Posted on Fri, Nov 2, 2018
Pastor Bob Norton
Followers of Jesus Christ discover joy through everyday thankfulness. As we grow in grace cultivating an attitude of gratitude becomes a way of life. The scriptures are abundantly clear. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…and be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15) “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Col. 3:16) “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thess. 5:18) We are called to be a thankful people. In fact, our graceinspired attitude could be appropriately called “radical gratitude”. We worship and serve a sovereign God. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) No matter what happens in our lives, we know that God is ultimately in control and he will use every circumstance to conform us to the image of His Son. (Romans 8:29) Life in the real world is a school of trust. We learn to place our trust in the trustworthiness of Jesus Christ. Our abundant life and eternal destiny are secure in Christ. He is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption…so we boast in Him alone. (1 Corinthians 1:30-31) Therefore, we are a grateful people. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing…” (Ephesians 1:3) We are first of all, saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). We are then overflowing with joy and profound gratitude (2 Cor. 7:4, 8:2) which leads to a wealth of generosity. Paul gives tribute to the Macedonian Christians, who were experiencing extreme poverty, yet excelled in the grace of giving (2 Cor. 8:7). Grace. Gratitude. Generosity. These three are the triumvirate of good stewardship in the Church of Jesus Christ. God’s generous people become the visible signs of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church. (Acts 2:43-45) Grumbling about money characterizes the unrepentant Israel on their wilderness trek. As the Church of Jesus Christ, we trust God to be our provider (Philippians 4:19). And He is faithful in every way. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued his Thanksgiving Proclamation. He was severely criticized for calling the nation to give thanks to God only weeks after the bloody battle of Gettysburg. “Why now?” the people cried. The biblical admonition is that gratitude is to be a part of our everyday. President Lincoln reframed the tragedy of our Civil War. We have been blessed beyond measure and given such abundance, but we have forgotten God. He deserves our thanksgiving. Give thanks with a grateful heart. What about Church of the Resurrection? Are we a people filled with grace? Are we a grateful people? How grateful? When the opportunity comes for us to express our gratitude in our Consecration Sunday’s dedication of our estimates of giving, will we be found to be generous? Will our generosity reveal that we excel in the grace of giving? God knows our hearts. Will greed or generosity prevail? The choice is ours. Will apathy or adoration and action prevail? Again, the choice is ours. Grace. Gratitude. Generosity. Signs of the Holy Spirit in your heart and mine. May it be so…to His glory!
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