Pastor’s Letter ~ AUGUST 2020
“Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way." His disciples answered, "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?" "How many loaves do you have?" Jesus asked. "Seven," they replied, "and a few small fish." He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.” Matthew 16:32-37 NIV
Jesus gave thanks. He gave thanks a lot! He praised His Father for hiding the truth from those who were proud of their wisdom and revealing the truth to those who were humble and childlike. He gave thanks for provision, as in the passage above. Feeding thousands with just a few loaves of bread and a few fish; well that was something that Jesus gave His Father thanks for before the fact knowing that His Father would provide. He thanked His Father for hearing His prayer before Lazarus was raised from the grave. Jesus was also on the receiving end of thanksgiving. Out of the ten lepers that were cleansed, only one returned to give Him thanks. (Luke 17:17) He did receive thanks from others that He also healed. In His relationship with His Father and with others, Jesus established a relationship of gratitude. Relationship is the key ingredient we have with Jesus that allows us to have an attitude of gratitude. Jesus is more than just an example to follow; He is the living Presence of God living inside us through the power of the Holy Spirit! Imagine, we are God’s dwelling! How should that change our attitudes? When we are synchronized with His heart, a culture of thankfulness and gratitude will form within us. It is always important that we cultivate in our lives certain habits that will lead us to becoming more Christ-like. Being thankful is one that transforms us into people God can use. Whenever we experience God’s work in the smallest details of life, it leads us to remember that He works miracles and at times those miracles come through us, His agents at work in the world. When we foster an attitude of gratitude in our lives, God uses that to make us more sensitive to the needs around us. And the more sensitive we become the more gracious we grow to be. As we commune with Jesus and enjoy His Presence all around us, the more our hearts are filled with the spirit of thanksgiving! The flip side of this is that when we aren’t feeling very grateful, it is a sign we are out of sync with Him. Here we have a choice to make. Either we can look for ways that replenish our walk by looking for the many ways we are blessed, or by growing stagnate and withdrawing from the fact that “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32) Fellowship with Jesus redirects and reshapes our perspectives. It also restores our attitudes about how good God is to give us all things. He is worthy of all our praise and our gratitude!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!! In His love, Pastor Bill ♥