Take 5 (Nov. 30 – Dec. 4, 2015)

take5

Troy Thornton • Pastor of Outreach & Small Groups

Monday: Thankfulness is a team sport

Psalm 111:1

Carl Yastrzemski was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. He played his entire career with the Boston Red Sox–23 years on the same team! That type of longevity with one team is a rarity in professional sports today. Yastrzemski (“Yaz”) is a wonderful example of commitment to a team. As followers of Jesus, we have the privilege of being a part of the greatest team: the Body of Christ. One of the most significant activities in which we can participate as members of this greatest team is thankfulness. The Psalmist talks about thanking God with all his heart “as I meet with His godly people.” We have so much to be thankful for as individuals, but even more as a group of believers. Commit yourself anew to the “team sport” of thankfulness. What a treasure it is to meet each week “with His godly people” to thank Him for what He does. Thankfulness is truly a team sport.

For Today: Plan to be an active participant in worship this coming Sunday.

Tuesday: Thankfulness is thoughtfulness

Psalm 111:2-4

It is said that Albert Einstein had an ability to unleash areas of his brain that most people simply couldn’t. In fact, this idea was so prevalent with scientists of his day, that when Einstein died in April 1955, Dr. Thomas Harvey, a Princeton Hospital pathologist, literally stole Einstein’s brain in order to study it! Harvey felt that if he could study the pathology of Einstein’s brain, he might be able to unlock the secret(s) of how he was able to think on such a lofty level. We will never really know if Einstein had some great level of thinking. However, followers of Jesus can think about the loftiest things of all time–the deeds of almighty God! Psalm 111 tells us we should “ponder” God’s deeds. When was the last time you actually just sat and thought about the works of God? If we do ponder what God does, it will naturally bring us to thanksgiving. God’s work is deserving of our time and thought–thoughtfulness will lead to thankfulness.

For Today: Set aside 5-10 minutes to write down some of God’s amazing works.

Wednesday: Thankfulness is just and right

Psalm 111:7-8

The natural laws of math and science are some of the first things we learn in school: 2+2=4, water freezes at 32º F, etc. These are things that we know to be true all of the time. They are, indeed, indisputable facts, and they simply are right all of the time. Did you ever stop to think about how God is simply right and just all of the time? Everything that God does is just and good, even if we may not understand it. God’s words and actions are always true and trustworthy. Praise God! We can count on Him to be the same and act the same all of the time. He is the very definition of reliability, absolutely just and right. So therefore, it is just and right to express our thankfulness to Him simply because He is just and right.

For Today: List five ways you have seen God show He is just and right.

Thursday: Thankfulness has been purchased

Psalm 111:9

When I was a young boy, I attended a mortgage burning party. I didn’t really get what the big deal was and why all of the adults were so happy. I thought that burning a bunch of papers was kind of cool, but other than that, the whole thing was a mystery to me. Now I understand what the big deal was. They were celebrating that the debt of ownership had been paid and that their home really belonged to them. It represented years of payments and sacrifice for that family. As a follower of Jesus, we can have daily celebration that our debt has been paid and that we really belong to the God of the universe! Our ransom (debt) from sin has been paid in full and we belong to Him forever. There was no sacrifice that we could make; it was all on Jesus at the cross. When our days are tough, when we experience pain and loss, when we feel uncertain about the future, remember: You have been bought with the highest price ever paid…Thank God!

For Today: Thank God for the price He paid for you!

Friday: Thankfulness accompanies wisdom

Psalm 111:10

“Life’s Tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late,” Benjamin Franklin once remarked. Followers of Jesus do not have to experience this “tragedy” of which Franklin spoke. Believers can become wise at any age. The Psalmist gives a 2-ingredient recipe for wisdom: the fear of God and obedience to God. When we understand who God is and who we are, we will begin to revere (fear) God. This is the foundation of wisdom. If we understand and implement God’s commands, then we will grow in wisdom. It is very easy to forget these simple principles of reverence and obedience. However, they are key to wisdom and will lead us to “Praise Him forever!” Wisdom and thankfulness go hand-in-hand.

For Today: Endeavor to grow in wisdom and thankfulness.