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Monday, February 12, 2018

Remember to Be Thankful

by Dr. Paul Chappell

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Psalm 103:2–5

In the classic Peanuts Thanksgiving cartoon, Snoopy gets a regular bowl of dog food rather than a holiday meal. He responds, “This isn’t fair. The rest of the world today is eating turkey with all the trimmings, and all I get is dog food.” Then Snoopy stood there and stared at his dog food for a moment, and said, “I guess it could be worse. I could be a turkey.”

The key to being thankful is in remembrance—not just for what we have been given, but for what we have been spared. In our self-esteem focused society, people do not like to consider the true state of man. We build ourselves up so that we feel better, but the reality is that every person born into the world is born into a desperate situation. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).

We have been given so much, yet too often our only focus is on what we do not have. Rather than allowing our happiness to be dictated by comparing what we have to what we think we deserve, or to what others have. Such comparison is a recipe for disaster. It quickly leads us not just to be ungrateful for what we have received, but to begin coveting what others have. This path quickly leads to many kinds of sin. There is more than just obedience involved in thankful living. Taking time to remember and give thanks protects us from evil in our own hearts.

Today’s Growth Principle: 
Gratitude and thankful living require conscious effort and a commitment to remember what God has done for us.
Leviticus 13
CHAPTER 13 1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests: 3 And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean. 4 If the bright spot be white in the skin of his flesh, and in sight be not deeper than the skin, and the hair thereof be not turned white; then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague seven days: 5 And the priest shall look on him the seventh day: and, behold, if the plague in his sight be at a stay, and the plague spread not in the skin; then the priest shall shut him up seven days more: 6 And the priest shall look on him again the seventh day: and, behold, if the plague be somewhat dark, and the plague spread not in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him clean: it is but a scab: and he shall wash his clothes, and be clean. 7 But if the scab spread much abroad in the skin, after that he hath been seen of the priest for his cleansing, he shall be seen of the priest again: 8 And if the priest see that, behold, the scab spreadeth in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a leprosy. 9 When the plague of leprosy is in a man, then he shall be brought unto the priest; 10 And the priest shall see him: and, behold, if the rising be white in the skin, and it have turned the hair white, and there be quick raw flesh in the rising; 11 It is an old leprosy in the skin of his flesh, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean, and shall not shut him up: for he is unclean. 12 And if a leprosy break out abroad in the skin, and the leprosy cover all the skin of him that hath the plague from his head even to his foot, wheresoever the priest looketh; 13 Then the priest shall consider: and, behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague: it is all turned white: he is clean. 14 But when raw flesh appeareth in him, he shall be unclean. 15 And the priest shall see the raw flesh, and pronounce him to be unclean: for the raw flesh is unclean: it is a leprosy. 16 Or if the raw flesh turn again, and be changed unto white, he shall come unto the priest; 17 And the priest shall see him: and, behold, if the plague be turned into white; then the priest shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague: he is clean. 18 The flesh also, in which, even in the skin thereof, was a boil, and is healed, 19 And in the place of the boil there be a white rising, or a bright spot, white, and somewhat reddish, and it be shewed to the priest; 20 And if, when the priest seeth it, behold, it be in sight lower than the skin, and the hair thereof be turned white; the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a plague of leprosy broken out of the boil. 21 But if the priest look on it, and, behold, there be no white hairs therein, and if it be not lower than the skin, but be somewhat dark; then the priest shall shut him up seven days: 22 And if it spread much abroad in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a plague. 23 But if the bright spot stay in his place, and spread not, it is a burning boil; and the priest shall pronounce him clean. 24 Or if there be any flesh, in the skin whereof there is a hot burning, and the quick flesh that burneth have a white bright spot, somewhat reddish, or white; 25 Then the priest shall look upon it: and, behold, if the hair in the bright spot be turned white, and it be in sight deeper than the skin; it is a leprosy broken out of the burning: wherefore the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is the plague of leprosy. 26 But if the priest look on it, and, behold, there be no white hair in the bright spot, and it be no lower than the other skin, but be somewhat dark; then the priest shall shut him up seven days: 27 And the priest shall look upon him the seventh day: and if it be spread much abroad in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is the plague of leprosy. 28 And if the bright spot stay in his place, and spread not in the skin, but it be somewhat dark; it is a rising of the burning, and the priest shall pronounce him clean: for it is an inflammation of the burning. 29 If a man or woman have a plague upon the head or the beard; 30 Then the priest shall see the plague: and, behold, if it be in sight deeper than the skin; and there be in it a yellow thin hair; then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a dry scall, even a leprosy upon the head or beard. 31 And if the priest look on the plague of the scall, and, behold, it be not in sight deeper than the skin, and that there is no black hair in it; then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague of the scall seven days: 32 And in the seventh day the priest shall look on the plague: and, behold, if the scall spread not, and there be in it no yellow hair, and the scall be not in sight deeper than the skin; 33 He shall be shaven, but the scall shall he not shave; and the priest shall shut up him that hath the scall seven days more: 34 And in the seventh day the priest shall look on the scall: and, behold, if the scall be not spread in the skin, nor be in sight deeper than the skin; then the priest shall pronounce him clean: and he shall wash his clothes, and be clean. 35 But if the scall spread much in the skin after his cleansing; 36 Then the priest shall look on him: and, behold, if the scall be spread in the skin, the priest shall not seek for yellow hair; he is unclean. 37 But if the scall be in his sight at a stay, and that there is black hair grown up therein; the scall is healed, he is clean: and the priest shall pronounce him clean. 38 If a man also or a woman have in the skin of their flesh bright spots, even white bright spots; 39 Then the priest shall look: and, behold, if the bright spots in the skin of their flesh be darkish white; it is a freckled spot that groweth in the skin; he is clean. 40 And the man whose hair is fallen off his head, he is bald; yet is he clean. 41 And he that hath his hair fallen off from the part of his head toward his face, he is forehead bald: yet is he clean. 42 And if there be in the bald head, or bald forehead, a white reddish sore; it is a leprosy sprung up in his bald head, or his bald forehead. 43 Then the priest shall look upon it: and, behold, if the rising of the sore be white reddish in his bald head, or in his bald forehead, as the leprosy appeareth in the skin of the flesh; 44 He is a leprous man, he is unclean: the priest shall pronounce him utterly unclean; his plague is in his head. 45 And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. 46 All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be. 47 The garment also that the plague of leprosy is in, whether it be a woollen garment, or a linen garment; 48 Whether it be in the warp, or woof; of linen, or of woollen; whether in a skin, or in any thing made of skin; 49 And if the plague be greenish or reddish in the garment, or in the skin, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin; it is a plague of leprosy, and shall be shewed unto the priest: 50 And the priest shall look upon the plague, and shut up it that hath the plague seven days: 51 And he shall look on the plague on the seventh day: if the plague be spread in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in a skin, or in any work that is made of skin; the plague is a fretting leprosy; it is unclean. 52 He shall therefore burn that garment, whether warp or woof, in woollen or in linen, or any thing of skin, wherein the plague is: for it is a fretting leprosy; it shall be burnt in the fire. 53 And if the priest shall look, and, behold, the plague be not spread in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin; 54 Then the priest shall command that they wash the thing wherein the plague is, and he shall shut it up seven days more: 55 And the priest shall look on the plague, after that it is washed: and, behold, if the plague have not changed his colour, and the plague be not spread; it is unclean; thou shalt burn it in the fire; it is fret inward, whether it be bare within or without. 56 And if the priest look, and, behold, the plague be somewhat dark after the washing of it; then he shall rend it out of the garment, or out of the skin, or out of the warp, or out of the woof: 57 And if it appear still in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin; it is a spreading plague: thou shalt burn that wherein the plague is with fire. 58 And the garment, either warp, or woof, or whatsoever thing of skin it be, which thou shalt wash, if the plague be departed from them, then it shall be washed the second time, and shall be clean. 59 This is the law of the plague of leprosy in a garment of woollen or linen, either in the warp, or woof, or any thing of skins, to pronounce it clean, or to pronounce it unclean.
New Testament Reading
Matthew 26:26-50

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. 30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. 32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. 33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. 34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. 49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. 50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.

Proverb of the Day
Proverbs 12

1 Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. 2 A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn. 3 A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. 4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. 5 The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit. 6 The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them. 7 The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand. 8 A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised. 9 He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread. 10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. 11 He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding. 12 The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit. 13 The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble. 14 A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him. 15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. 16 A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame. 17 He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit. 18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. 19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment. 20 Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy. 21 There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief. 22 Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight. 23 A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness. 24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute. 25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. 26 The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them. 27 The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious. 28 In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

Monday, February 12 2018