Written by  //  December 18, 2014  //  No comments

This Month’s Challenge (#6)

A song we sing from time to time in our services is Count Your Blessings. It is a beautiful song encouraging us to stop and consider the many things for which we should be thankful. It teaches us to stop and count our many blessings when we are “discouraged, thinking all is lost” or when we are “burdened with a load of care.” Indeed we need to stop and carefully take stock of the many things for which we should be grateful, especially when the going gets rough.

Being thankful for our many blessings is talked about in many passages in the New Testament. In fact, the word “thank” and “thankful” and other such words are found 70 times in the N.T. Many of these passages teach us to be thankful for the things we have been blessed with. Paul tells us to put on thankfulness in Col.3:15. He told Timothy, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving” (1 Tim.4:4). To those at Thessalonica he said,“in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess.5:18). He tells us to pray often with thanksgiving (Phil.4:6; Col.3:17). Indeed we need to express our thankfulness for all the wonderful blessings we have received.

Very often we fail to express thanks when due. We become like the 9 lepers in Luke 17:12-19 who were healed by Jesus but didn’t return to thank Him. This spirit of ingratitude is seen very much alive today.

I’m sure if we were to stop and think about it there would be many people we should be thankful for every day. We should be grateful to the person who made our clothes, for the people who spend their lives growing things for us to eat, for those who designed and built the houses we live in or cars we drive, for the countless people who touch our lives every day without our thinking about it. It would do us all good to stop and think of all the people we need to be grateful for.

What about in the spiritual realm? Aren’t there several people in Christ we should be grateful for? I think there are. So the challenge for the next month is this:

Take note of those in Christ to whom you owe a debt of gratitude. Then, send them a short note expressing that gratitude.

Who are those in Christ we should be grateful for? I can think of several. Certainly we need to be thankful for the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. But our challenge this month concerns those in the local congregation. How about the person who helped convert you to Jesus Christ? Certainly we should be thankful they cared enough to share the good news of Christ with us. What about the elders who are constantly at work to see that our spiritual needs are met and that we always stay on the straight and narrow way of the Lord. What about the deacons who work tirelessly to take care of a number of things here so the elders can keep their minds focused on the spiritual work of this congregation. What about those who are willing and able to teach in the Bible classes on Sunday or Wednesday evening and during our annual Vacation Bible School? What about the song leaders or those who lead in public prayers? What about the brother or sister whose presence and words are always a source of strength and comfort to us? What about those who have, in their youth, obeyed the gospel of Christ or those who had the courage to repent of sins which had again entered their life?

Brethren, there are so many we need to be thankful for that if we accept this challenge, our mailboxes ought to overflow with outbound notes of appreciation for our brethren! Are YOU up to the challenge?