Writings from L. J. Thomas, Pastor
A National Geographic News survey in 2006 reported that many young Americans are geographically illiterate. According to the survey, 63 percent of Americans aged 18-24 failed to correctly locate Iraq on a map of the Middle East. The results for US geography are even more dismal. Half could not find New York State on the map, a third could not find Louisiana, and 48 percent could not locate the state of Mississippi. Understanding geography is helpful in daily life, but “God-ography” (finding God) is infinitely more crucial—for now and for eternity. In Hebrews 11:6 we are told that to find God and please Him, we first have to believe that He exists. How can we prove that God exists? Finding God is a matter of faith—confidence in Him and commitment to Him. This confidence and commitment should remain strong even though the objects of our faith are unseen. The writer of Hebrews and the apostle John agree that ultimately the way to find the Lord and please Him is by believing in His Son Jesus (Heb. 11:6; John 14:6). Finding God is solely a work of God. Those who seek Him will find Him because God will give them a heart to recognize Him as Lord (Jer. 29:13-14). I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew He moved my soul to seek Him, as He sought me; It was not I who found, O Savior true; No, I was found of Thee.
To find God, we must be willing to seek Him.
Attention: High School Seniors!!!!! Scholarships are available! The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Choir San Diego is seeking recipients for this year’s Visual & Performing Arts Educational Grants. Are you a serious artist? Do you need money for further study? APPLY NOW!! Applications and information can be found at www.mlkccsd.org/grants.html
As MLK Jr. Day approaches, it’s important to recognize the significance of Martin Luther King Jr., and why many of us are given the day off from school or work. Not only was he a highly respected father, husband, and Baptist minister, but MLK Jr. was a humanitarian, a civil rights icon, and an activist that all of us can look up to for hundreds of years to come. So this year, make sure to reflect on what MLK Jr. Day truly represents, and why we recognize Martin Luther King Jr. as one of the most important historical heroes.
Jesus, You are the name above all names, our Savior and Lord. We lift our praise to You as we celebrate Your presence and power in our lives today.
Several thousand years ago, God spoke directly to Moses and instituted a new festival for His people. In Exodus 23:16, according to Moses’s record, God said, “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the first fruits of the crops you sow in your field.”
Today countries around the world do something similar by celebrating the land’s bounty. In Ghana, the people celebrate the Yam Festival as a harvest event. In Brazil, Dia de Acao de Gracas is a time to be grateful for the crops that yielded their food. In China, there is the Mid-Autumn (Moon) Festival. In the United States and Canada: Thanksgiving.
To understand the fitting goal of a harvest celebration, we visit Noah right after the flood. God reminded Noah and his family—and us—of His provision for our flourishing existence on the earth. Earth would have seasons, daylight and darkness and “seedtime and harvest” (Gen. 8:22). Our gratitude for the harvest, which sustains us, goes to God alone.
No matter where you live or how you celebrate your land’s bounty, take time today to express gratitude to God—for we would have no harvest to celebrate without His grand creative design.
Dear Creator God, thank You so much for the wondrous way You fashioned this world—with seasons, with harvest-time, with everything we need to exist. Please accept our gratitude.
Gratitude is the memory of a glad heart.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thank You for welcoming me into Your circle of love. May I share Your peace with someone in my community today. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” (John 14:27) Although as God’s children we experience hardship, we too have His Spirit living within and flowing out of us. God’s peace can be His witness to everyone we meet—whether at a local market, at school or work, or in the gym.
When we keep our mind on God, His Spirit keeps our mind a peace.