Friday, October 14, 2016

Thanksgiving . . . What Am I Thankful For?

Thanksgiving is just a month away and, as usual for this time of year, our thoughts tend to turn to the things we are thankful for. For the next few weeks, I’m going to look at the things I’m thankful for . . . and share these with you!
First of all, I’m most thankful for Grace! God’s grace is the most amazing gift we could ever be blessed with . . . it is so utterly undeserved and so lavishly given . . . which makes it truly amazing! When I think of God’s grace there is nothing else for me to feel than complete thankfulness. So . . . how do I show this thankfulness, because thankfulness which isn’t shown or expressed is not thankfulness at all? Consider the following  . . .
  • I show my thankfulness for God’s grace by loving others . . . I John 4:7-11 – “My dear friends, we must love each other. Love comes from God, and when we love each other, it shows that we have been given new life. We are now God’s children, and we know him. God is love, and anyone who doesn’t love others has never known him. God showed his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life. Real love isn’t our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven. Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we must love each other.” (CEV) 
  • I show my thankfulness for God’s grace by sharing the news of God’s grace . . . I John 4:13-16 - “God has given us his Spirit. That is how we know that we are one with him, just as he is one with us. God sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. We saw his Son and are now telling others about him. God stays one with everyone who openly says that Jesus is the Son of God. That’s how we stay one with God and are sure that God loves us.” (CEV)
  • I show my thankfulness for God’s grace by extending God’s grace to others by forgiving them . . . I John 4:16-21 - “God is love. If we keep on loving others, we will stay one in our hearts with God, and he will stay one with us. If we truly love others and live as Christ did in this world, we won’t be worried about the day of judgment. Real love for others will chase those worries away. We love because God loved us first. But if we say we love God and don’t love each other, we are liars. We cannot see God. So how can we love God, if we don’t love the people we can see? The commandment that God has given us is: “Love God and love each other!” (CEV) and Ephesians 4:32 - “Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.” (CEV)
If I’m really thankful for God’s grace I will show it by loving others, sharing the news of God’s grace with those who have not heard and by forgiving others as I have been forgiven! A truly thankful person is a “grace-giver”! We absolutely need to tell God we are thankful for His grace, but our actions will show how real our words are!

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