givE thanks

by Pastor Mark Jordan

“Don’t hesitate to be enthusiastic—be on fire in the Spirit as you serve the Lord! Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer. Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home.” (Romans 12:11-13, CEB)
Today’s the big day…Thanksgiving! We are heading to visit family today as we gather around the table, giving thanks for the many blessings in our lives. As we gather, we will generously share the blessings that impact us individually, but also call us into the bond of unity through the peace of God. Sure, we might feel some vulnerability as we think about all we have for which to be thankful, but my prayer is we give thanks enthusiastically, which represents the ‘E’ in our acrostic.
The word, enthusiasm, is translated from the original Greek as, “the God within.” When God gives to you, he gives everything, enthusiastically, so you will know of his love and the promise of hope. This is precisely how God gave in Jesus, and what Jesus gives when you accept him as your personal Lord and Savior. God himself comes to live within you in the form of the Holy Spirit to transform your life from the inside-out. So when you give enthusiastically, you are literally giving from “the God within.”
Are you enthusiastic about your Thanksgiving celebration? God wants you to experience that enthusiasm not just today, but always. Sure, it might make you feel vulnerable as you reflect upon all the many blessings in your life, but it is your life that God loves so powerfully and gives you so generously. Will you aim to do the same? I pray yes, giving thanks to God enthusiastically!
Prayer: Dear God, I give you thanks today for your many blessings in my I’ve. I approach you today with enthusiasm, knowing it is you within me that makes this possible. So I give thanks for the fact you give me yourself. Help me to give myself to you and others generously and individually while recognizing my vulnerability, but doing so enthusiastically. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.