And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. 2 Corinthians 4:14
God’s grace is closely tied to thanksgiving. It figures. If everything comes from God and nothing comes from us, then the only response to God’s grace is to simply and purely thank Him. It’s a very simple formula. Grace humbles us, but it empowers us at the same time, so we end up humbly strong — strong, but not in our own strength. A little hard to grasp unless you look at Jesus. He was the God of the universe who emptied Himself of His rights as God and became a servant. That’s what Grace does.
It’s all God and all Grace.
That’s why we can’t pat ourselves, or each other, on the back. God has done a marvelous thing among us, who can know it, except to receive it and be thankful?
accepts us as we are
forgives us of our sin and wipes out its memory
makes us acceptable to God
empowers us to extend His grace outward to others
brings us and others true joy
brought Christ from heaven to us
gives us purpose and meaning
sees us as beautiful (gives us worth — sees us as worthy)
makes us like Him
(and you can add to this list and never finish it)
So, on this Thanksgiving, we choose to focus, amidst a traditional family celebration of food and football, on the multi-faceted grace of God. God’s grace results in great thanksgiving which results in more glory to God. It’s a full circle.
This year we are indeed full of thanksgiving for you — all of you who gave to help us jump-start our 6-month expansion. The funding was encouraging and enabling, but the vote of confidence was the green light we’ve been looking for. Those who participated surpassed even our end-of-the-year campaigns. That tells us we must be doing something right. And thank you as well for those of you who could not give, because we know you would if you could, and our biggest thanks are to those of you who continue to give monthly as MemberPartners. You are truly the heartbeat of this ministry.
One more note of thanks goes up for Alex, our hard-working Millennial Board member, who is helping us upgrade our website and keeps us sensitized to the needs and perspective of Millennials. In the last couple of days, Alex has become the proud father of a baby boy! We thank the Lord for a complication-free birth and a healthy baby! Congratulations Alex!
So we wish you all a Grace-filled Thanksgiving. In concert with the celebration of Thanksgiving, the Catch will be resting in thanksgiving tomorrow and Friday and will resume on Monday, November 26, 2018.
“It is gratefulness which makes the soul great.”
~ Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
Shalom, Peace to everyone as we remember to give – and receive – thanks.
Love this from Today’s Catch: “”God’s grace: accepts us as we are forgives us of our sin and wipes out its memory” Amen!
PS And yes, thank the Lord for a complication-free birth and a healthy baby! Congratulations Alex! 🙂 ❤
And Congrats to Alex! Lots to be thankful for!!
How do you tell God thank you? Do you do so privately during your quiet time with Him? Or maybe you write it down in your journal? Maybe it’s just a fleeting thought, a whispered thanks, as you arrive safely home from a long journey, or as you witness the beauty of the setting sun.
The writer of Psalm 95 encourages us to tell God thanks in quite a different way. He invites us to “sing for joy,” to “shout aloud,” to come before God with thanksgiving on our lips and to worship him with music and song. According to the psalm writer, our hearts should be so brimming with gratitude to God for all that He has done that we can’t help but bubble over with joy and shout out our thanks.
Is that how we tell God thanks?
English writer and author Gladys Bronwyn Stern once wrote that silent gratitude is of use to no one. Inspirational writer William Arthur Ward put it this way, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
Expressing our thankfulness is meant to be shared with others, aloud. We need to tell the object of our gratitude what we’re feeling, not just think about it. Not only is the recipient of gratitude blessed when we say “thank you,” but we also are lifted up when we see the effects our words have on others and when we focus on the good things in our lives.
When we consider giving thanks as a gift to be given, as words to be shouted, as a song to sing in joy, it helps us to cultivate that attitude in our hearts. It is more than just an automatic response; giving thanks becomes a lifestyle that can inspire and encourage others.
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a great Jewish theologian, once said that gratitude is the only response that can sustain us through life’s difficulties. He summed up the necessity for giving thanks to God in this way: “It is gratefulness which makes the soul great.”
So as we gather around the Thanksgiving table this year with our family and friends, let’s shout out our gratitude for the many blessings God has bestowed upon us. Let’s sing with joy for all He has done to protect us and secure us for yet one more year. But let’s also leave the table with a desire to cultivate gratefulness in our hearts not just today, but every day, so that our souls might be great and that we will be a blessing to others.
Holy Land Moments Daily Devotional (11-23-18): “Cultivating a Grateful Heart”
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song. — Psalm 95:1–2