Grateful to God
“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:19-20).
At a men’s conference I attended recently, I had the privilege of meeting a number of gentlemen who were excited about their faith. One conversation still sticks with me — a talk I had with a man named Mike. Mike is probably in his mid-to-late 40s. He works in sales, and he is married with three kids, the oldest in high school, the youngest in elementary school. As I spoke with and observed Mike, a few things struck me about him. While at a busy stage of his life, Mike had made the decision and commitment to come to this men’s conference even though there were probably many other things he could have been doing this particular weekend. Furthermore, he had come to the conference by himself, suggesting that he wasn’t attending because someone from his church had dragged him to go. Mike’s eagerness to stand up and start clapping his hands at the sound of the first praise and worship song affirmed this assumption. Lastly, in Mike I saw a faith that was living.
From his stories, I could tell that he did not go to church each week out of some obligation or routine. He went to church, and came to this conference, and prayed to and praised God daily because he knew he wouldn’t be the man he was were it not for Jesus. Mike shared with me that he has one of the most successful sales routes of anyone in his district. Despite the success, he continually reminds himself that he has all of this not because of what he could do but because of what God has done for him. As a cure to the “dead” faith of so many, Mike believes that people’s faith will start to come alive when they begin to really recognize what Jesus has done for them and how much they need Him for everything in life, every day of the week.
We are about to enter the season of thanksgiving, a time of taking stock of all we have and recognizing how blessed we are. Some of us may have the tradition of going around our tables on Thanksgiving saying what we are thankful for regarding the year that has passed. This can easily feel like a routine exercise, especially after all the years of doing it. But this year, what if we really stopped to think about it? What if we really stopped to consider the amazing gifts and blessings that we have received? And what if we considered Who it is who has given us all these things and where we’d be without Him?
This year, may you truly take note of your blessings. And may the gratitude that fills your heart draw you nearer to Jesus, the giver of all good gifts (James 1:17). May you realize that He has given you everything you need, and without Him you would not be where you are today. Without Him you’d be lost, lonely, afflicted, lacking, and without hope for today or tomorrow.
This Thanksgiving and at every time of the year, Jesus is worthy of all our praise, all our passion, and all our devotion. To Him be all thanks and glory.
Love and blessings,
Pastors Garritt and Sanette