February 9, 2018 Brethren Letter
Reflecting on the sermonette we heard last Sabbath, the speaker addressed how easy it can be for human beings to become sarcastic, ungrateful and unthankful. These characteristics are quite unbecoming a Christian.
Have you ever said, or have you ever heard someone say, “If I only had ________, I would be happy.”? That blank could be filled in with words like “money”, “a job”, “a mate”, “children”, or any number of words. However, real and lasting happiness is not found in the acquiring of physical “things”. I’ve known people who have had financial wealth, high-paying jobs, a mate, children, and more. Still, they were not happy. For God’s people, REAL and LASTING happiness comes from “within” (through God’s Holy Spirit).
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 5:18-20).
Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (I Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Here are some comments that Mr. Armstrong made on this subject. The first, is from a Co-Worker letter dated, November 13, 1961.
It’s time all of us REALIZE how blest we areand GIVE GOD THANKS! Let’s be GRATEFUL. One of the greatest and commonest sins is INGRATITUDE — don’t be guilty of it.
The second, is a set of paragraphs from a Co-Worker letter dated, November 29, 1966.
We in Britain and America are blessed as NO OTHER NATIONS were ever blessed before. At this time, we ought to read the first chapter of Ephesians, and REALIZE what we have to be THANKFUL for!
Here is a small portion of it, so beautifully rendered in the Moffatt Translation: “BLESSED be the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ who in Christ has blessed us with every spiritual blessing within the heavenly sphere! … destining us in love to be His sons through Jesus Christ. … SO RICHLY has God LAVISHED upon His grace, granting us complete insight and understanding of the open secret of His will, …” (Emphasis added.)
How THANKFUL we should be! Not only for understanding, for being called to be God’s SONS, for His GRACE — but also for being PRIVILEGED to be, as the Apostle Paul said, “Labourers together with God” — or, as in the Revised Standard Version, “We are FELLOW-WORKMEN” with God. (I Cor. 3:9).
Brethren, we have so much to be thankful for! “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen (Philippians 4:19-20).
Please have a wonderful Sabbath!
Sincerely, Your Brother in Christ,