiving is a command.

According to the word of God, thanksgiving is not optional but it is a command.

a)      …be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (Psalm 100:4 KJV+)

b)     Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his        holiness. (Psalm 97:12 KJV+)

c)      O give thanks unto the LORD; (Psalm 105:1 KJV+)

(2) Thanksgiving is a continuous process, action, and task.

a)      Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (Colossians 1:12 KJV+)

b)      In everything give thanks:  (1Thessalonians 5:18 KJV+)

c)      We are bound to thank God always for you, (2Thess. 1:3 KJV+

(3)  Thanksgiving is fulfilling the will of God.

It means, “oh God I thank thee that your will has been fulfilled. It happened as You wished.” In other words, not my will but Thy will be done. We have to give thanks for everything whether these things are for our good or not. In this way, with thanksgiving we accept the will of God. Thanksgiving does not mean that we may give thanks in favorable circumstances then when the circumstances are against us we should start murmuring.

When in every situation we give thanks to the Lord from the depths our heart then:

·         We feel happy.

·         We do not suffer negative pressures.

·         In reality we submit to the Lord.

·         We can understand the sufferings of other people in a better way.

·         We can help and guide others in a better way.

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1Thess. 5:18 KJV+)

One of the secrets of living and leading a victorious Christian life is that we must have the attitude of thanksgiving. When you give thanks for everything whether it is good or against your will, remember that you are fulfilling the will of God.

In the Old Testament when sacrifices were offered the animals were slaughtered. Now in the New Testament the Lord is not demanding the sacrifice of animals. But he likes the sacrifice of our lips that we may thank him. When we give the sacrifice of our lips, in fact we kiss the Lord.

Kiss the Son. (Psalm 2:12 KJV+)

1)      Hannah was a barren woman, she prayed for a son and God heard her prayer

And she vowed a vow, and said, ‘O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.’  (1Samuel 1:11 KJV+)

Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, ‘Because I have asked him of the LORD.’  (1Sam.1:20 KJV+)

As her thanksgiving to the Lord she returned this son to the Lord to serve him.

‘Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD.’ And she worshipped the LORD there.  (1Sam.1:28 KJV+)

And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. (1Sam.3:1 KJV+)

In return for this thanksgiving gift, the Lord blessed her with three more sons and two daughters.

And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.  (1Sam.2:21 KJV+)

2)      The Lord Jesus Christ healed Peter’s mother-in-law of fever. As her thanksgiving she started serving the Lord.

And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. (Mark 1:29 KJV+)

But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.  (Mark 1:30 KJV+)

And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them. (Mark 1:31 KJV+)

3)      When the Lord healed the man who was possessed with demons and had the legion in him, he witnessed for the Lord in Decapolis (means ten cities). This was his thanksgiving.

And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. (Mark 5:15 KJV+)

And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel. (Mark 5:20 KJV+)

4)      When blind Bartimaeus was healed, he followed Christ. He absolutely followed his healer.

And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. (Mark 10:46 KJV+)

And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, ‘Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.’ (Mark 10:47 KJV+)

And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, ‘Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.’ (Mark 10:48 KJV+)

And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, ‘Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.’ (Mark 10:49 KJV+)

And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. (Mark 10:50 KJV+)

And Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?’ The blind man said unto him, ‘Lord, that I might receive my sight.’ (Mark 10:51 KJV+)

And Jesus said unto him, ‘Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.’ And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.  (Mark 10:52 KJV+)

5)      There is the mention of ten lepers in the Bible. (Luke 17:11-19)

And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. (Luke 17:11 KJV+)

And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: (Luke 17:12 KJV+)

And they lifted up theirvoices, and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’ (Luke 17:13 KJV+)

And when he saw them,he said unto them, ‘Go shew yourselves unto the priests.’ And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. (Luke 17:14 KJV+)

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, (Luke 17:15 KJV+)

And fell down on hisface at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. (Luke 17:16 KJV+)

And Jesus answering said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?’ (Luke 17:17 KJV+)

‘There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.’ (Luke 17:18 KJV+)

And he said unto him, ‘Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.’ (Luke 17:19 KJV+)

It is very sad that after the healing only one came back to thank the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord asked, “Where are the nine?”

Think for a while. Is Jesus Christ not asking the same question regarding us?

Remember! The attitude of thanksgiving not only increases the value of the present blessings but opens the doors for more blessings.

When the Lord brings us out of any difficulty, sickness, problem, suffering, or adverse circumstances, do we then follow him wholeheartedly?  Do we give thanks to him or follow him and thank him for the time being, partially? Or do we thank Him by our words only, and take our own ways? In the time of need or hardship do we seriously call unto the Lord and after that do we forget and forsake God?

Dear Friends!  The Lord knows our hearts, thoughts, attitudes and intentions. Nothing is hidden from him; all things are like an open book. Let us pray to the Lord that that he may fill our hearts with the real meaning of thanksgiving. Then we can say like the prophet David;

‘I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart;’ (Psalm 9:1 KJV+)

May our dear Lord abundantly bless you with all his blessings and fill your life with thanksgiving.

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