Encouragement From The Word

Be Practically Thankful

This weekend, most Canadians will mark Canada Day (which falls on July 1) with merriment: a barbecue, perhaps camping, maybe fireworks. We often take for granted what Canada Day celebrates: our freedom, a stable government, human rights, good health care, a beautiful country with polite people.

Many folks look at Canada in awe, for they do not experience the blessings we have always known. As I was preparing for Sunday’s message, I was thinking about the many stories that show up in the news – maybe not on the front page, but still in the news – of people around the world who would give everything they had to experience what we enjoy every day.

Instead of asking you to read my thoughts, though, I invite you to take a few minutes to express your own grateful thoughts before God for Canada, where we are free to love and serve Jesus. Take time to pray for the people around the world who are persecuted for their faith in Christ.

Pray especially for the Christians in Palestine, Iraq, Indonesia, and especially for the Nigerian school girls and the young wife and mother in the Sudan who has been imprisoned (again) for choosing to follow Jesus.

Maybe you know of other people who experience great persecution because they love the Lord. Ask God to be present with them by his Spirit.

And be thankful. Be practically thankful. Invite the Lord to take seriously what appears on Canada’s coat of arms: ad mari usque ad mare.

May he rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72.8, NIV).

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