Thursday, November 22, 2007

Come, Ye Thankful People

6As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:6-7, King James Version

15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Colossians 3:15-17, King James Version

Come Ye Thankful People Come

Today is Thanksgiving Day in my country, and so I have deviated one day from the series on People Full of Faith, to bring a special Thanksgiving devotional.

It was only a few days ago that my husband and I went to the funeral of his sister, Diane. It would seem that when one is in the midst of grief, it would be hard to find reasons to be thankful.

If you will check back in the archives, on November 12th, the day before Diane's homecoming with the Lord, I mentioned her in a devotional. Little did I know what would happen within 24 hours of the devotion's publication. Yet, in only ways that God could understand, He used that devotional to become a comfort to those who knew and loved Diane. For that I am extremely thankful to God.

I'm learning that we, as Christians, grow more in times of affliction, as well as in times of grief. It is during these times that we experience that special grace of God to strengthen and comfort us.

There are many things, this Thanksgiving Day, for which I am especially thankful. especially for having known Diane and seeing the strength of her faith during some truly difficult times.

*I am thankful for her children, and the faith I see in them.
*I am thankful for her grandchildren, continuing to be instructed in the Word of the Lord.
*I am thankful for her parents, who have become parents to me, who have taught all of their children to believe and love the Lord.
*I am thankful for her brother, my husband, who because of the faithful prayers of his mother, stands firm in his faith this day.
*I am thankful for Diane's sisters, Barbara and Jill, who are also my sisters in Christ.
*I am thankful that my life has been made richer by being a part of this wonderful family.

Oh, there are many more things I could say, but I would like you to just ponder this thought today. For whom are you thankful? Who has prayed for you, taught you God's Word, prayed with you, encouraged you in your Christian walk, ministered to you in times of grief or illness, and helped you to be a better Christian today than you were yesterday.

Also ponder this, how many others are thankful because of your life? How many others have you touched, by God's grace, through your walk with Him.

Of course, all of our thankfulness and allegiance goes to God Almighty, for His grace in our lives and the gift of salvation He has given to us. But God uses us, the weak ones of this world, to spread His Gospel message to those whose lives we have touched.

Thank you, Diane. We miss you, but are so happy and comforted to know that all of your struggles in this world are past. We would never wish you to leave the glories of Heaven you have found to return to this world.

God Bless You,
Linda

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