THANKS – Transformation, Healing, Acceptance, New Family, Knowledge, Salvation
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Have we heard the story of this man?
He was an ordinary carpenter from the Iowa, USA, who died in 2005.
What’s so special about him?
Iowa carpenter died a secret millionaire, willed his fortune to sending 33 strangers to college
By KARU F. DANIELS, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS | JUL 24, 2019 | 7:28 PM
Dale Schroeder was a frugal man who worked as a carpenter for 67 years, wore two pairs of jeans — for church and work — and drove a rusty old Chevy truck.
When he died in 2005 at age 86, the Iowa native’s closest friends didn’t know he secretly amassed close to $3 million in savings.
His specific instructions for his money were to send small-town Iowa kids to college.
Today, the 33 strangers have formed a group and call themselves “Dale’s kids.” Comprised of doctors, teachers and therapists, they recently gathered to honour Schroeder for changing their lives.
God has done so much more for us, and this is a time for us to recognize some of those things and give Him thanks. We often hear during Thanksgiving when we gather with family and church, most people give thanks for things that we see, material things. Today, let us consider some of the things we may not see but which God has graciously given to each one of us.
T – TRANSFORMATION
Galatians 6:15 (NLT)
It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
How are we transformed?
- We are transformed when we come to faith in Jesus Christ and we become new persons
- He continues to transform us by renewing our mind through His Word and His Spirit
Rom 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
What does God use to transform our lives? – troubles, trials, tribulations
That is why James urged us in James 1
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
As we look at our lives today and compare it to how we were 5 or 10 years ago, we can thank God for His transformation in our lives.
H – HEALING
Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
God is our healer.
He heals our bodies, or emotions, our spirits and our relationships
- Relationships were healed not by God changing how other people treated us (although He can do that)
- But because God taught us and gave us the grace to forgive those who hurt us in the past.
- So now we can have peace in our hearts and minds
- Many of us have experienced healing from our physical infirmities
- God used doctors, surgeons, medicine, modern equipment, and also miracles
- I have experienced His healing when I was diagnosed with a serious illness a few years ago
- I was able to go through surgery twice here in Canada, and that was a great blessing
- I’m so thankful to God for how He healed and provided for those treatments
A – ACCEPTANCE
Romans 15:7 (NLT)
Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
Romans 5:8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners ... 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
Brennan Manning famously proclaimed,
“The good news is that God loves us as we are, not as we should be because we will never be as we should be.”
A few years ago, as we concluded our 2nd session in my online coaching course, I sat in my chair in my office, crying before the Lord,
Why, because I just came to realize how God has accepted me for who I am.
I recalled the many times in the past when people rejected me, in our church in the Philippines, and even here in Toronto, very painful times for me.
But God loves me and has accepted me for who I am, and I was crying out of gratitude for His unconditional acceptance.
Have you thanked Him for accepting you for who you are?
N – NEW FAMILY
1 John 3:1 See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!
Gal 4:5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law so that he could adopt us as his very own children.
Eph 1:5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.
John 13:34 (NLT)
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
Gal 6:1 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path... 2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
Romans 12:15 (NIV)
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
- Many of the immigrants in Toronto do not have family or relatives here. Some do have but our relationships with them are not that close.
- God has provided a new family for us through the church family
- CCD has become the new family for many of our members, and we thank our Father for that.
- We are here to help carry each other’s burdens, to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn, to pray for and care for one another
- However, we cannot do that if we keep things to ourselves and do not share it with the family.
- Let us allow our family to minister to us by letting them know of our needs
K – KNOWLEDGE
Matt 16:17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.
- We know Him because He revealed Himself to us
Colossians 1:10 (NLT)
you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
2 Peter 1:3 (NLT)
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvellous glory and excellence.
Knowing – loving – obeying
- Knowing Him, not just mentally, but experientially
- Let us seek to know Him and HE has given us His Word to help us know Him
- If we are lazy to read and study His Word, we won’t get to know Him
- We need to do our part
S – SALVATION
- John 3:16
- We were saved because the Father sent His Son to earth
- We were saved because Jesus died and rose again so we can receive forgiveness from our sins
- We were saved because the Spirit gave life to our dead spirit and HE is guiding us each day to live as God wants us to live
- Let’s remember the lyrics of that famous hymn, Amazing Grace
- Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see
This Thanksgiving, let us remember to thank God for the things we do not see:
TRANSFORMATION, HEALING, ACCEPTANCE, NEW FAMILY, KNOWLEDGE, SALVATION
I came across another beautiful story:
Firefighter Who Saved Girl's Life 17 Years Ago Attends Her Graduation
BY GILLIAN FULLERJUN 10, 2015, Elite Daily
About 17 years ago, firefighter Mike Hughes rescued a baby girl (9 mo. old) from a blazing house fire.
Dawnielle Davison invited him on her HS graduation.
She said, 'I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you and your crew.'
God saved us from condemnation in hell and promised us eternity with Him in His Kingdom.
He has been with us each day, providing all our needs and helping us know Him better.
Let us wake up each morning and end each day with thanksgiving to Him!
If it were not for Him and His grace, we won’t be here today.
Let’s give Him all the glory and thanksgiving.