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Give thanks for what you’ve been delivered from

Give thanks for what you have been delivered from because none of us know the depth of our capacity for depravity. This is good because the burden of knowing would be too great. I’ve been seasoned and scorched by touches of evil within my own family. So much so, that even before I began my walk with God, I petitioned Him constantly to release me from the generational bondage, sins, oppressions, chains, curses – whatever you want to call it. I prayed and begged to be released. I prayed for the children He would allow me to bare – that they would never be touched by what degenerated generations of relatives before them.

My prayers weren’t elaborate. They weren’t long and scripture based. After all, I began praying before I began reading and understanding the Bible. I prayed for deliverance from what I knew. I was a product of a family steeped in sexual violence – rape and child molestation, physical and emotional abuse of partners and children. I knew poverty and homelessness. I knew hopelessness, carelessness, hatefulness, neglect and misery. And I knew how this was all hidden from as many as possible behind charm, smiles, laughter, nice clothes and clean homes. I knew that silence – not talking about any of the horrible abuses – protected the abusers. But I also knew enough to pray for protection from God, whom I instinctively believed to be larger than my troubles and circumstances.

I knew I wanted to be delivered from it all. I wanted to be saved. I wanted to live free from fear.

My continual prayer is one of thanksgiving for being delivered from what I knew and everything I had (and have) no knowledge of. I am eternally grateful for the care and provision my life has been blessed with. I am extremely grateful for my awareness of God’s glory, grace and mercy – and so amazed that He saw fit to not just hear me, but to answer me and take me beyond my request.

To God be the glory, honor and power forever.

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Thank You, Lord.

Thank You, Lord
For bringing me to this point today.
Thank You for not leaving me where You last placed me.
Thank You for keeping me and loving me.
Thank You for peace.
Thank You for the storms.
Thank You for the fire and cleansing.
Thank You for pain and healing.
Thank You for my assignment.
Thank You for the many battles in this warring world.
Thank You for rest.
Thank You for victory.
Amen.

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ACAD – Giving Thanks: 1 Thessalonians 5

The Day of the Lord

Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Final Instructions

Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Brothers and sisters, pray for us. Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.


New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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ACAD – Giving Thanks: Psalm 147

He Heals the Brokenhearted

Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
    for it is pleasant,[a] and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
    he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
    he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
    his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the humble;[b]
    he casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
    make melody to our God on the lyre!
He covers the heavens with clouds;
    he prepares rain for the earth;
    he makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the beasts their food,
    and to the young ravens that cry.
His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
    nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
    in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
    Praise your God, O Zion!
For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
    he blesses your children within you.
He makes peace in your borders;
    he fills you with the finest of the wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth;
    his word runs swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;
    he scatters frost like ashes.
He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
    who can stand before his cold?
He sends out his word, and melts them;
    he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,
    his statutes and rules[c] to Israel.
He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
    they do not know his rules.[d]
Praise the Lord!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 147:1 Or for he is beautiful
  2. Psalm 147:6 Or afflicted
  3. Psalm 147:19 Or and just decrees
  4. Psalm 147:20 Or his just decrees

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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ACAD – Giving Thanks: Psalm 69

Save Me, O God

To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. Of David.

Save me, O God!
    For the waters have come up to my neck.[a]
I sink in deep mire,
    where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
    and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying out;
    my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
    with waiting for my God.

More in number than the hairs of my head
    are those who hate me without cause;
mighty are those who would destroy me,
    those who attack me with lies.
What I did not steal
    must I now restore?
O God, you know my folly;
    the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me,
    O Lord God of hosts;
let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me,
    O God of Israel.
For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach,
    that dishonor has covered my face.
I have become a stranger to my brothers,
    an alien to my mother’s sons.

For zeal for your house has consumed me,
    and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.
When I wept and humbled[b] my soul with fasting,
    it became my reproach.
When I made sackcloth my clothing,
    I became a byword to them.
I am the talk of those who sit in the gate,
    and the drunkards make songs about me.

But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.
    At an acceptable time, O God,
    in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.
Deliver me
    from sinking in the mire;
let me be delivered from my enemies
    and from the deep waters.
Let not the flood sweep over me,
    or the deep swallow me up,
    or the pit close its mouth over me.

Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good;
    according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
Hide not your face from your servant;
    for I am in distress; make haste to answer me.
Draw near to my soul, redeem me;
    ransom me because of my enemies!

You know my reproach,
    and my shame and my dishonor;
    my foes are all known to you.
Reproaches have broken my heart,
    so that I am in despair.
I looked for pity, but there was none,
    and for comforters, but I found none.
They gave me poison for food,
    and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.

Let their own table before them become a snare;
    and when they are at peace, let it become a trap.[c]
Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see,
    and make their loins tremble continually.
Pour out your indignation upon them,
    and let your burning anger overtake them.
May their camp be a desolation;
    let no one dwell in their tents.
For they persecute him whom you have struck down,
    and they recount the pain of those you have wounded.
Add to them punishment upon punishment;
    may they have no acquittal from you.[d]
Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;
    let them not be enrolled among the righteous.

But I am afflicted and in pain;
    let your salvation, O God, set me on high!

I will praise the name of God with a song;
    I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than an ox
    or a bull with horns and hoofs.
When the humble see it they will be glad;
    you who seek God, let your hearts revive.
For the Lord hears the needy
    and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.

Let heaven and earth praise him,
    the seas and everything that moves in them.
For God will save Zion
    and build up the cities of Judah,
and people shall dwell there and possess it;
    the offspring of his servants shall inherit it,
    and those who love his name shall dwell in it.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 69:1 Or waters threaten my life
  2. Psalm 69:10 Hebrew lacks and humbled
  3. Psalm 69:22 Hebrew; a slight revocalization yields (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Jerome) a snare, and retribution and a trap
  4. Psalm 69:27 Hebrew may they not come into your righteousness

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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ACAD – Giving Thanks: Psalm 100

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

A Psalm for giving thanks.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 100:3 Or and not we ourselves

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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ACAD – Giving Thanks: Psalm 92

How Great Are Your Works

A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath.

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
    to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
    and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
    to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
    at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

How great are your works, O Lord!
    Your thoughts are very deep!
The stupid man cannot know;
    the fool cannot understand this:
that though the wicked sprout like grass
    and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever;
   but you, O Lord, are on high forever.
For behold, your enemies, O Lord,
    for behold, your enemies shall perish;
    all evildoers shall be scattered.

But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
    you have poured over me[a] fresh oil.
My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
    my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.

The righteous flourish like the palm tree
    and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the Lord;
    they flourish in the courts of our God.
They still bear fruit in old age;
    they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the Lord is upright;
    he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 92:10 Compare Syriac; the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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ACAD – Giving Thanks: Colossians 1

Greetings from Paul

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.

We are writing to God’s holy people in the city of Colosse, who are faithful brothers and sisters[a] in Christ.

May God our Father give you grace and peace.

Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer

We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.

This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

You learned about the Good News from Epaphras, our beloved co-worker. He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us on your behalf.[b] He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy,[c] always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom[d] and forgave our sins.

Christ Is Supreme

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
    He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,[e]
for through him God created everything
    in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
    and the things we can’t see —
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
    Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else,
    and he holds all creation together.
Christ is also the head of the church,
    which is his body.
He is the beginning,
    supreme over all who rise from the dead.[f]
    So he is first in everything.
For God in all his fullness
    was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled
    everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
    by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.

Paul’s Work for the Church

I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church. God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you. This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect[g] in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:2 Greek faithful brothers.
  2. 1:7 Or he is ministering on your behalf; some manuscripts read he is ministering on our behalf.
  3. 1:11 Or all the patience and endurance you need with joy.
  4. 1:14 Some manuscripts add with his blood.
  5. 1:15 Or He is the firstborn of all creation.
  6. 1:18 Or the firstborn from the dead.
  7. 1:28 Or mature.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission ofTyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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ACAD – Giving Thanks: Colossians 2

I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally. I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments. For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong.

Freedom from Rules and New Life in Christ

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers[a] of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.[b] So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision — the cutting away of your sinful nature.[c] For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed[d] the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels,[e] saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.

You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.

Footnotes:

  1. 2:8 Or the spiritual principles; also in 2:20.
  2. 2:9 Or in him dwells all the completeness of the Godhead bodily.
  3. 2:11 Greek the cutting away of the body of the flesh.
  4. 2:15 Or he stripped off.
  5. 2:18 Or or worshiping with angels.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission ofTyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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ACAD – Giving Thanks: 1 Timothy 4

Some Will Depart from the Faith

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

A Good Servant of Christ Jesus

If you put these things before the brothers,[a] you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive,[b] because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them,[c] so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Timothy 4:6 Or brothers and sisters. The plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) refers to siblings in a family. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, adelphoi may refer either to men or to both men and women who are siblings (brothers and sisters) in God’s family, the church
  2. 1 Timothy 4:10 Some manuscripts and suffer reproach
  3. 1 Timothy 4:15 Greek be in them

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.