Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in Him in all speech and all knowledge—even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you—so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
A number of years ago, I and a small group of students were doing a brief six-week "tour" of some churches in states throughout the Midwest. We put on a small production, doing some contemporary Christian songs, acting out a few skits, and telling others about Jesus. Our "mission" was to visit congregations, share our faith, and promote our school. It was a combination evangelism-recruitment effort.
One of the great things about doing this was the chance to stay with church families for the night. These folks were kind to open their homes to us. I discovered a number of times that the family I was bunking with would regularly host people from school youth groups, other visiting troupes to their church, and even foreign exchange students. This intrigued me. Before our little tour, I figured the families we stayed with probably accepted us somewhat reluctantly, at the nudging of the church.
But that was not my experience at all. In fact, showing hospitality appeared to be something like a minor specialty among these families. And they were good at it, too. Around tables of home-cooked food, I'd get to hear their backstories—what brought them to the area, what everybody in the household was up to, how long they've been members of their church—that sort of thing.
And, of course, I'd get to share my story, too. They'd ask questions about what I was studying and what I planned on doing after college.
I remember one family in the Kansas City area had a plaque in their house. Actually, it was in their bathroom: "Thanksgiving Is Thanksliving." So simple, so profound. Perfect for a captive audience. It's not about gushing with thanks one day a year for all the goodies we have in this country. It's about living it out, eager to let the world know how thankful—how very grateful—we are for all that God has done for us in Jesus.
That saying stuck with me. Naturally, I don't always live it out, and sometimes I probably appear anything but thankful—but I am. One thing's for sure. This year's a perfect time to put thanksliving into action. While Thanksgiving and Christmas might look different than last year, we know that God through Jesus—in the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit—is in us, with us, and at our side always.
What more could we be thankful for?
Heavenly Father, we thank You for all good things, especially for Jesus our Savior. In His Name we pray. Amen.
1. What are you most thankful for in your life, right now?Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
2. How do you show your appreciation to the fellowship of believers you're involved in?
3. What can we do to make others thankful for us?
What are you most thankful for in your life, right now?