Living With Genuine Gratitude

Living With Genuine Gratitude

Thanksgiving week is upon us! Thanksgiving is a time for us to slow down and count our blessings in life. We are often guilty of taking those blessings for granted. Deep down, we appreciate these things but sometimes, we start to overlook them. We get caught up in the rate race of life and find ourselves simply wanting more. Paul’s letter to the Philippians is an excellent epistle to read leading up to Thanksgiving. It is short, powerful, and inspiring. He writes in chapter four, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Just a few verses later he says, “I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” That, right there, is a Thanksgiving sermon. I want to challenge you this Thanksgiving to make a list of the things for which you are thankful. Those who acknowledge their blessings in life live longer, happier, and healthier lives. On top of that, failing to acknowledge our blessings can quickly lead us to taking them for granted. Here is my list. I give thanks to God for:

• A loving wife and three beautiful children
• A wonderful extended family
• A vibrant church that is making a real difference in this community
• Health and the ability to exercise
• Food, clothing, and shelter that many in the world do not have
• Close friends that make the journey of life more enjoyable
• A strong desire to continue learning and growing in faith
• Leaders whose commitment makes Woodmont what it is
• A talented church staff that is dedicated to ministry and to their faith
• A congregation that loves and supports each other in good and bad times
• Outreach Ministries that serve the least of these and live out the gospel
• A nation where we enjoy freedom and liberty
• The gift of music and how it can transform us
• A college football team that’s on a roll
• Inner peace that comes from Christ
• Hope for the future
• Joy that surprises us
• Love that makes the world go round
• The gift of Christ, who taught us how to live, how to love, how to serve and what life is all about

What does your list include? Have you taken the time to make one? In his excellent book With Love and Prayers, Tony Jarvis says, “We all know people who spend their lives focusing on problems and what’s wrong. The opposite of that kind of life is what we might call living thankfully. And it seems to me that those who have grown up, who have ‘put away childish things,’ realize that life is hard. They do not expect everything that happens to them to be favorable, they do not assume that only good things happen to good people, they do not take the blessings they presently enjoy for granted. They assume nothing; they take nothing for granted. And they live day to day finding each day something to be thankful for.” As we gather around the Thanksgiving table, may we all take the time to name our blessings, to reflect upon them, and to give thanks to God, the giver of all good things.


– Clay

P.S. I am Thankful for Woodmont’s great tradition of Walk Thru Bethlehem is coming back this year!


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