Echoes From the Campfire

Cold nights do one of two things.  It either keeps people snuggled down or it gets them up and feeding the fire.”
              –Rod Collins (Bitter’s Run)

    “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.  For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
              –1 John 3:8 (KJV)
I am convinced that we do not take enough time to be thankful.  We either get too occupied with our blessings and don’t thank the Lord for them, or we just take them for granted.  We might even think we deserve them.  The sign of the believer in Jesus Christ is their joy.  Yet so many droop along, or they let the devil steal their joy, or they let the woes that befall them take away their joy.  Sometimes it is because of all we have.  The more we get, the more often we tend to forget to be thankful and therefore, lose our joy.
    How can our joy abound?  How can we walk through this world with our head erect and a smile on our face?  The first thing is to recognize that God loves each and every person.  Because of that love we can have joy unspeakable, and for that we should be thankful.  God’s love is always there.
    The second thing is to be thankful.  Count your blessings and recognize that they come from the goodness of God. I heard a good sermon yesterday by my former pastor.  He preached on Psalm 100; the psalm for giving thanks.  He said the basis of thankfulness is:  the grace of God.  Look at Psalm 100 (from the HCSB)

          “1 Shout triumphantly to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.  3 Acknowledge that the LORD is God.  He made us, and we are His–His people, the sheep of His pasture.  4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him and praise His name.  5 For the LORD is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations.”

Read that over a few times, contemplate it.  Make it a daily reading this week of Thanksgiving.
    One other thought.  In the Old Covenant, when sheep entered the Temple they were killed for sacrifice.  In this Psalm, we are called His sheep, but there is a major difference.  We can enter because of His sacrifice.  He was the lamb that became the final and perfect sacrifice and His faithfulness continues.
         “Then your apples all is gathered, and the ones a feller keeps
          Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
          And your cider-makin’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
          With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!…
          I don’t know how to tell it–but ef such a thing could be
          As the angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me–
          I’d want to ‘commodate ’em–all the whole-indurin’ flock–
          When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.”
                   –James Whitcomb Riley