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Posted on Sun, Nov 2, 2014

A message fro Pastor Bob

 Gratitude is at the heart of the spiritual life.  It is the motivation for all joyful worship and humble service.  So, it is imperative that we cultivate an attitude of gratitude.  In this season of Thanksgiving, how appropriate for us to reflect on the centrality of gratitude in the living of our lives.

 We choose our attitudes.  Charles Swindoll writes, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.  It will make or break a company…a church…a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.  I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.  And so it is with you…we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

 May we also choose gratitude.  Recently, one of our folks gave me Ann Voskamp’s book entitled One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.  Ann chose to overcome the sin of ingratitude and personal misery by meditating upon the multitude of ways God’s grace is manifest in our lives.  O, to have eyes and ears and touch and feelings and thoughts to perceive the gracious gifts of God surrounding us at every turn of life!  Her life became a celebration and her book became a bestseller!

 The New Testament is filled with wise and loving admonitions to live a life of gratitude.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7)  “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess 5:18)  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Col 3:16)

 I encourage you to use your spiritual journal to chronicle the ways God has blessed you and cultivate a new heart of gratitude.  Recently, two people said to me within a week’s time, “What has God ever done for me?” I call this spiritual blindness.  May the eyes of your heart contemplate the extraordinary goodness of God and the lavish outpouring of His grace.  He deserves our gratitude.  He has given us the greatest gift of all, Himself, in His Son Jesus Christ.  Let us join with the apostle Paul as he exclaims, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor 9:15)



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