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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Thankful for God's blessings

November 19, 2018

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Psalm 145:1-2

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Many of us are planning to spend time with family as we eat turkey and dressing in copious quantities. Many of us will start our Thanksgiving meal with a list of all the things for which we are thankful. Many of us will take at least a little time to count our blessings.

When my children were small, one of them would periodically ask, “Are we rich?” The answer, according to worldly standards, was no. We didn’t come close to qualifying as rich when rich was measured in material, American terms. But my answer was always that we were rich, very rich. We were, and still are, rich in ways that go far beyond material. I explained to them that we were rich when we counted as blessings our friends and family and the relationships with them.  We were rich in all the ways that mattered, including in the possibility of a relationship with the Lord God Almighty. 

My favorite passage of scripture to use when counting blessings is Psalm 145. Here are all the reasons the psalmist gives for being thankful.

God performs mighty acts, awesome works, and great deeds. We see his mighty acts of creation as we look around us at the world. We see the results of his awesome works and great deeds in our lives as we respond to his forgiveness and seek to draw nearer and nearer to him. 

God is good, righteous, gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and rich in love. We have reason to be thankful for his nature, as it is that nature that assures us of his love for us even before we respond to his presence.

God is good to all. What have we done to deserve the goodness of God? Nothing. But he is good to us anyway.

God is trustworthy and faithful in keeping his promises. God will not make a promise that he is not willing and able to keep. When God speaks to you, whether it’s through his spoken word or his written word or his living Word, you can be assured that he will do all that he has said he will do. 

God lifts up the fallen, provides food for the hungry, and satisfies every living thing. There are so many ways we fall away from God even as we intend to stay in close relationship. God is ready for that.

God is righteous and faithful and near to all who call on him in faith. It doesn’t matter where we have been or where we are on our faith journey; when we cry out to God, he hears us and responds. 

One last thought – God has blessed you so that you might be a blessing to others. Spend time over Thanksgiving counting the many, many ways you are blessed. Spend time being a blessing to others. And, above all, spend time with the Father who has blessed you beyond measure eternally. 

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

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