Time to give thanks message Some fall leaves and black and white alarm clock and beige gift tag with text A Time to give thanks

Today’s Reading:  2 Kings 10; 2 Timothy 1; Hosea 2; Psalm 119:97–120

Happy to be a guest writer again for my good friend Jennifer! When I read the passages for today, I knew right away I did not want to write about Ahab’s family being killed.  I was not sure what to pluck out of Hosea 2 either.  Something more uplifting was needed after a long week!  As we are approaching November, the “Thanksgiving” headline in 2 Timothy caught my attention as we always have lots to be thankful for each day.  November gives us the opportunity to reflect on all we have been given in our daily lives, not in terms of the usual Thanksgiving Day prayer of family, friends, health, happiness, freedom….more in terms of what God has given to us to help us live our daily lives.  In the readings related to Thanksgiving, three separate verses jumped out at me.

2 Timothy 1:

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time…

13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

From time to time through this year of our Bible Journal journey, I send one of the daily write ups to one of my boys (ages, 17, 15, and 13) if I think it speaks to something they are experiencing. This week, I took a different tact and asked them to read these three verses.  What do they mean to them?  Are they able to be thankful for what they have been given from God?  Are they taking on the responsibility each day?  Here were their short answer responses:

  • When I read these verses together, they make me think of being modest and content. I think this because of what the Spirit God gave us, makes us. In the first verse it talks about the Spirit God making us powerful and able to love, but it also mentions self-discipline. Power and love are two very important things/traits that if used wrongly, can do major harm. By adding self-discipline into our making, the Lord provides us with not just having these two strong powers, but he provides us with a third trait that is a very important: self-discipline. Self-discipline provides us with being able to stay content in times of despair and it provides us with being modest in times of great achievement. Self-discipline helps us not go over the edge when given the traits of power and love.
  • To me, this means that God gave us the ability to have power, love, and self-discipline. He has also saved us and called us to an eternal and holy life in heaven, and there is nothing we can do to make God hate us, for he is loving. It also says to me that there is a little bit of the Holy Spirit inside of us all, and that should mean the world to us.
  • These verses all talk about the amazing spirit God has given us. We should take this blessing and spread/show it to others in the world. God has given us this gift, and we are meant to use it to follow him and to love him. We are meant to hold onto this gift as well because it defines us and keeps us close to God.

Interesting to read how teenagers translate God’s word in their lives. To me, I hear God giving us Power, Love, and Self-Discipline. He gives us these traits to use wisely. I hear him reminding us that we need to focus on listening to the Holy Spirit within ourselves to help us lead a Christian life.  Even when we don’t, we can be saved through his Grace. What a wonderful gift!

Do we think about using the power of the Holy Spirit each day? Are we thankful that God leads us through in thought, word and deed?  As we enter the month of thankfulness, let us recognize God’s power, love and self-discipline he has given us along with his Eternal Grace.