Redemption, thankfulness, Word Wednesday

Giving Thanks for the Good and Bad Redeems Our World: Exagorazo

 

Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph. 5:15-20 ESV)

So. . . you all know (at least those of you who follow my blog) how much I love my Key Word Bible. And you know that today is a Word Wednesday when I dig beneath our English to find a treasure. But I must tell you that as I sat in front of my computer asking Jesus to lead me to today’s subject, I could never imagine the nugget HE had for us. Well, I think it’s a nugget of gold because it incorporates two of my very favorite precepts–redemption and thanksgiving. And it just happened to be our Bite of Bread this morning.

We’ve been reading about giving thanks and owning thankful hearts all month. It’s fitting as we prepare our hearts for our country’s day of Thanksgiving. I had never considered that this holiday was unique to the United States until we lived in Germany. Though practicing thanksgiving needs to be a daily, hourly, minute by minute practice in our lives, and though many people forgo the celebration all together to get a head start on their Christmas shopping, I’m grateful we still have this national holiday set aside.

And this is why….

Thankfulness redeems our days.

Fifteen years ago, I started praying this prayer for everything, “Lord, redeem it!”

I was stuck on the word redeem.

I don’t know if it was a song on the radio, or a sermon I’d heard, or a study I did, but my mind fixated on the concept of Christ’s redemption not only in general, but for everything–all my mistakes–all my bad mommy days and less than good decisions.

It wasn’t a cop out. It was a genuine prayer that allowed me to walk in grace as well as extend it.

But studying Ephesians 5:15-20 today opened my eyes to a second precept of redemption–turning something bad into good. Come dig with me for a moment.

Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil (Eph. 5:15).

“Making best use of the time” was translated from the Greek word exagorazo. According to the definitions in the Key Word, this word generally means “redeem.”

How do we redeem the evil days?

Paul instructs the Ephesians:

  1. Know God’s will,
  2. don’t get drunk with wine,
  3. sing to each other (smile)
  4. sing in our hearts to God…
  5. giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence to Christ.

Evidently, singing is very helpful. So is staying sober. But giving thanks always for everything holds the power to change today.

How do we turn a bad situation into a good one? How do we redeem the evil in this world?

We can pray to redeem it. But we also must give thanks for all of it.

Just as my redemption prayers freed me to receive and extend God’s grace, so does our thanksgiving.

It’s biblical.

It’s God’s will for us.

It’s good.

As tragic events unfold in our individual lives, our country, and our world, may we remember these atrocities as we sit around our tables this holiday. May we bring our fears, heartbreaks, and anger and lay them down giving thanks for the good as well as the bad.

I believe the power of evil and the enemy’s schemes are dismantled when we give thanks.

[tweetability]Thanksgiving is the portal to redemption because of the Cross.[/tweetability]

Hallelujah

What are you thankful for this season both good and bad?

 

Much love and grace,

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ps. I just bought a Key Word to give away! Don’t miss my posts next week. Happy Thanksgiving friends!

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