We have entered the season of Thanksgiving, a time to remember and give thanks. Giving of ourselves is not something that comes naturally; we have to choose to do it. It can be a difficult choice to choose to serve others. Take a moment and think about all those who have chosen to serve us and be thankful.  Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Veteran’s Day is a chance to remember a group of people who have given so much for our freedoms. I know it is easy to forget and take for granted what we have, but we must remember the cost with which it was established. We must remember that freedom is a precious gift, not to be wasted, squandered or taken for granted.

Thank you to all the men and women, the families who have given so much, to gain and maintain the freedom we enjoy. May we cherish freedom as much as the lives it cost to gain.

I like to use the entire month of November to remember and be thankful. This gives us time to reflect on all that God has blessed us with. We don’t have to look very far before we find something we are thankful for. There are many who have sacrificed much, but yet they are thankful for the lives they have and their family and friends around them.

There are times we take for granted those who are here with us. We forget that in a moment all that we have can vanish, washed away. The things in life we hold so precious are nothing compared to the life we have been given and the lives we are a part of. Who are you thankful for? Go to them and let them know how much they mean to you.

For there to be meaning to life there must be relationships built on trust and faith. The key to building meaningful relationships is sacrifice. When we are willing to set aside our own selfish desires for the good of others the bonds created are strong. Those bonds are not easily broken.

Life is complete and fulfilling when we have those bonds. We find meaning and purpose as we build and strengthen those relationships. That is how God created us and that is how He saved us. We can only know the most fulfilling life when we have a relationship with Him, through Jesus Christ.

Psalm 100 A psalm. For giving thanks.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his;

we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;

give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;

his faithfulness continues through all generations.

As I thought about some of the things I was thankful for God came to mind. God provides us with a very special gift that cannot be bought. He provided us with His Love. Loving someone is an interesting thing, you cannot buy love. Love is offered but not always accepted.

God, in his infinite mercy, loves us. We are the most valuable part of his creation. He loves us so much he has taken steps to provide a way, even though we have fallen short, for us to have a relationship with Him, through Jesus Christ.

I am thankful for God’s tolerance. He allows me to choose the path my life takes and when it moves away from him, he tolerates that. It doesn’t please Him, and He provides guidance to draw my feet back onto the right path, but he doesn’t condemn me for choosing to go in the wrong direction.

How many people do you know that are as tolerant as God? I do not know of anyone. Jesus explained that he did not come into the world to condemn the world but to save it. That statement alone makes it clear to us that God is patient and tolerant. He loves us enough he sent his son to teach and guide us along the right path. No greater love than this that he lay down his life for his friends.

That is something to be thankful for, that while we still fall short of God’s plan for our lives; when we choose to go in a direction that leads away from God; when we choose to act in a way that dishonors God; He still loves us.

God provided the only sacrifice that could overcome our disobedience, His Son. He loved us so much that he made that available to us for the asking. Jesus came and gave His life so that we could have life. He paid the price for our sins. God presented it to us as a gift. We need only to receive it. Now that is something to be thankful for.

I remember the story of the prodigal son in Luke’s Gospel. You see this son thought he knew better how to live life than his father. He thought he was missing out on all life had to offer. He thought he had it all figured out, so he ended the relationship with his dad.

The son realized quickly how much effort it took to build the home his father made for his family. Living wasn’t all about partying and having fun. Second, he learned that people are not truly your friends, when the money ran out, he was alone. Thirdly, you don’t always realize what you have until it’s gone.

Thankfully for this son, his father was compassionate and forgiving.

Luke 15:20-24; NLT; “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’

“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

The father watched for his son’s return. The father desired to have his relationship with his son restored. I am certain that his father prayed for his son and his safe return.

Our Heavenly Father is much the same, He desires for us to restore our relationship with Him, so much that He made a provision for our sins to be forgiven. He sacrificed His son to pay the price for our sins. He offers that to us as a gift.

In life we build many meaningful relationships but there is none more meaningful than the one we have with God. There is no relationship we can build here on earth that will provide more satisfaction and fulfillment than the one we have with God. There is however a separation that exists between us.

I am thankful that God provided a way for restoration through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus for us to restore our relationship with Him. It is that sacrifice that covers us and provides the forgiveness that we need. It is something we all need.

Please take the time and consider how much God has already done, so that we may live the most fulfilling life. Think about how much God loves us and cares for us. Like the son who returned home to his father, return to God and receive the gift of salvation he offers.


Pastor Don

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