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Title: The Gift of Thankfulness Good morning/afternoon/evening, dear congregation, Today, I would like to dwell on a virtue that is often overlooked in our ever-busy lives. A virtue we may even say is becoming rarer these days. That virtue is "Thankfulness". In the Scripture, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus". We are living in a world increasingly focused on the pursuit of more. More wealth, more success, more achievements - a constant stream of more. Yet amidst this pursuit, there is a risk of losing sight of the blessings we already have, of forgetting to pause and be thankful. To live a life of thankfulness, we must first recognize everything we have is a gift from God. The air we breathe, the skills we have, our health, our families, our homes – these are all blessings from God. Luke 12:15 urges us, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." Being thankful not only honours God but also profoundly transforms our perspective on life. It makes us see our glass not as half-empty but as half-full. It keeps us grounded and helps us to stay content and hopeful, even amidst the trials that life throws our way. Moreover, gratitude has the power to improve our relationships. When we express our thankfulness for the people around us, it strengthens our bond with them, fosters mutual respect, and spreads joy. In the Bible, we see numerous examples of people giving thanks: David in the Psalms, Daniel in prayer, Paul in his letters, and most importantly, our Lord Jesus himself. Even at the Last Supper, knowing His death was imminent, Jesus gave thanks. We too can cultivate a grateful heart. We can regularly reflect on our blessings - say grace before meals, giving thanks for the day before bedtime, or keep a gratitude journal. Especially in times of challenges or disappointment, let's strive to count our blessings and focus on the goodness of God. In this spirit of thankfulness, let us not just express it in words, but also in our action. James 2:17 reminds us, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Let our thankfulness spur us to share our blessings with others. To care for the sick and poor, to uplift the ones in trouble, to bring joy wherever we go. Remember, thankfulness is not a once-a-year celebration, but a daily attitude. It is an intimate expression of faith, acknowledging that our lives are in God’s hands. As we cultivate this thankful spirit, we'll find a spiritual renewal growing within us, producing joy, courage, contentment, and ultimately, authentic worship. Let us bow our hearts in prayer- Dear Lord, We thank you for your infinite love and blessings. Help us to cultivate a heart of thankfulness, to appreciate each moment, each breath, each blessing, recognizing it as a gift from you. And let this spirit of thankfulness transform our hearts, homes, and communities. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen. May the Grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ guide your hearts into an everlasting life of gratitude and thanksgiving. Amen. God bless you all.
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