HOW THANKFUL ARE YOU?

   It is my pleasure to extend greetings and hopes of peace to each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. It is indeed a joy to have this opportunity to reach out to my Father’s children with words of encouragement in the Lord’s will.
 
   As you know, we are entering into the month of November wherein we expect to celebrate the fourth Thursday as Thanksgiving Day, a national holiday. I think that it’s wonderful that our nation is called to recognize that God has been good to us. My only exception to this practice is that it occurs only one day a year. Our God has been so good to us that I believe He deserves so much more than that. Believers should give thanks every day. The old saying comes to mind, “When I think of the goodness of Jesus and all that He’s done for me, my soul cries out ‘Hallelujah,’ I praise God for saving me!” There is no question that there should burn in the heart of every believer an attitude of gratitude. However, today our Father in Heaven has placed a question in my spirit. “Greg, just how grateful are you?”
 
   The question seems to imply that gratitude or thankfulness is somehow measurable. If that is so, by what means does one measure “thankfulness”? Thankfulness, obviously, cannot be measured with yard sticks or scales and weights. But I submit that it can be measured by the extent we are willing to sacrifice ourselves for God and His kingdom. Is there anything that you and I would consider just too much for God to ask? 
 
   Recently, my Thursday Bible Class and I were discussing Abraham, considered to be the “Father of the Faith.” In the twenty second chapter of Genesis at verse two, we read, “And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” God tells Abraham for the second time, ‘I want you to leave your home for an undisclosed location. I will tell you when you get there and, Oh, by the way, take with you your only son (by your beloved wife Sarah), Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice to me.’ I imagine that Abraham could have gone through all kinds of mental exercises. He could have reasoned that God had never asked anyone to do anything like sacrificing a human life as part of their worship. He could have thought, “should I not discuss this with my wife? After all, the boy is her son, too?” He could have come to the conclusion that this was just a bridge too far and that he just would not kill his child, for God or anyone else. But here is the revelation, isn’t it; that your Thanksgiving is directly proportionate to one’s faith in God. In other words, this is the standard of measurement for thankfulness that we were looking for. Do you trust Him now? How faithful has He been before? What now do you owe Him for His goodness to you?
 
   I submit to you that there should be nothing out of bounds or off limits when it is God who is doing the asking. We owe Him our unbridled confidence and complete loyalty. This is indeed a way of expressing our gratitude to Him for His love and faithfulness to us. So when we are being asked to do something for God and His kingdom, we should see this as an opportunity to show our gratitude. How grateful are you?
 
Maranatha,
Bishop Wells