Thankful

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

It’s that holiday time of year when we gather with family and friends around a table of delicious food to celebrate a Thanksgiving feast. The early pilgrims shared the blessings of harvest, as the Israelites do during the Feast of Tabernacles. It’s a time we show our thankfulness to God, for His faithfulness to provide for us. How wonderful it would be to have a thankful heart all year! Do you agree? However, life happens. We busy ourselves with work or having fun. Sometimes loss, suffering or hard times cloud our thankful spirits.

I’d like to tell you a story from the Bible. When Jesus entered a city, ten lepers met him. They cried from a distance, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” You see, their skin disease was very contagious and made them outcasts. They could not live in town, in their own homes, or with their families. They could not hug or be hugged. Jesus said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As the lepers went towards the temple, they were cleansed. Only one man came back to say, “Thank you.” He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and praised Him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give thanks but this foreigner?” Then He said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well” (Luke 17:11-19).

THINK ABOUT IT

Have you ever given a gift that didn’t seem appreciated? You spent precious time searching for just the right thing, something you thought would be perfect. Maybe you spent a little extra money on it. Yet, it didn’t get the approval or “thank you” you expected. It happens too often. How much better it would be if we, like the cleansed leper, showed a thankful heart. It would bless the giver as we’ll as the receiver.

PRAY ABOUT IT

Holy Lord, teach us to be more thoughtful, more giving, more thankful. Teach us to be more like Jesus, and to forgive people who seem less than thankful for our gifts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thankfulness

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Did you know God loves a thankful heart? During COVID you might find it hard to be thankful, especially if you have experienced loss of work, home, business or loved ones. Yet it is not impossible to be grateful.

All of creation speaks of God’s glory. The changing of the seasons, the flowers and trees, the birds and animals. When I am tempted to be depressed, I find great benefit in getting outside in the light. Whether the sun is shining or it’s raining, I feel closer to God. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26-27)

THINK ABOUT IT

Even though Thanksgiving is tough for many people this year, this is my wish for you: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). God can work through a grateful heart. However, it’s nearly impossible for Him to work through worry or resentment. Open your heart to Him and be thankful for His amazing love for you.

PRAY ABOUT IT

O Lord, many have broken hearts and wounded souls. I pray that they find hope in you, that they cast their anxiety on you, knowing you care about them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Hidden Treasure

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Have you ever wondered what the kingdom of heaven is like. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44).

What would it be like to give up all you had for something precious? Are there things you’d rather cling to? God found something precious in you. He loved you so much He gave His only Son so those who believed would not die but have eternal life (John 3:16).

THINK ABOUT IT

If God the Father gave His only Son for your eternal life, what is expected of you? I have treasured things and have chosen them over what is important. Finally I figured out the Hidden Treasure is in Jesus when I was in my 40s. I don’t want it to take that long for you, and that’s the reason I write this blog. I don’t want you to walk down a path of destruction, like I did. When I had messed up my life beyond what I thought was salvageable, I cried out to God. He was faithful to reach down and rescue me from my despair. I felt loved as never before and I didn’t want the feeling to go away. I dusted off my Bible and began to read. Every word spoke to my broken heart, and I began to pray. At first all I could say was, “Thank you, Jesus” over and over. I discovered that it is a powerful prayer. When my heart became grateful, I wanted others to know the treasure I found in knowing Jesus.

PRAY ABOUT IT

Thank you, Holy Father, for Jesus. Help me to live in light of my salvation and inspire others about the amazing love they, too, can experience in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.