HomeWord - Nov. 20, 2007

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Reasons for Giving Thanks 
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

I wonder at times why it seems so easy for me to focus on the negative aspects of my life. I routinely take for granted some of the very basic blessings that God has given. How about you? This week as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, take a few moments to reflect on all of the good things that God has provided you with and give Him thanks. It just might make your day!  Here’s a reminder (author unknown) that helped to spark my own thinking about how God has blessed my life:

• If you woke up this morning with more health than illness… you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

• If you have never experienced battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation… you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

• If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep… you are richer than 75% of this world.

• If you have money in the bank, money in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace… you are among 8% of the world’s most wealthy people.

• If your parents are alive and still married… you are very rare, even in the United States.

• If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful… you are blessed because the majority can, but do not.

• If you prayed yesterday and today… you are blessed because you believe God does hear and answer prayer, even though you are in the minority by holding this belief.

• If you can read these words… you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

There is no doubt that God is good and that we are blessed! Like the Psalmist, we can ask, “How can I repay the Lord for all of his goodness to me?” (Psalm 116:12) Though we can never fully repay God for his goodness, we can demonstrate our gratitude through our praise and by serving others. Today, live you life as one who has been blessed. Begin by whispering a simple “thank you” to God, in prayer. Then, demonstrate your gratitude by serving someone else, in Jesus’ name.

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GOING DEEPER:

1. Take a few minutes and make a list of God’s blessings that you find it easy to take for granted. Carry the list with you today, as a reminder of God’s many blessings.

2. Spend some time in prayer, giving God thanks for each one of these items on your list.

FURTHER READING:

Psalm 128; Psalm 84:11; Hebrews 13:15-16


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