“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” – Ephesians 1:3-7 NLT
November is a great time of year to check the gratitude meter in our hearts and to express our thanks to God for all his awesome blessings in our lives. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 Paul reminds us as believers in Jesus Christ to “pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I want you to take note that the verse does not say give thanks for all circumstances; rather it says give thanks in all circumstances. We don’t have to be thankful for all our circumstances, but we can be thankful in the midst of hard circumstances, because God still loves us, God still gave Himself for us, God is still Emmanuel, God with us in the midst of our hard circumstances. And God can even use those difficult circumstances to make us more Christ like, and to draw us closer to Himself.
Ephesians 1 reminds us of these reasons we can always be thankful:
- We have been Adopted into God’s family…called his very own children. (Stamped with God’s Image)
- We have been Forgiven through the blood of Jesus.
- God’s grace is at work in our lives Transforming us to be more like Jesus.
- God’s Wisdom is available to us for the asking!
- The Holy Spirit living in us is the guarantee of our Inheritance in Jesus Christ.
- The gift of God’s salvation is freely given.
Let me challenge you to check your gratitude meter during the month of November. Every night as you finish your day, try going through these simple steps:
- Become aware of God’s presence.
- Review the day with gratitude.
- Choose one feature of the day for which you are thankful. Write it down.
- Express your thanks to God.
- Look forward to tomorrow.
At the end of the month I hope you will have found 30 different reasons for which you gave thanks!
One more tangible way we can express our appreciation to God is to prayerfully consider giving a Special Thank Offering Gift by using the enclosed envelope. This thank offering is a way we can share with others the joy and blessings we have found in Jesus Christ.
You may bring the envelope to church and place it in the offering plate or mail it to Antigo United Methodist Church, 2034 5th Ave. Antigo WI 54409
Grace and Peace, with Thanksgiving, Pastor Debbie