When They Prayed
FROM THE BISHOP DAVID GRAVES   I chose the theme of our 2023 Annual Conference session, “When They Prayed,” based on Acts 4:31: “And when they had prayed, the place in which they ...
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A season of giving thanks

November 18, 2019

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8, NLT)

The season of Thanksgiving is here. As we pause our preparations for Christmas to consider giving thanks, let us include giving thanks to God for all that he has given us. My favorite passage of scripture for Thanksgiving is Psalm 145. This psalm is a list of many of the reasons we have to give thanks to God.

Some of the reasons the psalm offers to give thanks to God include the attitude of the Lord God Almighty toward humanity. Verses 8 and 9 tell us that the Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and filled with love. The Lord is good to everyone. What more could we ask for from the Lord than mercy, compassion, patience, love, and goodness? How can we, sinful as we are, expect such treatment from a God who is nothing by holy?

Verse 13 tells us that the everlasting Lord always keeps his promises. Later verses tell us that the Lord helps the fallen, satisfies hunger and thirst, and does everything with kindness. The Lord responds to all who call on him in truth, hears our cries for help, and rescues us. The Lord protects all who love him. Verse 17a tells us that “The Lord is righteous in everything he does…” Why would a righteous Lord believe that keeping promises to a people who, all too often, fail to keep their promises is important?

As we read Psalm 145, we find all these reasons for praising the God who treats us in this manner. As I read this psalm, the question of why keeps coming to mind. Why would the Lord treat me in this manner? What have I done to deserve this kindness and compassion? The answer is nothing. I’ve done nothing to deserve such treatment. But God, in his righteousness, promised to treat me so. When I wonder why, the best response can be found in the words of Paul. “…it is a gift from God.” For that gift, I am eternally grateful and will spend my days giving thanks, turning the entire year into a season of giving thanks.

As we pause our preparations for the holidays to consider giving thanks for all we have, let us give thanks to God for all that he gives to us.

Dr. Nita Crump serves as Director of Connectional Ministries. Contact her at nitac@sgaumc.com.

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