Posted on: 5th November 2018
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
This half term our theme is being thankful and content. We will look at the challenge of always being thankful and learning what it means to be content in every situation.
I write this devotional at 2:30am after an amazing time at the annual swim gala. Watching the swimmers give their all, I am so thankful for their efforts and content with the result. Your house may not have won every race; no one can. But one swimmer in particular stood out for me as a true hero in every sense of the word. Due to illness, he was the only representative in his age group. He swam two individual races and a relay. He picked up four points to help the team to secure second place overall. Two years ago, this student couldn’t swim and learned because he wanted to take part in the swim gala. What has someone done recently that you are thankful for? Take time today to reflect and share it with them.
The children of Israel journey is recorded in the first five books of the bible. In Exodus, their journey from slavery to wandering in the wilderness, to eventual freedom is detailed. There is also recounts of their grumblings and discontentment that their new found freedom cost them. Their freedom involved facing and fighting new problems. When they looked back to their old way of life they remembered the ease of being a slave, but they forgot how they were desperate to change. Have you ever wished for your old life, when things were less busy, complicated or challenging? Take time to remember the discontentment you felt back then and the desire you had to chase what you have now.
As we remember the 100th year since the end of World War I, let us take time to be thankful for the battles that others faced and fought for our freedom. May we find new ways to be thankful for what we have and pray for strength to face our own battle with hope.
Posted on: 11th December 2017
“‘rooted and built up in Him….. and overflowing with thankfulness”
Consider thankfulness the bookends of your day that hold it all together. Thankfulness can be overseen as just a response to an action but actually thankfulness is a mind-set, a value, which when it is embedded in our lives we will see it continue to breed generosity.
Saying thank you for what is ahead or giving gratitude for what has been makes for a healthy heart. Gratitude leads to generous thoughts and thankfulness causes you to value things well. Gratefulness is a key to finding consistent happiness that is not based on how others act or what happened but how you choose to respond. So in this moment, choose to be grateful and let the power of thankfulness reveal to you the depths of God’s goodness and faithfulness afresh.
From the verse in Colossians you will notice where the thankfulness comes from, that rooted down place, in the depths no one can see. It’s a heart thing, something only you can deal with, however in contrast, we are built up in Him causing the overflowing of thankfulness, of gratitude, of praise. That expression can then be witnessed far beyond where we could imagine.
Think: Thankful eyes, thankful words, thankful actions.
Thankfulness can be in the things you see, the words you speak of the things you do. Take the time to think about what these things in your life look like. Thankfulness becomes contagious, when we see others being thankful we begin to mimic it. Imagine the impact your thankfulness therefore has on those around you, those you influence and those you communicate regularly with. How does what you say or what you do demonstrate a thankful heart?