Thursday, November 23, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Living a Life of Thanksgiving
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus”.
Edward Spencer was a ministerial student in Evanston, Illinois, and also a member of a life-saving squad during his school years. In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue seventeen passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted that not one of the people he rescued ever bothered to thank him.

G.K. Chesterton called gratitude ''the mother of all virtues''. One of the most significant changes that Jesus Christ wants to make in our hearts and lives is to transform us into people who are continually grateful. Especially as believers, we need to be aware that gratitude opens up our lives for God’s will to be done in and through us.

Real gratitude is not just a feeling you experience when something good happens to you or someone does something nice. Real gratitude is a response or an action that demonstrates just how thankful we really are. The scripture reminds us over and again to give thanks to God and be grateful for all the many benefits and blessings He bestows on us. It is not just feeling grateful, but it is being grateful. Not just feeling it, but showing it.

On September 16, 1620, 102 passengers boarded a ship called the Mayflower with the hope of finding religious freedom where they would be free to worship God. After a 65 day voyage across the storm-tossed Atlantic the Pilgrims landed in Provincetown Massachusetts on November 21st. By the time spring came, almost half of the people had died from poor nutrition and sicknesses. But despite the trials they endured, in September of 1621, the Pilgrims and colonists met together to give thanks for a bountiful harvest and for the preservation of their lives.

Thanksgiving is the act of expressing gratitude for a favor or kindness which has been shown to us. According to 1Thessalonians 5: 18 we are to give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God. We are to give thanks to God for everything in our life including sitting down, rising up, sleeping, waking, breathing, seeing, hearing, feelings, having a job or without a job, rich or poor, failure or success, good or bad, happy or sad, etc. Failing to give thanks for everything is equal to violating the will of God.

It's good to be thankful on the fourth Thursday of November each year but it's even better to live a life of thanksgiving. Gratitude should be a 24/7 attitude; not just on the fourth Thursday in November. There are ten thousand and more reasons for which we ought to be thankful for. God wants us to respond to Him in ways that demonstrate our deep gratitude for what He has done for us and given to us.
Gracious Lord, help us to live each minute with a sense of gratitude for all the blessings that we have received and yet to receive. Amen

Being thankful is a door through which God can lead us to experience His perfect will. Without it, we will miss what God has in store for us.

Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church