I like to listen to inspirational music in the morning, and one of my all-time favorite pick-me-up songs is Get on Your Feet by Gloria Estefan. If you're in my house when this song comes up on the playlist, you are likely to see me singing and dancing around the house like it's nobody's business.
I listen to all genres of music, especially Christian music. This morning, as I was contemplating what to write for this message, the song Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart, written by Eustace Henry Jr, started playing.
The lyrics are pretty simple:
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given
Jesus Christ, His Son
And now let the weak say, I am strong
Let the poor say, I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us
What Are You Thankful For?
Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart reminds me of a time during a Thanksgiving Day meal, the host directed everyone to go around the table and say what they were thankful for. Each person graciously shared heartfelt moments and various things about which they were grateful. Finally, it was the host's turn to say what he was thankful for. Let me tell you, after he spoke, we were all grateful that we did not have to share our gratifications after him because what he shared would have made anyone else's story seem somewhat insignificant.
The host has a knack for flair. He wanted everyone to listen intently. When he was sure all eyes were on him, he took a bite of turkey, placed the fork down on his plate, and sat back in his chair. As he chewed slowly, he looked around the table, making eye contact with everyone in attendance. By now, we all are anxious to hear what he has to say. What he said was something simple but encompassed all of our stories in one sentence. He said, "I am grateful for the Son of God."
Suddenly, there was silence in the room. At that moment as each of us, being raised in a Christian home, knew the exact significance of the Son of God. And, of course, we all knew the Son of God, Jesus, was the ultimate thing in life to be grateful for.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16 (ESV).
"Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption" Hebrews 9:12 (NKJV).
Many people are familiar with John 3:16, which tells us that God loves everyone. He loves us all so much that He gave up His Son, Jesus Christ, to be the sacrifice we needed to be forgiven once and for all.
Hebrews 9:12 shows how Jesus' blood is the only blood that could forgive us for our sins forever. From the moment Jesus died for our sins, we no longer have to give sacrifices for our sins. Jesus' blood covered us all forever. And now, because of that one sacrifice, we can have the greatest gift of all, a place in heaven.
That is a lot to be thankful for.
"Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, 'I am strong'" Joel 3:10 (NKJV).
"Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless" Isaiah 40:28-29 (NLT).
God does not steer us away from hardship and disasters. When we have faith in Him and trust Him, He gives us the powerful resources and strength we need to get through and overcome the things that happen to us.
"Looking at his disciples, he said: 'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh'" Luke 6:20-21 (NIV).
"Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him" James 2:5 (NIV)?
The lyrics in the song, Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart, mention the poor being rich. Most people might equate this statement to mean financially rich. We who are Christians know this verse to mean that when we hunger and thirst after the Lord, we will be blessed and rich in faith. We are heirs to the kingdom that the Lord promised to us.
And now I ask you, "What are you thankful for?"
"Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things" Psalm 107:8-9 (NIV).
Have a Happy Thanksgiving Day celebration and a wonderfully blessed life.
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